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A - Z of waste

An alphabetical guide to reusing, recycling and disposing of everyday items.


Acids – acids used at home can be hazardous. Contact Nottinghamshire County Council for disposal advice. Please don't pour acids down the drain.

Aerosols – aluminium and steel aerosols can be recycled at the kerbside in your blue bin. Make sure that aerosols are completely empty before recycling them and never attempt to puncture, crush or burn an aerosol can.

Aluminium cans – making aluminium cans from an old one uses 95 per cent less energy than manufacturing it from raw materials. Aluminium cans can be recycled in your blue recycling bin.

Asbestos – Asbestos is a hazardous substance. For advice on how to handle asbestos safely please contact the Environment Agency. Nottinghamshire County Council offers a one-off service for disposal of asbestos to people living in Nottinghamshire.

– ash from a solid fuel fire cannot be recycled or composted. You will therefore be required to dispose of ash as general (in your grey household waste bin) waste. Ashes should be placed into your grey bin in a bag and tied, this is to help reduce ash blowing away when empting bins into the refuse vehicle, wait until the ash has cooled before handling the ash. Do not put hot ash into any wheeled bins.


Batteries – Instead of buying disposable batteries why not buy rechargeable ones, they are better for the environment. All batteries contain heavy metals that are harmful to the environment. Please recycle batteries, do not put them in your grey bin.

Car batteries can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres, you can not recycle them at the kerbside.

Bedding and blankets – you can recycle unwanted bedding and blankets at one of our textile recycling banks located at our bring-sites. You could give unwanted bedding and blankets to your local charity shop.

Bicycles – if you have an unwanted bicycle, this can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for recycling, or donate it to your local charity shop for reuse.

Blue bin – The Council provides around 47,000 properties with an alternate weekly collection of paper and card, plastic bottles yoghurt pots and margarine tubs and mixed food and drinks cans to recycle. What you can and can't put in your blue bin.

Books – books are difficult to recycle due to the spine and the glue that holds them together. However, you can take unwanted books that are in good condition to your local charity shop, doctor's surgery or (for waiting rooms). Damaged or worn books could be taken apart and recycled. If you separate the pages from the cover and spines, the pages can be recycled in your blue bin. You can also take unwanted books to your local doctor's surgery or hospital for the waiting rooms.

Bulky items – the council runs a chargeable special collection service for bulky household items such as TVs and furniture. Book this collection online or contact us. Please consider whether the item can be reused by donating it to a local charity shop.

Building Materials – Small amounts of domestic building materials (not construction waste) can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Plaster board and Gypsum should be kept separate from other wastes, due to a recent change in legislation preventing this type of waste being placed into either landfill or sent for incineration.


Cans (food and drink) – recycling aluminium and steel cans conserves raw materials used in their manufacture and also conserves energy. Aluminium and steel cans can be recycled in your blue recycling bin.

Car batteries – car batteries can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Cardboard – recycle in your blue bin.

Cards – greetings cards can be difficult to recycle due to glitter, glue and other non-card items that can contaminate the recycling process.

Plain greetings cards can be recycled in your blue bin.  Many retail stores also offer a recycling collection point every January each year for old Christmas cards.

Carpets and rugs – good quality carpets may be donated to your local charity shop. If you cannot find a use or new home for your unwanted carpets, they can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres or book in a bulky collection. Carpets and rugs cannot be recycled and so would be disposed of as general waste.

Carrier bags – use 'bags for life' where possible. Carrier bags can be taken for recycling at some supermarkets. Keep bags in your car so that they are always to hand when out shopping. Some supermarkets offer loyalty points for customers using a re-useable bag.

CA Sites - See Household Waste Recycling Centre

Catalogues – recycle in your blue recycling bin.

CDs and DVDs - at present the council does not provide a recycling service for unwanted CDs and DVDs. Donate your CDs or DVDs to a local charity shop. Alternatively you can send your CDs/DVDs to ‎. You will have to pay the postage but they will recycle them. A certificate of destruction can be issued by arrangement and for a small fee, should your CDs contain sensitive data.

Ceramics – unwanted ceramics or china may be donated to your local charity shop if still usable. Why not use your broken ceramics or china for drainage in plant pots. Alternatively it can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres and disposed of as general waste.

