SOLIHULL'S RECYCLING A-Z
Recycle your aerosol cans in your clear sack, brown bin or communal mixed recycling bin.
Ensure wherever possible, that your aerosol is completely used up before you put it in your recycling.
Do not pierce, crush or flatten the aerosol before recycling.
You can also recycle the plastic lid that comes with your aerosol.
Aerosols can be found all over the house, including the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom – so remember to leave no stone unturned!
If it is a household item such as a saucepan and still in good condition, take it to your local charity shop, jumble sale, Household Waste Recycling Centre or offer items on Freecycle
Recycle aluminium cans and foil at Bickenhill Household Waste Recycling Centre or place in your brown bin, clear sack or communal mixed recycling bin.
Please wash and squash cans to prevent smells and protect wildlife.
For more information please visit our asbestos page.
Ash from wood fires which doesn’t contain toxic material can be used on your garden as it contains valuable minerals which improve soil quality.
Batteries can be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centre or at battery recycling points provided by most major retailers.
If the bedding is in good condition it could be used again. Please ensure it is washed and offer it to your local charity shop. Or you could donate it to a dog's home. Alternatively offer items for free on Freecycle
If the bedding is not in good condition take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre and place it in the textile bank. It will be collected and separated into items that can be reused and sent to other countries in need or recycled.
Offer it on Freecycle. If your bicycle is beyond repair take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre and place it in the scrap metal skip.
Once you have finished reading a book it doesn’t mean that it has come to the end of its useful life. If they are in good condition, take unwanted books to your local charity shop or to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre and place them in the book bank.
If you are only going to read a book once, why not borrow it for free from your local library? You can also offer your books for free on Freecycle.
Brita water filter cartridges
Find out where you can recycle your Brita water filter cartridges.
Did you know you can also you can also recycle your filters at all Argos and Homebase stores.
Trim bristles of soft brushes to give them a second life or save old toothbrushes for DIY and cleaning jobs. Once they have come to the end of their useful life please place in your grey or black bin for disposal.
You can dispose of a limited amount of building waste from home DIY at the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Please ask an advisor on site where to deposit this waste.
Try the Yellow Pages for a local car and commercial vehicle dismantler or scrap merchant.
A car battery may leak and could cause a great deal of damage to the environment if not disposed of responsibly or if disposed of at a landfill site. Car batteries can be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Cardboard (all varieties)
Cardboard can be recycled in your recycling bin at home or at the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Cardboard can also be composted in your home compost bin and is a good way of reducing smells and increasing the effectiveness of your compost bin by providing air pockets and aerating the material.
Plain cards can be put in with your recycling at home (although please exclude any that are highly metallic or glittered).
Carpets and rugs
Carpets and rugs are made of a variety of fibres which are difficult to separate for recycling. Therefore re-use of carpets and rugs is preferred.
Furniture Reuse Network: Donate to your nearest reuse organisation: more details available here: www.frn.org.uk
Local Allotments: Wool rich carpet can help keep weeds at bay on paths and in plots. It is also used for insulating compost heaps or the soil in the winter. Wool carpet also has very high nitrogen content which has been proven to considerably increase growth and improve growth rate.
Local Animal Rescue Shelter: Carpet pieces make good mats for kennels especially in the winter to keep animals warm.
Anti-frost Windscreen Covers: Cutting a piece to size for your car windscreen will save time (and your hands) defrosting in the winter mornings.
Loft Insulation: If it is not in the way in your loft keep it there for added insulation! It will retain heat in your home, which will lower your heating bills.
Some supermarkets now offer recycling facilities for plastic bags. However, re-using plastic bags or replacing them with re-usable cotton or jute bags is the best environmental option.
Plastic bags should never be placed in either your recycling or garden waste bin as it is a contaminant.
Cars (End of life vehicles)
If you have a car that you would like to dispose of, you need to find your nearest Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).
ATF’s are sites which have been licensed by the Environment Agency to de-pollute end of life vehicles to standards set by Defra. Only ATFs are permitted to issue last owners with a DVLA Certificate of Destruction.
Alternatively look up a local car and commercial vehicle dismantler in the Yellow Pages.
Juice and milk cartons can be recycled through the kerbside recycling scheme either in your clear sack, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin.
Place these in your clear sacks, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin or take them to Household Waste Recycling Centre.
