Recycling A-Z

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Aluminium foil

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can:

Do not put aluminium foil in with your mixed recycling - it is hard to separate foil from the other materials.


Art supplies

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Leftover arts and craft materials can be donated to the Work and Play Scrapstore charity in Tooting.

They are open Tuesday and Thursday.


Asbestos

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can have one free collection of wrapped asbestos per year (domestic waste only).


See also


Baby clothes and equipment

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Little Village is a charity set up in 2015 by a group of parents in Tooting with support from the Wandsworth Grant Fund. It provides good quality baby clothes and equipment, donated by local families, to other local families that can't afford to buy new.


See also


Batteries

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Many places have special bins for batteries.

Find your nearest battery can, from the Battery Back website, or take batteries to:

What to do with batteries, Recycle now website.


See also

Car batteries: Take them to the Household waste and recycling centre at Smugglers Way, Wandsworth.


Bedding

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose


Bicycles

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Alternatively, take them to the Smugglers Way reuse and recycling centre or book a re-use collection (charges apply).


Books

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate them to a:

Or take them to:

Paperback books in poor condition can be recycled from home, along with other paper and cardboard.


Bottle tops

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate them to the Work and Play Scrapstore charity in Tooting. They are open Tuesday and Thursday.

Do not put bottle tops in your mixed recycling - they reduce the value of the bottles (if left on bottles), and the sorting plant struggles with loose tops.


Buttons

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate them to the Work and Play Scrapstore charity in Tooting. They are open Tuesday and Thursday.


Christmas trees

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

This is for all natural Christmas trees (excludes artificial ones).

A free Christmas tree collection service is provided for two weeks every January. Or take your tree to Smugglers Way reuse and recycling centre.

Decorations and pots must be removed first as the trees are sent for composting.


Cigarette ends

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

A free recycling programme for cigarette waste, where cigarette butts will be recycled into plastic items ranging from construction holding, signage and table tops.

Tobacco or paper will be recycled as compost – nothing will go to landfill. 

Find out more about the Cigarette Waste Programme (TerraCycle in partnership with Japan Tobacco international (JTI)).


Clothes and textiles

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can donate/recycle all clean clothing or shoes (tied in pairs):

Do not donate old carpets or bedding (duvets, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags).


See also


Computers

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can donate computers to:

Or take them to the Household waste and recycling centre at Smugglers Way, Wandsworth.

Remember to remove any personal data by wiping or removing the hard drive.


See also


Confidential or shredded paper

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Confidential information includes anything with personal information such as your name, address, contact details and/or date of birth. You can:

  • add shredded paper to your compost heap.
  • include shredded paper with your general rubbish. It goes to an energy-from-waste incinerator where it will generate electricity for the National Grid.

Do not put shredded paper in with recycling - it causes problems at the sorting plant, and the value of shredded paper is reduced due to the shortened fibre length.

Confidential documents (bills, statements, documents showing your address) should be cross-shredded. Shred only the confidential parts - the rest can be recycled.


Cooking oil

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Take to:

Do not:

  • pour down the drain.
  • put it in your bin, unless it is soaked into absorbent material first.

See also

Unblocking the Community can set up facilities for recycling used cooking oil on housing estates and collect free of charge from businesses and community organisations.


Corks

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate natural and plastic corks to the Work and Play Scrapstore charity in Tooting.

They are open Tuesday and Thursday.


DIY waste

What this includes

DIY waste is anything that formed part of the fixtures and fittings of your home, but it excludes the loose contents.

For example, DIY waste is: 

  • a fitted bath,
  • a fitted carpet, or
  • a wall mounted cupboard

Bulky waste is:

  • a free-standing bath,
  • a loose rug, or
  • a free-standing cupboard

Recycle, reuse or dispose


Electrical equipment

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Any Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in good working order can be re-sold or given away.

For non-repairable WEEE items:

Related information

WEEE logo

Waste electrical items displaying this logo should be recycled. Whilst residents are entitled to place small items displaying this logo in with their general rubbish, that prevents them from being recycled. It is an offence to mix items displaying this logo with general rubbish except in a domestic context.


See also

Many suppliers now provide a "like for like" take-back service for large WEEE items when you purchase new electrical equipment regardless of the condition it is in.