Chemicals – chemicals used at home can be hazardous. Please do not pour chemicals down the drain as they may damage the environment. For further advice please contact Nottinghamshire County Council.

Christmas trees – you can put real Christmas trees into your green bin, either chop them up so they fit in the bin or leave next to your bin. Alternatively you can take your tree to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Civic amenity sites – please see Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Clinical waste – (Healthcare Wastes) the Council collects healthcare waste free of charge from domestic households. See more about clinical waste.

Clothing – you can recycle unwanted clothing in textile banks at one of our recycling bring sites, You could give unwanted clothing to your local charity shop.

Composting – visit our home composting pages. Composting your organic waste produces an excellent soil conditioner that will improve soil structure and fertility.

Computers – take your unwanted computers to one of the household waste recycling centres. Arrangements have been made to receive these where they will be recovered under the new WEEE Regulations. Please also see electrical items.

If your computer contains personal and confidential information, we recommend that you delete this information before passing your computer on.

Confidential waste – households do produce some confidential waste such as bank and credit card statements, information with links to various accounts and till receipts. With identity fraud becoming more common this is a concern for many households, so ensure you shred and place that into a home compost bin or the grey bin. You could remove the parts which contain confidential information to reduce the amount you place into your compost or grey bin and then recycle the rest, placing it into your blue bin.

Construction wasteSee building materials

Cooking oil and fats – Why not make a bird feeder using your unwanted cooking oil / fats. Mix some bird seed in with your cooking oil and place the mixture into an empty yoghurt pot (or similar). Place a piece of string into the centre of the mixture and place somewhere cold to set. When the oil and food mixture has set, you can use the string to hang the bird feeder outside.

Cutlery/Crockery – Old cutlery/crockery in good condition could be taken to a charity shop for reuse.

Commercial waste – visit our commercial waste pages to find out the waste services offered to businesses in our Borough. You can also look in the local telephone directory under waste disposal for other companies in this area that offer trade waste collections.

Curtains – unwanted curtains can be recycled as textiles at one of our recycling bring sites, or why not donate these to your local charity shop?


Dead animals – if you find a dead animal at the side of the road, fill in the online form or contact us with a detailed location and we can arrange to move the animal if it is on a public highway.

Disposable nappies – eight million disposable nappies are used in the UK each day, none of which are recycled. Despite this, nappies make up just 2.4 per cent of the UK domestic waste stream. Disposable nappies are made of a mixture of materials (plastic, textile, adhesive strips), and cannot be recycled. The alternative to disposable nappies is of course reusable nappies. Please see Real Nappies section for more information.

Duty of care – every waste producer, including households (see Householders' Duty of Care), is under a legal obligation to ensure the waste they produce is managed correctly and disposed of safely. Waste should be stored safely and securely and if waste is passed on, it should be passed on to an authorised carrier only. Records of waste transfer and disposal should also be kept by all businesses. Please see the Environment Agency website for more information.


Egg boxes – egg boxes will either be 100 per cent cardboard or will be plastic coated. Those boxes that are plastic coated are more difficult to recycle than those that are 100 per cent cardboard. Egg boxes can be recycled in your blue wheeled bin as cardboard. Alternatively, they can be torn up and placed into a home compost bin.

Eggshells – should be placed into your home compost bin for composting at home.

Electrical items – since the introduction of the WEEE Regulations producers of electrical equipment must now make arrangements to reuse or recycle our unwanted electrical items.  These items can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for recycling. The site attendants will point you to the correct container to place your items in.  If the item is still in working order, can you pass it on to someone else?

Bulky electrical items such as fridges, freezers, TVs, washing machines can also be collected from your household as part of a Bulky item collection.

Engine oil – small amounts of engine oil from your household can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres for disposal. The Household Recycling Centres cannot be used to dispose of large quantities of oil from a business or trade. Businesses such as garages wanting to dispose of engine oil should contact the Oil Bank Line on 0800 663 366 to find a company registered to remove any waste engine oil.

Remember, it's illegal and dangerous to dispose of engine oil down the drain. Many drains are connected to a river or stream that can become polluted. Heavy fines are imposed for oil pollution offences.