CDs and DVDs
Your local Library hires out CDs and DVDs saving you money and reducing rubbish.
CDs and DVDs can all be re-used once you have finished with them:
Take them to your nearest charity shop or a local jumble sale;
Hang CD’s in your garden to scare away birds. They don’t like the random glare the CD gives off when it reflects the sun and is moved by the wind;
External Christmas trees require big decorations to be seen – CD’s are ideal for this and reflect the light for a sparkly effect;
Ceramics and china
If you have ceramic or china items that are in good condition, please take them along to your local charity shop or Household Waste Recycling Centre for re-use.
Broken pieces of china and ceramics can be used as crocks to place in the bottom of plant pots.
Please note: do not put ceramics, china or Pyrex glass in your glass recycling box,
All hazardous and chemical waste that is destined for disposal must be cleanly and safely packaged in a container suitable for the purpose, clearly labelled and submitted for disposal. Please visit the hazardous and chemical household waste webpage for disposal advise.
Take your real Christmas tree to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre and place in the green waste container/skip.
Clothing and textiles
Did you know? Clothes can be recycled through the kerbside recycling scheme. Find out more
Good quality items can be donated to jumble sales and charity shops.
Textiles and clothes not in good condition can be taken to Household Waste Recycling Centre and placed in the textile bank.
Coins and stamps
Out of circulation coins and foreign coins are a good way to raise money for charity. Oxfam and the RNIB can find a home for collectors items including coins and stamps.
Composting is a natural process which produces a rich soil conditioner free of charge. The basic principle is to collect uncooked kitchen and garden waste in a heap or bin which will then start to rot down and eventually create compost.
There are a number of organisations that will reuse old computer equipment, this is not only good for the environment but also gives people from all walks of like access to inexpensive computers through refurbishment programmes.
If you have a computer that is not suitable for reuse, please take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre
Cooking oil can cause problems for the environment if not disposed of properly. It should not be put down surface drains as it can contaminate drinking water and can be very harmful to wildlife.
As an alternative to disposal, leftover cooking oil can be used as a substitute for creosote which is now banned. It is a good preservative, does not discolour wood and is safe to use near animals and plants.
Cork can be composted in your compost heap.
When buying domestic appliances try to buy one that has a high energy efficiency grading (A is very efficient and G not efficient) and that will last you a long time. This will save you money and the environment in the long run.
Domestic appliances are covered by the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE).
Ask your retailer if they offer a take back service for your old appliance.
Large and small domestic appliances such as microwaves, electric toothbrushes, kettles etc can all be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. Small items can also be recycled in the WEEE Recycling banks where available.
If your item is still working you could offer it on Freegle or Freecycle
We also provide a bulky waste collection service for a fee for collect these items.
Egg boxes that are made from card can be composted or placed into your clear sack, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin.
Egg shells are a good way to add lime to your compost to reduce its acidity which creatures such as worms dislike. Worms are an important part of the composting process.
Egg shells can be a slug deterrent – crush them and sprinkle them around your prized plants.
Small electrical and electronic items such as, remote controls, VCRs, digital box, electronic toys, kettles, hairdryers, electric toothbrushes, shavers, small kitchen appliances, irons, small DIY tools, clocks, radios can all be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Alternatively we can collect these items as part of our chargeable bulky waste collection.
Energy saving light bulbs
Household flurescent tubes, sodium lamps and low energy light bulbs can all be recycled the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Some shops will also take low energy light bulbs.
See the oil entry for more information
Envelopes can be re-used by using envelope labels. Stop junk mail by registering with the Mail Preference Service. Envelopes should not be placed in paper recycling banks.
Fax junk mail
If you receive junk mail through your fax that you do not want, register with the Fax Preference Service.
Feathers can be composted in your compost bin.
These must be treated as Hazardous waste and not placed in your rubbish bin. Contact the manufacturer for advice or find a local fire extinguisher company online or in the yellow pages. Some companies will recondition units or take them if you purchase a new unit from them.
Recycle clean foil in your clear sacks, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin. Alternatively you can recycle clean foil at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Many foil items can be recycled, such as take-away trays, pie and quiche cases and oven-ready meal trays. Remember to clean foil before you recycle it.
However, not all products that appear to be aluminium foil are recyclable. For example, some crisp packets can look like aluminium, but they are actually made from metallised plastic and cannot be recycled. Try the scrunch test to find out which one it is – if it stays scrunched it can be recycled.