Engine oil

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Take to Household waste and recycling centre at Smugglers Way.

Do not dispose of oil into drains.


Fireworks

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You should soak unexploded fireworks in a bucket of water for 24 hours, and then take them to Household waste and recycling centre at Smugglers Way.


Food waste

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

We do not provide a service for recycling food waste but we can collect unlimited quantities mixed with other residual rubbish for disposal every week. Any food waste we collect is incinerated, generating electricity for the National Grid. The ashes produced are recycled in cement for construction projects.

Reduce food waste

Reducing food waste and home composting as much as you can helps to reduce both environmental impacts and costs.

For example reducing the amount of food you buy that doesn't get eaten helps with your bills.

Less food thrown away means less impact on the environment from:

  • food production and distribution, and
  • collecting and disposing of it when it gets thrown away.

You can reduce food waste by making a shopping list and sticking to it. Find out more on how to reduce food waste, from the Love Food, Hate Waste website.

For information about composting, visit:


See also

To reduce the amount of food waste, you can install a food waste disposer (FWD). It is designed to fit under your kitchen sink, and it can:

  • help you get rid of food waste immediately and without leaving the kitchen.
  • grind all food waste (including bones)
  • reduces litter problems caused by scavenging animals attracted to food waste left out in bins and black sacks.

If you are a Wandsworth resident, you can get a 25% discount on the full range of Sinksation food waste disposers. To claim this discount, visit Sinksation with proof of your address (for example a council tax letter or recent utility bill) and quote "Wandsworth FWD offer". Find out more about how food waste disposers work.


Foreign currency

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can donate unwanted foreign currency to charity. Find a charity that wants it (Charity Retail Association website).


Fridges and freezers

Recycle, reuse or dispose

If in good condition you can:

Otherwise, take them to the dedicated bay at the Household waste and recycling centre at Smugglers Way.


Furniture

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose


See also


Garden waste

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can:

If you employ a gardener, any waste they produce is commercial waste. The gardener should cost the collection and disposal of this waste into the price they quote you unless it is to be composted on site.

Any garden waste we collect is incinerated, generating electricity for the National Grid.  The ashes produced are recycled in cement for construction projects.


See also

More about composting on Recycle Now


Glasses (spectacles)

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Recycle glasses with Vision Aid Overseas.


Household chemicals

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can have three free collections of packaged chemicals per year.


See also


Japanese knotweed

Recycle, reuse or dispose

If you need Japanese knotweed waste collected, there will be a substantial collection charge. Contact a member of the Invasive Non Native Species Association (INNSA), or contact us for a quote.

Japanese Knotweed is harmful to the environment, extremely invasive and is difficult to kill. Do not include Japanese Knotweed with your waste for collection or take it to the local tip. You would be breaking laws controlling how this is dealt with and could be prosecuted.

See also

For further information, visit the GOV.UK website:


Junk mail

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Unaddressed fliers/leaflets and unsolicited addressed marketing materials are considered junk mail. They can be recycled. To reduce junk mail:


Light bulbs

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Take florescent tubes and energy saving light bulbs in sealed plastic bags to Smuggler's Way Household Waste and Recycling Centre. Old style light bulbs should be wrapped and put in with your general rubbish.

Use energy saving bulbs to reduce energy use.

By law, light bulbs from non-domestic sources must not be mixed with non-hazardous waste.


Medicine

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Take unwanted medicine to your nearest chemist.

Rinse and recycle empty medicine bottles if they are made of glass or plastic. Check what can be recycled from home.


Metal

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Take scrap metal and broken saucepans to Household waste and recycling centre at Smugglers Way (scrap metal bay).

Donate functional items to:


Mobile phones

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Mobile phones can be refurbished and recycled. View What to do with mobile phones, (Recycle Now website) for ideas on how to pass them on.

All Age UK shops have donation bins where you can drop off your old mobile phones.

If the phone is very old or badly damaged, it can be recycled with other electrical waste at the Household Waste and Recycling Centre, Smugglers Way.  


Nappies

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Re-usable cloth nappies are kinder to the environment than single-use disposable ones. Re-usable cloth nappies are also cheaper than disposables in the long run, especially if you buy them second hand or use them for more than one baby.