Envelopes – Envelopes can be recycled in your blue bin (with or without windows). 


Fluorescent tubes – fluorescent tubes are classed as hazardous waste. Arrangements have been made to receive these at each of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.  Energy saving light bulbs can also be recycled with fluorescent tubes at the Household Recycling Centres.

Businesses however, are now required to arrange hazardous waste collection for fluorescent tubes.

Foil – the Council cannot recycle foil at present.

Food – must be disposed of as general waste in the grey bin. The council is backing a new campaign, Love Food, Hate Waste to help cut the amount of food we throw away.  Try not to cook too much food, and before you throw it away ask yourself whether it can it be saved for the next day. Why not consider composting your vegetable peeling. Do not put un/cooked fruit and vegetabled in the green and blue bins.

Food and drink cartons – liquid food and drinks cartons are used to store fruit juices, long life milk, cooking sauces and smoothies to name just a few items. These cartons are made of a mixture of waxed cardboard, plastic and foil. Previously it was very hard to recycle food and drink cartons as there were very few facilities available in the UK. The cartons display the recyclable symbol, but they cannot be recycled within the blue bin, instead we have provided facilities at some of our recycling sites to be recycled as a material on their own. Please do not put cartons in your blue bin.

With the help of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment in the UK (ACE UK) and the National Recycling Fund, more and more facilities for carton recycling are being made available throughout the UK. 

Fridges and freezers – fridges and freezers generally contain CFCs in their coolant system. CFCs are damaging to the environment, fridges and freezers need to be disposed of correctly. These items can either be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres or you can contact a local scrap metal merchant to remove them.

Fruit – you can place fruit peelings and cores into your home compost bin and compost them at home, please do not place them in either your blue or green bins.

Furniture – unwanted furniture such as three-piece suites, beds, and tables can be collected from your household using the bulky item collection service. These items can also be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for disposal or recycling. But before you take it for disposal, think if it can be donated to a charity shop or local community group. Even if you no longer want it, it does not mean that it could not be of use to someone else.


Garden waste – garden waste can be placed into your green wheeled bin. The material collected in the green bins is sent for composting locally.  We can't collect excess garden waste alongside the green bin, but you can order an additional green bin, for a charge. You can also compost your garden waste at home in a home compost bin. See more about green bins.

Gas cylinders – gas cylinders/bottles should be returned to the supplier for reuse.  

The following retrieval arrangements are in place for the major national companies.

Parent Company
Collection Company
Telephone Number
Calor GasBrooksight Ltd0207 731 1221
BPSynergy Asset Services Ltd01304 827 227
FlogasIn house collection by own staff0845 601 5176
BOCIn house collection by own staff0800 111 333

Glass – Sheet glass is different to bottles and jars. You can recycle glass bottles and jars only at one of our many recycling sites (link to Recycling sites in Recycling section of Envt and Waste). Sheet glass cannot be recycled at bring sites. If you have any sheet or window glass to dispose of it should be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Glasses – please see Spectacles.

Green bin – The Council provides a chargeable green waste service for the collection of organic garden waste. No food please or anything that potentially may have been on a work surface in your kitchen. See more about green bins.

Grey bin – the council has a grey wheeled bin for the collection of general non-recyclable waste. This bin is for any household waste that can not be recycled. Residents are provided with a 240L general waste wheeled bin.  Households with 5 or more permanent residents may qualify for an additional bin and should request one online or contact us.

Gypsum – Please see building materials.


Hazardous waste – as the name suggests, care should be taken when disposing of hazardous or potentially hazardous waste.  If in doubt whether an item is classed as hazardous or can be disposed of at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres, please contact Nottinghamshire County Council

Householders' duty of care - All householders in England have a legal responsibility to ensure that all of their waste is disposed of properly. Under the waste ‘Duty of Care’ regulations, all householders need to make sure their rubbish is passed to authorised carriers only, (Rushcliffe Borough Council is an authorised Carrier) there are many who purport to be, aren’t.

Householders not taking reasonable measures to do so could face fines of up to £5,000.

