Recycling information

What can I recycle? 

We provide a weekly recycling service. Simply put your recycling boxes out for collection with the new bin on the same day as normal.  The table below shows what can and cannot be recycled.  By using your weekly recycling service, you can reduce what you need to put in your wheelie bin, this will help ensure you have enough space for your rubbish. 

Box 1   Box 2  

Yes please  

  • Glass bottles
  • Food jars
  • Plastic bottles
  • Drinks cans
  •  Food cans
  • Empty aerosols 
  • Plastic, pots, tubs, trays and food pouches

No thanks  

  • Drinks glasses
  • Broken glass or Pyrex
  • Broken crockery
  • Polystyrene
  • Plastic bags and crisp packets
  • Broken toys
  • Food waste 

Yes please  

  • Newspaper & magazines
  • Catalogues
  • Egg boxes
  • Loo and kitchen roll tubes
  • Junk mail and envelopes (including window envelopes)
  • Cereal & food boxes
  • Greetings cards
  • Phone Directories (inc. Yellow Pages)
  • Cardboard packaging

No thanks  

  • Shredded paper
  • Takeaway food boxes
  • Food waste
  • Drinks cartons
  • Nappies


Why are recycling rates low in Redbridge and how will my new wheelie bin help change this?

Currently residents in Redbridge can put out an unlimited number of black rubbish sacks every week for collection. This means that there is no incentive for residents to reduce the amount of rubbish they put out or recycle as much as possible using the weekly recycling service.

Redbridge currently disposes of around 22m rubbish sacks each year which costs £18m. We also collect the 5th highest amount of rubbish in England.  Our current recycling rate of 24% is low compared with the national average of approximately 45% because:

  • Rubbish disposal figures are so high. Our recycling rate is proportionately lower than it could be if less rubbish was produced overall.
  • Participation in our recycling scheme could be significantly higher.

Redbridge needs to address this in order to help contribute to the Mayor of London’s 65% recycling objective for the capital by 2030. Our Waste Reduction Strategy sets out plans for how we will achieve this by reducing rubbish and increasing recycling.

The introduction of 180 litre wheelie bins means that residents are restricted by how much they can throw away. With limited capacity for rubbish, householders will be encouraged to recycle all they can and reduce waste where possible, to ensure they have sufficient space in their wheelie bin.

What about items I can’t recycle in Redbridge? 

We are always looking for ways to improve our recycling service, expanding the range of materials we collect is one way of doing this. Redbridge is a collection authority and can only collect items that our waste disposal contractor (the East London Waste Authority (ELWA)) accepts for reprocessing.

Currently, we collect 5 of 6 core materials listed in The Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy (paper, card, glass, metal tins/cans and plastic bottles).We don’t yet collect plastic pots, tubs and trays or separate food waste for recycling due to constraints of the current disposal contract with Renewi via East London Waste Authority (who manage this contract on behalf of Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Havering).

We remain actively engaged in dialogue with ELWA about how we can improve our collection services and recycle more despite the restrictions of the existing contract.

If you have outdoor space, home composting can significantly reduce the amount of rubbish in your wheelie bin.

A wide range of materials ranging from batteries to hard plastics, electricals to ceramics can be taken to Chigwell Road Recycling Centre for reuse and recycling. 

What can I do to reduce my waste?

Reducing your waste is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and will also help you maximise space in your wheelie bin. There are lots of ways to do this, such as thinking differently about:

Where to get further help and information



Telephone: 0208 554 5000