The average baby uses 5,400 nappies over two years, producing about a tonne of nappy waste.

Buy re-usable nappies

Find out more about real nappies, and where to buy on the Real Nappies for London website. View a directory of:

There is also an online market place for buying and selling good quality nearly new baby items on Nappy Valley.

Early potty training

Early potty training can reduce nappy waste.


See also

Attend a nappuccino to find out about real nappies. View events diary on the Real Nappies for London website.

If you want to hold nappuccinos in Wandsworth, email greenpledge@wandsworth.gov.uk. We may be able to help publicise your events and provide venues. 


Paint

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate paint to:

  • Work and Play Scrapstore in Tooting (open Tuesday and Thursday). The Scrapstore accepts match or sample pots of paint. They cannot accept nearly empty or large pots of paint.

Give it away using one of many free exchange websites including:

Arrange for a free collection from the City of London. Contact:

If you dispose of paint through your usual rubbish collection service, allow the paint to dry first.


See also

Some retailers offer to take back empty paint tins for recycling.


Paper

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Reduce the amount of paper you use by:

  • Using both sides of paper for printing.
  • Using old paper for notes. 
  • Re-using envelopes.

Plastic

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Use the council's clear sacks or orange-lidded bank recycling service. Rinse food residues off and remove lids/tops (we cannot recycle these so put them with your general rubbish). Find out what else can be recycled from home.

Some types/brands of coffee pods are collected by a company called TerraCycle who recycle them to create new products such as plastic baby bibs, notebook covers and park benches. The TerraCycle website explains more about their scheme, the other items they collect and how you can get involved." 


See also


Plastic carrier bags

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Plastic bags can be recycled at large supermarkets. Find out where to recycle carrier bags from Recycle Now website.

Use cloth bags to reduce the number of plastic bags you use.


See also


Plastic disposable cups

Recycle, reuse or dispose

  • Disposable cups can be recycled (Save-a-cup website).
  • Avoid using disposable cups and bring in a glass or mug to work.
  • Disposable coffee cups can be recycled at all Costa Coffee and Starbucks branches (all brands accepted).

Plastic packaging film

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Plastic films with the "Recycle with carrier bags at larger stores" logo can be recycled at large supermarkets.

Plastic films are used to wrap:

  • bakery products
  • breakfast cereals
  • grocery produce (fresh and frozen)
  • multi-packs (shrink wrap)
  • newspapers and magazine wrappers
  • household goods (e.g. toilet roll, nappies and kitchen roll wrappers)

Do not include metallic, degradable, or dirty plastic films. Paper labels should be removed.

Reduce waste by buying food with minimal packaging.


See also

Find out more about recycling plastic film from the Recycle Now website.


Polystyrene packaging material

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate clean, undamaged polystyrene packaging to the Work and Play Scrapstore in Tooting (open Tuesday and Thursday).


Printer/toner cartridges

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Recycle at:


See also

What to do with printer cartridges, Recycle Now website.


Shoes

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose


See also

Find out more about What to do with shoes and boots, the Recycle Now website.


Smoke alarms/detectors

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Do not recycle smoke alarms. Contact the manufacturer of the smoke alarm - they might have a disposal service.

If they don't, you can put one smoke alarm in with general rubbish. There can be no more than one in a sack as smoke alarms contain radioactive substances, so large numbers could be hazardous.

Smoke alarms from non-domestic sources must be kept separate from non-hazardous waste as they are classed as hazardous waste.


Stamps (used)

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

You can recycle stamps with paper.

Most charities collect used stamps. Find out about What to do with stamps, Recycle Now website.


Videos, DVDs and CDs

What this includes:

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate to charity. Find your nearest charity shop, Charity Retail Association website.

Note that most charities do not want home-recorded or blank cassettes/tapes/disks.

Alternatively, use Terracycle's service (charges may apply).


Water filters (BRITA cartridges)

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Can be recycled at a range of stores with the recycling logo. Search for your nearest stockist on the Brita website.


Wool

Recycle, reuse or dispose

Donate spare bits of wool to the Work and Play Scrapstore in Tooting (open Tuesday and Thursday).