If you're using an outside company, other than Rushcliffe Borough Council to remove household, garden or construction waste, you can check they are registered waste carriers by telephone or online:

Call the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 and request an instant Waste Carrier Validation Check

Always ask for a waste carrier's number or check their details with the Environment Agency. Remember that household waste can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres or you may be able to use our Bulky Waste Collection service.

Household Waste Recycling Centre – There are two Household Waste Recycling Centres for residents of Rushcliffe Borough to dispose of their household waste. These sites are owned by Nottinghamshire County Council but run by a company called Veolia. Veolia is a partner of Nottinghamshire County Council who manage waste disposal in Nottinghamshire.  For details of the locations of the centres and the waste that can be accepted at each site please see the household waste recycling centres page.  Please contact Nottinghamshire County Council for further information.


Inkjet cartridges – see printer cartridges.


Junk mail – put a stop to unwanted direct mail by contacting the Mail Preference Service (MPS). This is a free service and MPS will take you off of its databases and put a stop to a large proportion of the junk mail received by householders. Visit the Mailing Preference Service website or phone 0845 7034599. 

In the meantime, don't forget to recycle your junk mail in your blue bin.


Keys and locks – keys and locks can be recycled as scrap metal. Please take them to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre and place them into the scrap metal skip. 

Kitchen and toilet roll tubes – inner tubes from your toilet and kitchen roll tubes are made of cardboard and can be recycled in the blue bin. Or if you compost at home you can place them into your home compost bin.

Kitchen waste – your uncooked fruit and vegetable waste can be composted at home. Any cooked food or raw meats should be placed into general waste, as they cannot be composted.


Light bulbs – standard household light bulbs can't be recycled because of the type of glass they are made from. However, why not change your standard light bulbs for energy saving light bulbs? While energy saving bulbs may be slightly more expensive to purchase, they last up to eight times as long as a standard bulb but use only a quarter of the electricity but are the same brightness.  Energy saving light bulbs can however be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centres when they reach the end of their life using the fluorescent tubes container.


Magazines – unwanted magazines can be recycled as paper in your blue bin. 

Medicine – return any unwanted medicines to your local chemist. 

Metal – metal tins and cans are recyclable in your blue bin. Scrap metal can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for recycling.

Mirrors – Broken mirrors should be placed in the grey bin, they should not be placed in recycling banks or blue bins. The type of glass used to make mirrors mean that they can't be recycled. Larger mirrors can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for disposal.

Mobile phones – mobile phones can now be recycled under the WEEE Regulations.  Charity shops often provide collections of mobile phones.  For example, Oxfam runs a mobile phone recycling scheme and you can send up to 10 handsets in a jiffy bag freepost to:

Oxfam Bring Bring Scheme
Freepost LON16281

If your mobile phone is in working order, why not advertise it in your local newspaper or shop? Just because you no longer want it, it can still be reused or recycled.


Nappies – please see disposable nappies and real nappies.

Needles – if you use syringes or needles as part of a medical condition, please request a regular sharps collection.  If you find a discarded needle in a public place, don't handle it, contact us.

Newspapers – newspapers can be recycled in your blue bin at the kerbside.


Oil – No oil should be poured down drains.  See Engine oil and Cooking oil.


Paint – paint contains hazardous chemicals and so should not be poured down the drain. Some DIY stores will accept unwanted paint back.  Local community groups may also find a use for unwanted paint.  If you can't find a new home for it, please take it to one of the two household waste recycling centres for disposal in order for it to be disposed of safely. Paint can be taken to the Calverton or Worksop household waste recycling centres.

Paper – making paper from recycled paper uses 40 per cent less energy than making it from virgin wood pulp. Paper can be recycled at the kerbside in your blue bin. Consider shredding your unwanted paper and place it in your home composter, we cannot accept shreeded paper in our blue bins.

PlasterboardPlease see building materials.

Plastics bottles – all households throughout the Borough are able to recycle plastic bottles from the kerbside in their blue bin. Please also see Carrier bags.

Polystyrene – Polystyrene can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres, but it is not separated for recycling, it's simply disposed of as general waste.

