Recycle Right - FAQ

How is refuse and recycling collected?

Collections take place over a two week period - one week your household rubbish is collected and the following week your recycling is collected.

What to put where?

We run two schemes, depending on where you live in the Borough. What you put where depends on what type of bin we have provided you with. If you have a:

  • Black wheeled bin - general waste
  • Wheeled bin with green lid - cans, tins, aerosols, plastics, juice cartons/Tetrapak and foil
  • Caddy in your bin - paper and cardboard
    More information here.

  • Black wheeled bin - general waste
  • Green box - cans, tins, aerosols, plastics, juice cartons/Tetrapak and foil
  • Blue bag - paper and cardboard.

If you are unsure which scheme you are on click here and enter your postcode.

For more information about recycling right go to

What is my refuse and recycling collection date?

To find out when your refuse and recycling will be collected visit My Recycling and Refuse Date and enter your postcode. 

Will my refuse and recycling day change on bank holidays?

The only time your refuse and recycling date will change is over Christmas and New Year. Your day will stay the same on all other bank holidays.

We will publish information in December to let you know what your day will change to.

Where and when do I put my wheeled bin/recycling for collection?

Refuse and recycling need to be brought to the edge of your property on your collection day. Please do not block the pavement with your bin. If you have a long drive, put your bins, boxes and bags out at the end of your drive. If you live in a terraced house with a back lane, put your refuse and recycling in the back lane.

Put your refuse and recycling out by 7am on the morning of collection (and no earlier than 8pm the night before).

Why has my refuse or recycling not been collected?

Refuse and recycling can be collected up to 6pm on the day of collection.

We may not have collected your bin if:

  • if it was not out for the start of collections at 7am
  • the bin was overflowing and the lid could not be closed
  • the wrong thing has been put in the wrong bin
  • you have left extra bags next to your bin.

What happens to collections during bad weather?

This will depend on how severe the weather conditions are and how long it lasts. If there is minor disruption we will catch up collections as soon as possible. During more severe weather we may have to collect waste at the next scheduled collection.

How can I apply for an assisted collection?

Assisted collections are for people who need help moving their wheeled bin or recycling due to ill health or a disability. For more information email customer services on

Can I have an extra bin for medical waste?

Households that produce large amounts of sanitary protection waste, incontinence waste or clean surgical dressings can get a larger/additional bin. If you have other types of medical waste contact us to arrange a separate clinical waste collection.

What are the charges for replacement refuse/recycling containers?

Click here to see charges  [pdf document]

Will I be fined if I have too much waste in my bin?

If you put extra bags on the floor next to your bin you could be fined and the bags won't be collected. If your bin overflows and you can't close the lid, you will not be fined but we may refuse to take your bin. Remember that if you live in a household of five or more you can ask for a larger bin.

You can also take waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

How do I get a larger wheeled bin?

If your household consists of five or more people you can request a larger 360 litre bin (the standard bin is 240 litres can hold three black sacks of household waste).

Please use the wheeled bin enquiry form [online form, new window] to ask for a larger bin. 

What do I do if my wheeled bin is stolen?

Please contact customer services on 01325 388777 or

What can be recycled?

  • plastic (for example: drinks bottles, yoghurt pots, butter tubs, plastic containers) 
  • paper (for example: magazines, junk mail, brochures)
  • cardboard (for example: cereal boxes, egg boxes, greetings cards)
  • juice cartons 
  • steel and aluminium food and drink cans 
  • aerosols
  • aluminium foil
  • glass bottles and jars

You can recycle anything that says PDE LEVEL 1, PDE LEVEL 2, PDE LEVEL 3, PDE LEVEL 4 (with the exception of plastic carrier bags) and PDE LEVEL 5.

We can't recycle:

  • plastic bags (if you have carrier bags of recyclable materials, please empty the contents into the relevant box/bin and put the bag in your rubbish bin)
  • polystyrene
  • paint and oil cans
  • garden waste
  • food waste
  • clothes hangers

I have got a sticker on my recycling bin/box saying that my recycling has been contaminated. What does that mean?

This means that you have put the wrong materials in your bin or box. It's important to recycle right and put the right thing in the right bin, contaminated waste can't be recycled and it costs the Council money to get rid of it.

I have sorted my recycling out, but it has all been thrown into the recycling vehicle! Why?

Our recycling vehicles have three compartments - one for paper and card, one for glass and another for general recycling. Sometimes we hire extra vehicles - examples of this happening are at Christmas, when there is more recycling to collect, or if one of our vehicles breaks down. These vehicles sometimes have two compartments instead of three, which means that some recycling needs to be put together.

This doesn't happen very often, and all recycling is sorted when the vehicles arrive at the depot.

When does the Household Waste Recycling Centre open?

The Household Waste Recycling Centre is open from 8am until 6pm every day (with the exception of Christmas Day and New Years Day).

How do I arrange a collection for bulky household items?

You can find out more on our bulky collection page.

Is there anywhere I can donate old furniture?

If you have good quality furniture that you no longer want, you can give it to Kings Church Darlington or FRADE. Both run a non-profit furniture recycling scheme where people on income-based benefits can purchase furniture.

FRADE: call 01325 357379 or drop off at The Green House, 14-16 Leadenhall Street.

Kings Church: call 01325 469884 or email Kings Church can pick it up for you, or you can drop it off at their warehouse at Prospect Place (opening hours Monday-Thursday, 10am-2pm).

How can I get rid of garden waste?

Please visit our bulky collection page for further information. You cannot put garden waste in your wheeled bin, although cut flowers and small handfuls of leaves can be put in as long as it does not prevent the lid being shut.

I have a business - how can I get my waste and recycling collected?

We can offer a wide range of service options for trade waste removal and recycling. For further details please contact

More information about commercial bulky waste



If you have any questions that aren't answered in this FAQ - please call 01325 388777 or email