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Coronavirus

Cumbria and the rest of England has been placed in national lockdown (stay at home). 

See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). Find out more about the help for affected businesses, charities including the support grants. There is also advice for individuals including the Test and Trace Support payment. Our customer contact centres are not open to the public at the moment due to the restrictions. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us

A-Z recycling index - What can and can't be recycled?

Do you know what can and can't be recycled in our bins and boxes? It can be confusing so the council has put together this list of common items to help you put the right products in the right bins.

Below the index is also a list of alternative recycling methods for some common items. These are places you can take/send items where they will be specially re-used/recycled or disposed of depending on the type of produce.

A-Z recycling index
ItemWhich bin can it go in?Extra info
Aerosol containers (e.g. deodorant cans)Small green recycling bin/black boxEnsure cans are empty
Aluminium traysSmall green recycling bin/black boxThese need to be rinsed and clean before thrown away, otherwise they could contaminate the rest of the load and be rejected by the organisation we pass your waste onto
Baby food pouchesBlack bin/household waste binNone
BatteriesNoneNever put batteries in general waste, they could be hazardous. Try to find a suitable collection point - many retailer have collection points in their stores. See them at https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/batteries-1
BikesNoneBikes in working order (or that could be with a little work) should be passed on to others who want them. Groups such as 'Rebike Cumbria' (contact rebikeca2@gmail.com) may take them from you or advertise them on social media.
Biscuit wrappersBlack bin/household waste binSome brands offer special public recycling points for biscuit, cake and cracker wrappers.
Black plastic or foam food traysBlack bin/household waste binCannot be recycled in our kerbside recycling. Should be placed in household waste
Bread bags, carrier bags and any other plastics with some elasticity in themBlack bin/household waste binSome supermarkets have recycling points for these types of plastics. Check with your local supermarket
Cans - foodSmall green recycling bin/black boxThese need to be rinsed and clean before throwing away, otherwise they could contaminate the rest of the load and be rejected the organisation we pass your waste onto
Cans - aluminium drinks etcSmall green recycling bin/black boxThese need to be rinsed and clean before throwing away, otherwise they could contaminate the rest of the load and be rejected the organisation we pass your waste onto
Cardboard - wet or dirtyBlack bin/household waste binPutting wet/dirty cardboard into the blue-lidded paper/card recycling bin may contaminate the rest of the load and be rejected the organisation we pass your waste onto
Cardboard compositeBlack bin/household waste binIf you can tear it you can recycle it - if it's lined with foil or plastic it is composite and can’t be recycled in our blue-lidded bins
Cardboard packagingBlue-lidded binMust be clean and dry
Carpet and rugsNoneIf it is in good condition local charities may take them off you for re-use. If it must be thrown away then they can also be disposed of at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
CD/DVDsBlack bin/household waste binAlthough they can be placed in a black bin, there are a number of alternative ways to recycle old CDs. Some websites will pay for ones that are still in good quality. The plastic around a DVD case cannot be recycled.
Celophane (from flowers/some veggies/dry goods)Black bin/household waste binThis cannot be recycled in our recycling bins
chemicalsNoneAnything containing chemicals should be disposed of at a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)
Cling filmBlack bin/household waste binThis cannot be recycled in our recycling bins and should be placed in general household waste. Consider alternatives where possible
ClothingBlack bin/household waste binAlthough it can be placed it a black bin, if an item is in good condition local charities/clothes banks may take them off you. Before throwing away, consider alternative uses for clothing such as for cleaning
Contact lenses and casesBlack bin/household waste binNone
Cosmetic bottles from moisturisers/shampoos etcBlack bin/household waste binNone
Crisp packetsBlack bin/household waste binSome locations offer alternative recycling points for crisp packets
Crockery and broken glassBlack bin/household waste binCan be placed in our black bins, however, items like this can also be taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