Aluminium is the only packaging material where its value exceeds the costs of collection and processing at recycling centres. Other major factors in its favour are:
recycling can be repeated many times without loss of quality;
the energy required to produce recycled aluminium is only 5% of that required for primary production from bauxite.
Fruit and vegetable scraps can be home composted with garden waste to produce a rich soil conditioner. Do not home compost meat.
Fridges and freezers
Under the WEEE directive distributors and retailers who supply fridges and freezers to householders must ensure that they can be returned on a one-for-one, like-for-like basis, free of charge, by offering a free in store take back facility or by paying into a fund to provide alternative sites. Distributors and retailers must inform customers how and when they can do this.
If you are disposing of a domestic fridge or freezer, you can have this collected as part of our bulky waste collection service.
Alternatively, you can take your appliance in a car to the Household Waste Recycling Centre for disposal free of charge.
Bulky household electrical and electronic equipment, including fridges and freezers, may also be taken in a van to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Before visiting the site in a van or commercial type vehicle please ensure that you have a permit.
If local traders offer to collect and dispose of your appliance you can help the environment by checking that they intend to dispose of it in accordance with the law. If you are unsure, contact your local office of the Environment Agency
Food and drink cans
Food and drink cans can be recycled in the clear sacks, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin.
Furniture can also be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or it can be disposed of through our chargeable bulky waste collection service.
Furniture that can not be reused but will fit in a car can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre in a van, but it must have a permit.
If your item of furniture is not re-usable and beyond refurbishment please contact your local Council’s bulky waste collection service.
If your garden tool is in working condition and has value, try selling it in a local free advertising newspaper. Pass it on to a friend, take it to a car boot sale or your local jumble sale. Instead of buying tools, why not hire them?
Garden waste is biodegradable and can be home composted at home.
Garden waste can also be placed into the green wheelie bin and placed out for collection, during the collection season.
Glass can be recycled indefinitely without compromising quality. It takes less energy to recycle glass than to melt down the original raw materials. Currently, only around a third of all glass packaging is recycled.
Glass bottles and jars can be recycled in the black box or shared mixed glass recycling bin or at the Household Waste Recycling Centres and kerbside
Please do not place Pyrex type glass, crockery and china or broken glass into the black box or shared glass recycling bin.
Grass can be home composted but must be mixed with equal quantities of dry materials such as twiggy material, scrunched up paper, particularly junk mail or newspaper to stop it from becoming soggy and smelly.
Grass can also be placed in the green wheelie bin. Find out more.
Hardcore, rubble and soil
Household waste should be disposed of in your purple sacks, black bins or communal refuse bin. Additional household waste can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre, or we can collect up to 10 black bags as part of our chargeable bulky waste collection.
You can now recycle them for the first time in a new scheme, instead of sending them to landfill. Find out where to recycle your old inhalers.
It may not be as simple as you would like, but it is possible to stop junk mail completely. Follow the guide to stopping junk mail
Kitchen or toilet roll
Kitchen and toilet roll centres are made from cardboard and are compostable.
The kitchen and toilet roll centres can also be placed into the clear sack, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin, and at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Loose kitchen roll or toilet roll, will need to be placed into your purple sack, black bin or shared refuse bin.
Try to use a re-usable j-cloth (often made out of recycled material) instead of disposable kitchen roll. It will save you money in the long run and reduce your rubbish.
Try and buy recycled loo roll made from recycled paper.
All metal knives can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre where there will be a skip for scrap metal.
If a light bulb needs replacing try using an energy efficient bulb instead. See energy efficient light bulbs.
Magazines can be recycled in the clear sack, brown bin or mixed recycling bin. They can also be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Once you have read your magazine why not offer it to friends and family to read or local dentists and doctors surgeries for use in the waiting areas
Before taking any spare material to the textile bank, why not offer it to friends and relatives or take it to your nearest charity shop or jumble sale or local school.
If the material can’t be re-used, take it to your nearest textile recycling bank or take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Take them to your local pharmacy where the pharmacist will dispose of them free of charge.
Don’t throw old medicines in the dustbin.
Don’t flush medicines down the toilet – they can pollute the water supply.
Metal household items can be taken to your Household Waste Recycling Centre and put in the Scrap Metal area.
There are many charities that raise money by collecting old mobile phones. Alternatively, they can be placed in the blue bin at the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Please make sure you remove any sim cards or memory cards from your phone.
