A to Z of what to do with your rubbish and recycling

Find out what materials you can recycle or dispose of in Waltham Forest and how to do it.

Last updated: 6 September 2023

Next review: 6 September 2024

Use the index below to find out what we pick up as part of your household bin collection service, and how you can get rid of the things we don’t collect from the kerbside. If you don't find what you are looking for please complete a Waste Enquiry form

  • green recycling: should be placed your green wheelie bin, green communal recycling bin or green recycling sack (depending on the type of property you live in).
  • food and garden waste: should be placed in your brown wheelie bin or communal food waste bin (food items only).
  • black bin: is not recyclable and should be placed in your black wheelie bin, communal refuse bin or general refuse sacks.

Other items may be suitable for a large item collection or disposing of at a local waste and recycling centre.

This is for residential waste only. Businesses and landlords must use trade waste contractors.








  • Garden chemicals: arrange a hazardous waste collection
  • Garden waste: brown food and garden waste
  • Gas bottles: take to a local waste and recycling centre
    (Contact the manufacturer first to see if they are able to take back the item for refilling or disposal. One gas bottle up to 15kg in size, either propane or butane will be accepted per resident at the site.)
  • Glass bottles and jars: green recycling
  • Gloves (rubber): black bin
  • Grass: brown food and garden waste



  • Incontinence pads: black bin, double bagged, to reduce spillage


  • Japanese Knotweed: or any soil that has been near Japanese knotweed must not be place any of our bins. Please read advice from the Environment Agency on how to dispose of Japanese knotweed safely and legally


  • Kitchen Towel Roll: black bin


  • Leaves: brown food and garden waste
  • Light bulbs: if they are energy saving take them to your local waste and recycling centre. If they are ordinary bulbs please dispose of them in the black bin



  • Nappies (disposable): black bin. To switch to reusable, washable cloth nappies visit Real Nappies for London and claim your free voucher worth £54.15.
  • Nappies (eco/biodegradable): black bin. These cannot be composted in your brown bin. To switch to reusable, washable cloth nappies visit Real Nappies for London and claim your free voucher worth £54.15.
  • Needles: arrange a clinical waste collection







  • Vacuum cleaner: if in good condition please take to a charity shop, arrange a large item collection or take to a local waste and recycling centre
  • Vapes: Vapes cannot go in your rubbish or recycling bin. Like anything with a battery, cable or plug, vapes can and should be recycled. This is the same for all single-use vapes, rechargeable vapes and those that are rechargeable with a single-use chamber. You can recycle vapes at any north London reuse and recycling centre or use a take back-scheme. Refer to this Vape Recycling Guide for further advice
  • Vegware: black bin or check with the individual company website for advice if the vegware can be composted at home
  • Videos/DVDs/CDs: local waste and recycling centre


More information

If we haven't listed an item you want to get rid of, try the Wise up to Waste A to Z.

You may also be able to take reusable items to a charity shop or list them with the Waltham Forest Freecycle group.