FAQs

When is my recycling collected?

Recycling and rubbish are collected on alternate weeks for kerbside properties: recycling one week and rubbish the next. Food waste is collected weekly and garden waste is collected fortnightly.

Find out if your next collection is your rubbish or recycling collection week.

Where should I leave my recycling?

By 7am on your recycling day, place your wheelie bin at the edge of your property, close to the street/pavement but not on it, to avoid hazards to pedestrians.

What happens to the recyclable materials collected?

All materials go through processing after being collected.

All mixed dry recycling items are sent to a materials recovery facility (MRF) to be mechanically separated using a mixture of magnets, gravity, puffs of air and other clever processes.

Once items are separated they are sold as a commodity or made into new products.

Find out more about how specific items are recycled.

How can I recycle if I live in a flat?

There are different recycling services available for residents living in flats depending on the number of flats on the property.

Those living in flats with 12 or less properties may be able to use the wheelie bin recycling service if space is available.

Residents living in a block of flats with 13- 24 properties, or in a flat above a shop, or on a red route can use the clear sack recycling service.

Residents living in blocks of flats or estates with 25 or more properties can use communal recycling facilities.

If you are unsure which service you are eligible for or do not have communal services please contact customer services on 020 8825 6000 .

How can I dispose of household items I no longer want?

If you have furniture and appliances you no longer want, the council offers two services which you can use, depending on the quality of the items.

Items in good condition can be collected from your home as part of the reuse service. Items collected are then provided to families in need.

If items are not in good condition or suitable for reuse then you can have them collected as bulky waste.

Why recycle food waste?

Food waste is a valuable resource. It can either be recycled in your own home by turning it into compost which is nutrient rich and a valuable fertilizer, or by using the council’s weekly food waste recycling service.

Food waste collected as recycling is turned into biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, during a process called anaerobic digestion. Biogas can then be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuels. The gas itself is a source of renewable energy.

The electricity produced can either be used locally or exported to the national grid.

Food waste, when sent to landfill, rots and creates methane (a potent ‘greenhouse’ gas) and leachate which seeps into the ground and can pollute nearby water.

Using the weekly food waste service will keep black wheelie bins for rubbish clean and reduce any smells. For properties not suitable for wheelie bins, keeping food waste out of black bags also stops rats, foxes and other animals tearing open the bags. The food waste bin has a secure lid that’s animal-proof.

What is the chargeable garden waste service?

Garden waste cannot be disposed of in your black wheelie bin for rubbish, blue wheelie bin for recycling or using the food waste service. Instead, garden waste can be collected from your home with an annual subscription to the garden waste collection service.

If you subscribe to the scheme you will receive either a green wheelie bin or three reusable green sacks. Biodegradable sacks are available for certain properties that are not suited to wheelie bins, such as properties on red routes. There is a yearly subscription of £60 for the service.

You will be offered a renewal of your subscription from 1 March each year.

Find out more about garden waste recycling.