Alternatively you can make money from your recycling your old mobile phone. To find out how much it could be worth check out the below websites. (inclusion in this list does not mean that Solihull Council endorses the company in anyway):
Real nappies are easier to use than you think and there are now lots of cool and funky styles to choose from. Find out more
Newspaper can be recycled in your clear sacks, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin. Alternatively, take them to the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Engine oil is classed as hazardous waste and must be disposed of correctly in order to prevent harm to the environment. Pouring engine oil down the drain can harm wildlife by removing vital oxygen from watercourses and clogging feathers and gills.
Pouring cooking oil down sink plugholes or the sewer should be avoided as it can cause a build up of grease and create blockages. Inappropriate disposal to surface water drains pollutes watercourses and can damage vegetation and wildlife.
As an alternative to disposal, leftover cooking oil can be used as a substitute for creosote. It is a good preservative, does not discolour wood and is safe to use near animals and plants.
Buy what you need
Before buying paint use an on-line paint calculator to work out how many litres you need.
Protect ‘leftover’ paint to make reusable
After painting store the paint away from frost and extreme temperatures as these can damage the paint.
Ensure the lid is on securely and tightly to stop it drying out; tip the container upside down for a few seconds (this will help stop a skin forming on the paint); store the paint containers in an upright position.
Pass it on
If you have unwanted paint, which is still usable you can find a good home for it by either passing it onto family or friends who may have a painting project in mind or by donating it through online reuse networks such as Freegle and Freecycle.
If you need to dispose
Large amounts of non-reusable paint will need to be disposed at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Pallets are considered to be commercial waste and may sometimes be returned to the originator for re-use. Blue pallets are legally owned the CHEP company and should be returned directly to them either through the company they were obtained from or to CHEP directly. For a free collection, telephone or e-mail them on 0800 515 320 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website for further details at www.chep.com.
Recycling is the accepted best practical environmental option for waste paper, even accounting for the resources used and pollutants produced in collection and reprocessing. The main environmental benefits are summarised below:
The manufacture of virgin paper is highly energy demanding, and produces large amounts of air and water pollutants. In comparison, producing recycled paper requires around 28% lower energy consumption, and involves greatly less chemical treatment.
Recovering paper for recycling reduces the quantity going to landfill.
Although the majority of timber and pulp is imported from managed forests in Scandinavia and North America, a significant quantity also derives from a wide range of countries and forest types. It is well established that some forest clearance for pulp is environmentally damaging. This has major ecological consequences, including reduction in species and structural diversity and acidification of soil.
You can recycle your paper in the clear sacks, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin, at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
If the pillow is in good condition take it to your nearest charity shop. Don’t forget that feathers can be composted!
Plasterboard and gypsum
Plastic bottles, tubs and trays (soft and mixed plastic)
Plastic bottles, tubs and trays can be recycled in the clear sacks, brown bin and shared mixed recycling bin.
Did you know that over 1.7 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced by households each year in the UK of which only 25% of this is currently recycled or recovered.
There are a number of reasons why we should recycle our plastic:
Plastic is believed to take around 500 years to decompose;
A more serious problem with plastic is the additives contained in them. Additives such as colorants, stabilisers and plasticisers which may contain toxic components such as cadmium and lead;
Conservation of non-renewable fuels and energy;
The energy savings are sufficient to power a 60W lightbulb for six hours, for each bottle recycled! (Recoup);
Reduced emissions of CO2 and nitrogen oxide.
Polystyrene can exist in many forms some of which can currently be recycled as plastic within your kerbside bin or box and some which currently can’t.
Any polystyrene used as a plastic pot, tub or tray for example a yoghurt pot, a margarine pot or food tray, can be recycled alongside your plastic bottles. Just remember to rinse them first.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is often used as packaging, including that used for take-away food, cannot be recycled and should be placed in your grey/black bin or general waste bin at your Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Polystyrene used for products such as CD cases, disposable cutlery or even for disposable razors cannot be recycled and should also be placed in your grey/black bin or in with the general waste at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Did you know: Many single use carrier bags are made of oil based plastic, which is a non-renewable resource. Each plastic bag can take up to 500 to 1000 years to decompose, and may never break-down in landfill.
