In household recycling bins in Suffolk you can recycle the following items:
- Paper, cardboard, books and magazines
- Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays (from all around the home)
- Metal tins/cans, aluminium foil (rolled into a tennis size ball), and aerosols (non-hazardous)
All items need to be empty of their contents, clean, dry and loose. Rinse, squash, and place lids back on plastic bottles to keep the air out so the tops don’t pop off and to create more space in your recycling bin. All items must also be larger than 4cm, as anything smaller will get lost in the sorting process and cannot be recycled.
Click here to download our leaflet showing what you can and can’t put in your recycling bin at home. See FAQ 10 for what can be taken to Recycling Centres.
Materials should be clean, dry and loose. A quick rinse will be enough to clean most packaging and to remove most food residue. There is no need to remove labels from the packaging. It’s easier to clean packaging straight after you use it before food residue dries on and becomes more difficult to remove.
Loose bottle tops (and anything under 4cm) are too small to survive the sorting process at the recycling facility and won’t get recycled. To ensure your bottle tops get recycled, we advise that you wash and squash your empty plastic bottles and then place the top back on before placing in your kerbside recycling bin. Squashing the bottle removes the air so the top will stay on when the plastic bottles get crushed and will ensure that they stay together and get recycled.
Tetra Pak is no longer collected from the kerbside because there is no mechanical way to separate cartons from the other recycled material at the sorting facility (MRF) and it is no longer cost effective to selectively sort by hand. There are also increasingly limited markets for this material, as they are difficult to recycle due to their mixed content and are no longer acceptable with other paper recycling. They can still be recycled at any of the 11 Recycling Centres across Suffolk in a dedicated bin as they are collected separately
- Glass isn't collected with other recycling in kerbside recycling bins because as it breaks down into small pieces, it contaminates other materials such as paper and card. and can be a danger for workers at the facility. Collecting glass separately at the kerbside could add extra costs. .
- Collecting glass separately at bottle banks allows for a far purer output which can be re-melted into new bottles, whereas glass from a mixed material recycling facility can only be used for low quality products such as road aggregate. The bottle bank system in Suffolk is really well used with about 70% of all the glass bottles and jars used in Suffolk currently being recycled in this way (around 16,000 tonnes of glass). Since 2015, glass banks have been introduced at 21 new locations and extra bins placed at 19 existing locations across Suffolk. All banks have been clearly labelled to encourage the collection of colour separated glass, to ensure better quality and encourage more glass recycling.
No, pet food pouches are not accepted in kerbside recycling bins. This is because the packaging is made up of a blend of materials making it difficult to recycle. They are also not easy to clean for the householder and are such lightweight products that even a small amount of food waste residue would result in a large proportion of the material weight being rotting food waste. Cans are a great recyclable alternative for pet food pouches. Terracycles is a company which offers recycling services for various difficult to recycle products such as pet food pouches. You can find drop off locations for pet food pouches here as well as a list of other products here.
Visit our ‘my bins’ page so you can report a missed bin to your District or Borough Council: https://www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk/my-bins
You can take additional household waste to any of Suffolk’s 11 Recycling Centres as well as lots of other items which you can’t recycle at home. Click here to see our website for a full list of these items and more Recycling Centre information.
You can also arrange a bulky waste collection for large items through your local council - click here for more information on bulky waste collection.
Contact the Council
Have you checked our A – Z of Recycling to find out what to do with most items? It is full of info on reducing, reusing, recycling, composting and disposing of a range of items across Suffolk.
District/borough council – for missed bins, replacement bins and other services:
Suffolk County Council waste – for Recycling Centres, waste disposal and further information.