Recycle right - FAQ

What is my refuse and recycling collection date?

Collections take place over a two week period - one week your household waste, the next your recycling. 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).

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 and foil
  • Caddy in your bin - paper and cardboard 
  • Black wheeled bin - general waste
  • Green box - cans, tins, aerosols, plastics, juice cartons 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

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 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 or call 405111.

Can I have an extra bin for medical waste? What do I do with empty plastic diabetic pens?

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. If you have a plastic diabetic pen we recommend that you put it in your general waste (after removing the needle which needs to go in a sharps bin) just in case there is anything left in it.  

How do I get a new bin if I move and how do I know when my collection date is?

When you move, the previous owner of your house should leave the bins for you. If not you can email us at and you have a replacement free of charge. The same applies if you are the first person to move into a new build property and there is no bin.
You can check your collection date by inputting your postcode here. If you live in a new estate your postcode may not show up. Please call 405111 and we will tell you when your collection is.

What do I do if my bin is lost/stolen?

Email us at or call us on 405111. Click here to see charges if your bin is lost or stolen [pdf document]

If you move and there is no bin at your new property email us and let us know and you can have a replacement free of charge.

What happens to my household waste that isn't recycled?

All your general waste is taken to the treatment plant. Any recyclable materials are recovered (although they are likely to be contaminated which is why we ask you to use your recycling bins), most of the remaining waste is processed to make SRF (solid recovered fluid) which is used in the production of cement. To find out more about the process click here.

Why can't I recycle cooking oil? It could be used to make bio-diesel?

We used to accept food oils at the household waste recycling centre for recycling but we only received a very small quantity and most of it was contaminated. This meant it couldn't be recycled and it was expensive to get rid of. You can put small quantities of food oils into your general waste bin. Businesses should contact their food oil supplier who will have recycling options available.

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 cannot be moved without items/bags falling from it, these items will be removed and left behind while the bin is then emptied. Remember that if you live in a household of five or more you can ask for a larger bin (see below).

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 get a larger 360 litre bin (the standard bin is 240 litres and can hold three black sacks of household waste). Please call us on 405111 or email

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
  • steel and aluminium food and drink cans 
  • aerosols
  • aluminium foil
  • glass bottles and jars

You don't need to take labels off tins, cartons or bottles - they can still be recycled!

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

You can print out a handy guide to what we can and can't recycle here.

Why have I got a sticker on my recycling bin/box saying that my recycling is contaminated?

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 saw my sorted recycling being thrown all together 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, such as at Christmas and 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.

Can I have an extra recycling container?

If you want to recycle more and want an extra caddy or bin please let us know by emailing or calling 405111 and we will get one to you free of charge.

What happens to my recycling after it is collected?

This video shows what happens...

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 here please call 01325 405111 or email