Bins: green, brown, black - what goes in them

Bins

We colour-code bins to help you remember what to put in them:

  • green - recycling    
  • brown - food and garden waste 
  • black - all other rubbish

We might not collect your bin if you put:

  • non-recyclable items in your green bin 
  • anything other than correct food and garden waste items in your brown bin 

This is because your bin is 'contaminated' and it means we can't take it to the correct processing centre. Find out more about what happens to your recycling after we collect it.

Watch our video to learn how you can recycle as much as possible.

Green bins: for recycling Click to get info

Depending on the type of property you live in, the recycling bin will be one of the following...

For flats with communal bins

   

You can also order an indoor storage bag for recycling. It's small enough to keep indoors, before emptying into the communal recycling bin.

For properties with wheelie bins

Our green recycling wheelie bins come in two sizes: standard and slim-line. You can swap your bin size, or order a second one.

You can also order an indoor storage bag for recycling. It's small enough to keep indoors, before emptying into the communal recycling bin

For flats above shops

We deliver green single-use recycling sacks to your property four times a year. If you need more, you can pick them up from your local library

You can also order an indoor storage bag for recycling. It's small enough to keep indoors, before emptying into the communal recycling bin.

Ensure items are clean and dry before you put them in the recycling bin. 

Recyclable items include:

  • plastic bottles, tubs and trays, and plastic carrier bags
  • paper, card and cardboard
  • metal tins, cans, aerosols, trays, and kitchen foil
  • glass bottles and jars

See our full list of acceptable recyclable materials (PDF)

Too much to fit in the green bin?

If you’ve got large recyclable items which won’t fit inside the green bin, leave them next to the bin on your collection day (flatten large cardboard boxes).

Plastics - examples of green bin items

Paper and card - examples of green bin items 

Tins, cans and trays - examples of green bin items

Glass - examples of green bin items

Non-recyclable items

The following items are non-recyclable. Please do not put them into your green recycling bin:

 

 

Leaflets to download:

 

For properties with wheelie bins

Our brown food and garden waste wheelie bins come in two sizes: standard and slim-line. You can change the size of your existing bin or order a second one.

You can also order a green garden waste bag

If you have a brown bin, then you can order a kitchen caddy from us to make it easy to collect your food waste, before you empty it into the brown bin.

You can line your kitchen caddy with a single sheet of newspaper, or compostable liners with the compostable seedling logo (below).

Where to buy compostable liners (120KB Word doc)

 

In your brown bin, you can put:

  • food waste (without packaging)
  • organic (living) matter from your garden, for example grass cuttings, leaves and small branches

Acceptable items

These are examples of food waste and garden waste:

Non-acceptable items

These are examples of non-food waste. Don’t put them in your food waste bin:

Other items you shouldn't put in the brown bin:

  • liquids
  • carrier bags, even if they say 100% biodegradable. Only compostable bags with the compostable seedling logo (above) are accepted
  • treated wood (fencing or shed materials)
  • soil (small amounts of soil attached to plant roots will be collected, please shake off as much soil as possible)
  • Japanese knotweed (please see government advice on GOV.UK)

Too much garden waste to fit in the brown bin?

Excess garden waste (not food) can be:

  • composted at home
  • left in open bags next to your brown bin
  • taken to one of the borough's three recycling centres

You can leave up to 15 open bags, no bigger than 20 inches (51 cm) by 30 inches (76 cm).

We've teamed up with Get Composting, to offer residents reduced-priced home composting bins, wormeries and water butts. To find out more, or to order, call 0844 571 4444 or visit Get Composting.

We recently trialled a communal food waste collection service for properties with communal bins. We now plan to include more properties in the scheme.

If your property is included, you’ll receive a small kitchen caddy. You should regularly empty it into the external communal grey food waste bin, which will be located with the communal recycling and refuse bins.

Grey communal food waste bins – what can I put in them?

Please only put food items in your caddy/ grey communal bin.

You can use compostable liners, but not plastic carrier bags in the caddies and bins.

These are some examples of food waste:

Depending on the type of property you live in, the general rubbish bin will be one of the following...

For flats with communal bins

Put your rubbish in a tied refuse sack, before putting it into the communal bin.

For properties with wheelie bins 

You may have a standard-sized black wheelie bin, or a slimline bin. We no longer use the standard size, so any new bins will be slimline. 

For flats above shops

Put your general rubbish in a tied refuse sack and place it next to your recycling bags, outside your property, between 6am and 9am only on your collection day.

Please note, we don't provide these sacks. 

Any leftover household general waste that can’t go in the either the green recycling bin, or the brown food and garden waste bins, goes into the black refuse bin.

Never dispose of hazardous or clinical waste in black bins. Find out how to arrange safe collection of hazardous and clinical waste.

For communal black refuse bins only - if you don’t have a food waste bin, you can put your food remains in here.