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Recycling - recycle right

We run two recycling schemes.

Most homes have a recycling bin and in most cases we ask you to put your recycling at the front of your property.

This includes if you are on scheme B and have asked us to swap your recycling caddy and bag for a wheeled bin.

What's my collection date and scheme?

Scheme A Scheme B
Black lid wheeled bin - general waste Black lid wheeled bin - general waste
Green lid wheeled bin  - cans, tins, aerosols, plastics and foil Green caddy - cans, tins, aerosols, plastics and foil
Caddy in your green lid bin - paper and cardboard Blue bag - paper and cardboard
Green box - glass Green box - glass

What can I recycle?

Yes please No thanks
Newspaper and supplements Soiled paper or card – like greasy pizza boxes
Magazines brochures and catalogues Glitter covered cards or wrapping paper
White paper, computer paper, letters Non paper gift wrap, foil based wrappings or bags
Shredded paper, telephone directories Sticky paper like post its or sticky labels
Leaflets and flyers Wallpaper
Envelopes (without windows) Nappies, wipes or sanitary products
Gift wrap, brown paper and greetings cards Tissues or used paper towels
Cardboard boxes, cereal, washing tablets Cotton wool, make up pads
Online delivery boxes (remove tape) Food & drink cartons, coffee cups, sandwich boxes, Tetra Pak-style packaging, laminated boxes (passata, pet food etc)


Yes please No thanks
Drink cans Laminated foil pouches or boxes (pet food, coffee, passata etc )
Metal jar lids Coat hangers
Biscuit and chocolate tins Pots and pans, kettles and irons
Aluminium foil and trays Kitchen knives
Aerosols Oil drums
  Single use e-cigarettes/vapes
  Batteries (any type)

Yes please No thanks
Bottles of any colour, wines, beers or spirits Drinking glasses and vases
Jars (with metal lids removed) Pyrex bowls, glass cookware
Non food bottles; perfume, aftershave, face creams Mirrors
  Nail varnish bottles
  Microwave plates
  Broken window panes
  Light bulbs

Yes please No thanks
Tubs/containers from yoghurt, soup, butter, ice-cream etc Black plastic like ready meal containers
Trays/punnets like ham, meat, fruit & veg Bottle tops, pumps and triggers
Brown plant pots Crisps and sweet wrappers
Cleaning bottles (remove pumps, triggers, bottle tops) Film lids from pots and trays
Shampoo bottles, shower gel Carrier bags, plastic wrapping, cling film, bread packets
Juice, cordial and milk bottles Laminated pouches – pet food
Cosmetic bottles Toothpaste tubes
Ready to use plant food Polystyrene
  Chemical bottles such as anti-freeze
  Bubble wrap

Blister packs for medicine and medication


Batteries should never be put in bins as they can cause fires. Many batteries are built into devices such as scooters, phones and vapes and they all need safely disposing of. Lithium iron batteries are widely used as they are light and contain more energy, but this makes them more dangerous. Fires caused by lithium iron batteries are self sustaining and very hard to put out

If batteries are thrown away with general rubbish they are crushed in the bin wagon which causes highly flammable chemicals to leak out and fires can start either in the wagon or at the treatment plant. One serious fire a day is caused in the UK because of batteries.

Many shops have battery recycling collection points or you can take them to the tip and recycling centre on Whessoe Road.

Find your nearest battery recycling centre.

Help the planet

Check out our zero waste map to find shops and businesses around Darlington that encourage us to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Recycle Now has produced a handy recycling tracker which lets you search for places to recycle all sorts of items close to where you live. Recycle Now recycling locator [external link].

Responsible recycling 

The majority of material we collect if reprocessed in this county - paper and card may go abroad depending on market conditions.

We can't collect everything we would like to as the UK does not have the infrastructure to recycle all the waste we produce.

For example there are lots of different types and grades of plastic – we will only collect higher quality plastics that can be recycled in the UK. We ask you to put the other ‘problem plastics’, which can’t be treated in the UK, in your general rubbish bin.

We feel this is better than sending them abroad where we can't control what happens to it. 

Changing times

Sometimes we have to change what items we can collect to recycle and this is because recycling is a market and the value of items goes up and down.

For example, years ago recycling companies wanted to buy black plastic from us so we collected it from you.

However, the black plastic market stopped making money and the company we work with stopped taking black plastic for recycling.

Instead, they separated the black plastic from the other high quality plastics and sent it to a plant down south to turn it into fuel.

There is a fuel plant very close to Darlington, so it made more sense to stop sending our black plastic to a company miles away when we could do it close to home.

That’s why we asked you to stop putting black plastic in your recycling bin.

This is just one example of how changing markets in recycling affect what we will ask you to collect.

Frequently asked questions 

Not everything with a recycling logo on it can be properly recycled in the UK and not all recycling plants recycle all recyclable materials.

The logo means the item can be recycled, but it doesn't mean it will necessarily be able to be recycled everywhere.

That's why we have our own list of what we can collect and recycle in this area (what the recycling plant we use will accept).

You can see a full list of recycling symbols and what they mean on the Recycle Now website[external link].

All waste that can't be recycled is taken to a treatment plant. Most of the waste is processed to make RDF (refuse derived fuel) for industry.

If you’re unsure whether something can be recycled, please put it in your normal bin rather than hoping we can recycle it.

If you put something in your recycle bin that can’t be recycled, it could contaminate the whole wagon, meaning your whole neighbourhood’s recycling efforts go to waste.

This means you have put the wrong materials in your bin.

It is important to take care with your recycling as we cannot recycle contaminated waste and it also costs the council money to dispose of it.

Our recycling vehicles have three compartments, one for paper and card and one for general recycling at the back and one for glass at the side.

During busy times, like Christmas, or if one of our vehicles breaks down, we hire extra wagons.

These hire vehicles sometimes have two compartments instead of three, which means some recycling needs to be put together.

When this happens, all recycling is sorted when the vehicles arrive at the depot so your efforts are not wasted.

If tops are left on bottles they can't be compressed and bailed at the recycling plant, however if you crush the bottles first and then put the top back on you can recycle them.

Sadly we can't do anything with pumps or triggers so these need to be removed.

We know that recycling can be complicated.

We ask you to sort your rubbish so we can collect as much quality recycling as possible. Sadly we can't recycle everything as we are subject to market forces and our aim to be a responsible recycler.

If you’re unsure whether something can be recycled please put it in your normal bin rather than hoping we can recycle it.

All waste that can't be recycled is taken to a treatment plant and most of it is processed to make RDF (refuse derived fuel) which is used in various industries.

This means the majority of your household waste, even when it can’t be recycled, avoids landfill.

School resources

It's never too early to learn about recycling right! We have produced a number of resources for primary school age children to spark discussion about the importance of recycling and recycling right.

Recycle right video series

find out what can be recycled and what happen to your rubbish when we take it away. Each episode is around three minutes long and are suitable for viewing by all ages.

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