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What goes in each bin/bag


All your waste must be contained inside the relevant Council provided bin/bags. You must not put any rubbish next to your bin/bags. If you have a bin the lid must be completely closed. If you have more household waste than you can fit in your bin/bags you can take it to your nearest recycling centre.

Green recycling bin/bags, or communal green bin

You can put the following items in green household recycling bin/bags, or if you use communal green bins, the same things can be recycled in there too. 


All glass bottles and jars can be recycled, whether they are clear, brown, green or blue.


  • detergent bottles
  • drink bottles
  • food trays
  • fruit punnets
  • ice cream tubs
  • margarine tubs
  • shampoo bottles
  • yoghurt pots

Paper and card

  • cardboard packaging
  • catalogues
  • cereal packets
  • directories
  • envelopes
  • junk mail and cards
  • magazines
  • newspapers
  • office paper
  • shredded paper


  • aerosols
  • aluminium food trays and containers
  • biscuit and cake tins
  • clean sheet cooking foil
  • food and drinks cans
  • metal lids

To help us recycle more of your waste:

  • give your pots, tubs, trays, bottles and jars a rinse to remove any food waste
  • do not put any black bags in your green bin as these cannot be recycled
  • flatten or crush items like plastic milk bottles and cardboard boxes to make more room.

Brown waste bin/bags, or communal brown bin 

You can put the following items in your brown waste bin/bags or communal waste bin.

  • coffee cups
  • food waste
  • lightbulbs
  • nappies
  • polystyrene


  • broken glass
  • mirrors
  • sheet glass

Shiny gift wrap

  • shiny foil gift wrap
  • cards with glitter and glue
  • dirty foil
  • foil lined food packets

Soft plastics

  • plastic bags
  • plastic film - if you can scrunch it up it cannot be recycled

Please do not put any batteries in your green or brown bin.

You can find your nearest battery recycling centre on the Recycle Now website.

Garden waste

You can put the following items in your garden waste:

  • flowers
  • grass cuttings
  • hedge trimmings
  • plants
  • twigs and branches up to 7cm in width
  • weeds

Our garden waste gets composted for use in nearby agriculture. It's important not to contaminate it with the wrong things. 

Do not put the following in your garden waste:

  • food
  • any invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed or Ragwort
  • plant pots or trays
  • soil or rubble
  • vegetable peelings
  • any other non-plant material

Recycling centres

  • any type of battery (some local supermarkets also provide battery recycling services)
  • chemicals
  • electrical items
  • flammable items
  • fluorescent tubes
  • hot ash
  • oil filters
  • paint
  • rubble or builders waste
  • old TVs and monitors

Visit our Recycling centres page for more information.

What happens to your plastics recycling in Plymouth?