Printer cartridges – Many charities, such as Oxfam and Air Ambulance, will accept used printer and toner cartridges for recycling and they get a small amount of money for doing this - ask in your local charity shop if they accept printer cartridges. Or why not refill your printer cartridges instead of throwing them away? Alternatively if you put "recycle printer cartridges" into your search engine, there are lots of companies who recycle cartridges for cash.

Pyrex glass – pyrex glass cannot be recycled as it will explode when it is heated up in a furnace as part of the recycling process. Instead, broken Pyrex dishes should be wrapped and disposed of in general waste.


Quilts – you can donate any unwanted quilts to your local charity shop or animal shelter. If you can't find a new home for your unwanted quilts they can be disposed of as general waste at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres, or in your grey bin, but that will quickly fill up the bin leaving you no space for other general household waste.


Real nappies – real nappies are reusable and instead of throwing them away after use, they are washed and reused. 

Rubble – rubble can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Rubble should not be placed into your grey wheeled bin as it will make it too heavy and therefore may not be emptied. Rubble will also break the compaction mechanism on the refuse collection vehicle.


Scrap metal – you can take scrap metal to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres where it is separated for recycling, or you may wish to take your scrap metal directly to a scrap merchant for recycling.

Shoes – these should be tied in pairs and placed in the recycling bank at one of our recycling bring sites.

Soil – soil can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Please do not place soil in your green bin. The green bin is for materials to be composted, soil can not be composted, compost is a soil conditioner.

Spectacles – unwanted spectacles can't be recycled but can be donated to charity where they will be sent to the developing world for use there. Your local Help the Aged stores will all accept unwanted spectacles. Your unwanted spectacles can also be sent to: (please note you will have to pay postage)

Vision Aid Overseas
Unit 12 The Bell Centre
Newton Road
Manor Royal
West Sussex
RH10 9FZ

Stamps – stamps can be collected and donated to charities. The charities will sell on the stamps to dealers and use the money to fund their projects. Charities that collect stamps include RSPB, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, RNIB and Age UK to name but a few. Local charity shops will often accept donation of stamps so why not ask at your local store. 

Steel cans – recycling steel cans conserves the raw materials used in their manufacture. Steel cans and tins can be recycled in the blue bin at the kerbside.


Telephone directories – (including Yellow Pages) please recycle these in your blue bin. 

Televisions – under the new WEEE Regulations TVs must now be recycled. These can be deposited at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres, or where they are collected separately on a Bulky collection we will pass then on to be recycled. Special care needs to be taken when recycling televisions as they contain Cathode Ray Tubes, which contain hazardous chemicals.

Tetrapak – please see Food and Drink cartons.

Textiles – unwanted textiles (clothing) can be placed in one of textile banks for recycling at our recycling bring sites.

Tip -See Household Waste Recycling Centre

Toner cartridges – please see Printer cartridges.

Trade waste – please see Commercial waste.


Ultra-violet Lamps – See Fluorescent tubes.


Vegetable peelings – If you compost at home, you can put vegetable peelings into your home compost bin.

Videos – why not donate to your local charity shop for reuse?


Water – rainwater is better for your garden plants than tap water. Invest in a water butt and rainwater can be collected to water your garden or wash your car.  Water meters can be installed to monitor water usage in your home and help you to save money and water.

Water filter cartridges – Brita have recently launched a new recycling scheme where recycling bins are places in high street stores (e.g. Argos) where the Brita products are sold.  Please visit the Brita website to locate your nearest recycling point.  Other water filter products are available however not all will be recyclable.  Please check with individual manufacturers if their filters are recyclable.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Regulations - From 1 July 2007, the new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE), requires that in the UK producers of such electrical equipment must make arrangements to reuse or recycle our unwanted electrical items. 

We can collect your unwanted items through our bulky waste collection service.

White goods – please see WEEE.  

Wood – unwanted wood can be taken to one of the Household Waste recycling Centres where it is collected for recycling.


Yellow pages – your old yellow pages can be recycled in your blue bin.  You can also take your front cover of the Yellow Pages to your local school if they are taking part in the Yellow Woods Challenge - this will help the school to win the competition – This takes place each year April to June.


Zips – you could give your unwanted zips and sewing accessories to your local charity shop.