Electrical equipmentNoneIf item cannot be repaired or reused it should be disposed of at a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)
Foam sponges for washing upBlack bin/household waste binTry using alternative brushes made from natural materials and cut-down use of disposable ones
Food trays - plastic (white)Small green recycling bin/black boxMust be cleaned before being put in bin. If not white plastic this will need to go in the household waste
Food wasteBlack bin/household waste binConsider only buying what you need to reduce waste, or buy a compost bin which can turn food waste into compost for your garden
FurnitureNoneIf in usable condition many charities will accept it as a donation or even collect it from you. If it must be disposed of take it to a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) or consider a bulky waste collection from ourselves
Garden furniture (plastic) and buckets/footballs etcBlack bin/household waste binLarger items should be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) if not reusable
Glass bottles and jarsSmall green recycling bin/black boxThese can be easily recycled but try to re-use as often as possible. Lids should be removed and go in general waste
Ink cartridgesBlack bin/household waste binOnly place in household waste as last resort - there are many alternative recycling schemes available. Check with manufacturer
Light bulbsNoneShould be disposed of at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
Moisturiser tubs/tubesDepends (see right for more info)Moisturiser or other similar products in tubes should go in household waste. Those products sold in tubs/plastic pots can go in the recycling (small green bin/black box) as long as they are clean
NappiesBlack bin/household waste binConsider using real/cloth nappies to reduce waste
Paint tins and paintNoneShould be disposed of at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
Paper - compositeBlack bin/household waste binIf it can be scrunched - and stays scrunched - then it's likely to be OK for the blue-lidden bin. If it doesn't stay scrunched then it should go in the household waste
Paper - newspapersBlue-lidded bin/green sackNone
Paper - packagingBlue-lidded bin/green sackDoes it tear easily? As long as it is not reinforced with foil or plastic you can recycle it
Paper - wrappingBlue-lidded bin/green sack (check extra info for details)If it stays crushed when you scrunch it - it can be recycled - remove all other bits like bows and tape. If its shiny it can’t be recycled. Try to use brown paper or get creative by wrapping gifts in unwanted cloth/textiles or old newspaper/magazines
Pens and tippex containersBlack bin/household waste binSome alternative recycling methods are available
Pet food bags (large ones) and pouches.Black bin/household waste binCannot be recycled in our kerbside recycling
Plant pots (plastic)Black bin/household waste binNone
Plastic bagsBlack bin/household waste binCannot be recycled in our kerbside recycling. Try to re-use as much as possible
Plastic bottles (including cleaning bottles)Small green recycling bin/black boxMust be rinsed before recycling. Remove screw tops and put in container too
Plastic ToysBlack bin/household waste binIf no longer wanted, consider donating them to community groups, charities etc rather than throwing away
PolystyreneBlack bin/household waste binAvoid buying where possible
Pringles tubs and similarBlack bin/household waste binAs they are composite, they cannot be recycled with our recycling service
Shampoos and conditioners bottlesSmall green recycling bin/black boxSome bottles (if clean) will be recyclable in our kerbside plastic recycling so check packaging. Consider buying plastic-free alternatives
Soil and rubbleNoneShould not be put in garden waste bins. Recommended to take to Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)
TetrapacsBlack bin/household waste binThis cannot be taken in our kerbside recycling currently, although some shops/supermarkets do offer recycling facilities
Tin foilSmall green recycling bin/black boxNone
ToothbrushesBlack bin/household waste binConsider using toothbrushes made from alternative products, such as bamboo to reduce plastic
Toothpaste tubesBlack bin/household waste binSome shops offer alternative recycling facilities
Yoghurt pots and lightweight food containersSmall green recycling bin/black boxRinse clean before throwing away

Alternative recycling options

There are many other ways to recycle some commonly-used items and some locations across Cumbria offer alternative (known as primary) recycling options where specific items can be recycled. Click the links below to find out more how to recycle these items and the locations offering this service.

Aerosols

Baby food pouches

Batteries

Bike

Biscuit packaging

Bread bags

CDs/DVDs

Crisp packets

Ink cartridges

Nappies (real nappies)

Paint and pain tins

Pens and other writing instruments

Pet food plastic pouches

Plant pots (plastic)