Take your own reusable shopping bags next time you visit the supermarket. Here are some tips to help you remember your bags:
keep them in the boot of your car;
keep a fold up type fabric bag in your handbag or coat pocket – then you always have it with you;
get your children involved, they are great at remembering things and reminding you;
at work, set up a carrier bag dispenser where people regularly pass in the staff room or by the entrance so they can pick them up.
Some supermarkets offer a plastic carrier bag recycling point.
Never place plastic bags in your recycling, (recycling should go in loose)
We are unable to accept plastic film in the kerbside recycling, please place it into your household waste.
For the best ways to recycle both ink and toner cartridges visit www.stinkyink.com
Every year tens of million of inkjet and toner cartridges are thrown away. Recycling cartridges not only reduces waste, but also reduces the need for raw materials; each laser cartridge that is recycled conserves the equivalent of approximately one litre of oil.
Wind up radios don’t require batteries nor mains electricity and therefore have less impact on the environment.
If you have a radio that you would like to dispose of but still works, please offer it to your local charity shop, offer it on Freegle or Freecycle
Radios are covered by the WEEE Directive (see electrical items) and can be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Rubble and soil
If the sewing machine is still in working order take it to your nearest charity shop or offer it on Freegle or Freecycle
If you don’t want to keep a pair of shoes you can take them to your nearest charity shop, or recycle your shoes at the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Please ensure that shoes are secured together in their pair.
Oxfam and the RNIB can find a home for collectors items including stamps. Once you have collected a bag full pop them into your local Oxfam shop or alternatively, for the RNIB send them to:
Stamp Recycling PO Box 185 Benfleet SS7 9BH
Please wash out your steel cans and crush to prevent smells and protect wildlife. Steel cans can be recycled the clear sack, brown bin or shared mixed recycling bin.
Disposal of landline telephones will depend on whether or not it is rented or owned by you.
If you have a rental telephone that you would like to dispose of call 100 when the rental has ceased. You will receive a padded envelope in the post for you to send it back in. The telephone will be sent to the contractor who rented out the telephone and will be assessed for re-use and recycling.
Privately owned telephone:
If you own the telephone and it no longer works, please take it along to the Household Waste Recycling Centre and place it with the ‘Electrical Equipment’ items. If your telephone still works take it along to your local charity shop.
Telephone directories are collected through the clear sacks, brown bin and mixed recycling bins. They can also the Household Waste Recycling Centre
Tetra pack/drink cartons
All potentially hazardous or chemical waste must be disposed of correctly in order to prevent harm to the environment.
There are many charities that can raise money from your old toner cartridge – just search the web to find a charity of your choice.
For more information on how to recycle your cartridges, please visit the everycartridge website
If your old toys are in good condition take them to your nearest charity shop, offer your items on Freegle or Freecycle, or take them to Household Waste Recycling Centre.
In 2003 the EU Landfill Directive banned whole used tyres being sent to landfill, this ban extended to shredded used tyres in 2006. If you need new tyres on your car, the garage where you have them fitted will normally dispose of your old tyres for you.
If you change your tyres at home, a recognised tyre company (ATS, National Tyre Service, Kwik Fit etc) should be able to dispose of your tyres for a small charge. You can usually find their contact details in the Yellow Pages
Tyres are not classified as household waste and are not accepted at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
TVs and monitors
If your appliance is still working, offer it on Freegle or on Freecycle
Umbrellas are always useful particularly with the British weather. If you have an old umbrella that you don’t want, take it to your nearest charity shop and give someone else the opportunity to keep dry.
Ask your retailer if they offer a take back service for your old appliance.
Alternatively vacuum cleaners should be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre and placed with other electrical goods.
If your Vacuum is in working order offer it on or Freegle or Freecycle
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) came into force in this country on the 1st July 2007. The Directive aims to minimise the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment by increasing re-use and recycling, and reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill.
Water butts are available from GetComposing
Water filter cartridges(Brita)
Find out where you can recycle your Brita water filter cartridges.
Did you know you can also you can also recycle your filters at all Argos and Homebase stores.
Take your unwanted wool to your local charity shop or offer it to friends and family. The Cats Protection League have volunteers who use the wood to knit blankets to keep fostered cats warm and the blankets then get re-homed with the cat. Please call their helpline on 01926 334849 or e-mail email@example.com
If you have a musical instrument which still works you can donate it to local theatrical groups and music groups or advertise it on Freegle or Freecycle