If you’re new to the UK, or new to recycling, you may be wondering what goes in the recycling bin?

In the UK, you get three bins (in three different colours), which take different types of rubbish. Use our simple graphics to get an idea of what goes in the different rubbish bins.

Before we explain more about what goes into the recycling and other rubbish bins, let’s look at the topic of recycling in a little more detail.

Firstly, what does ‘recycling’ mean?

Recycling is the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products.

In the strictest sense, recycling of a certain material produces a fresh supply of the same material – for example, used office paper being converted into new office paper. In many cases, however, strict recycling is too expensive or difficult, so products or materials are reused to produce different materials.

What are the benefits of recycling?

By reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, recycling:

  • prevents waste of potentially useful materials
  • reduces the consumption of fresh raw materials
  • reduces energy usage
  • reduces air pollution and water pollution, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to plastic production

Materials you can put in separate recycling bins:

  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Textiles
  • Electronics

Is composting a form of recycling?

Although similar in effect, composting is not typically considered recycling.

What happens when items are recycled?

Generally speaking,

  1. Materials to be recycled are collected and taken to a transfer station or recycling centre;
  2. they are sorted and cleaned;
  3. then reprocessed into new materials bound for manufacturing.

What goes into a mixed recycling bin?

It’s important to remember to put the right rubbish in the right bin so that your provider can recycle it properly.

Items that go into the dry mixed recycling bin

what can go into the dru mixed recycling bin

Items that go into the food waste recycling bin

what can go into the food waste recycling bin

Items that go into the glass recycling bin

what can go into the glass recycling bin