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Home / Environment & Waste / Recycling & Waste / Recycling - Information and Advice

Recycling - Information and Advice

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Recycling FAQs


Do items need separating or bagging up in the recycling bin?

No, please put all items loose into the recycling bin. Materials will then be sorted by a selection of technologies at our Material Reclamation Facility (MRF).


What happens to my recyclables after collection?

They are taken to a depot in Poole and bulked up with Poole’s recycling for transportation. It is transported by Viridor Waste Management to a MRF in Kent where the materials are sorted using various techniques and the separated items sold on for new products.


What happens to our recyclables after they are sorted at the MRF?|


Material Stream What is it made into?
Newspapers & magazines Newsprint
Mixed papers & cardboard A range of packaging products
Office papers Office paper (Evolve brand)
Glass Building sand, road surfaces and substrate
Plastic bottles & food containers Drainage pipes, fleeces, car parts/upholstery
Cans Steel cans, aluminium cans


What should I do if I have had a contaminated sticker put on my bin?

If your recycling bin or green waste container has had a yellow contaminated sticker placed on it please contact Customer Services on 01202 451199. We can then discuss the content to identify contaminating items and arrange a collection for you.


I’ve heard my recycling goes into landfill anyway, is this true?

No, it is not in the interests of any of the recycling companies to deposit recyclable waste in landfill as they would be charged to do so. Inevitably there will be some contamination which will have to go to landfill but very strict targets have been set to keep contamination to a minimum.


Which type of plastics can be put into the recycling bin?

  • Plastic bottles such as fizzy drinks bottles, milk containers, shampoo, cleansing products and other beauty product bottles
  • Plastic food containers such as meat trays, fruit punnets, ice-cream tubs, yoghurt pots and margarine tubs

Can I recycle at school?

Yes! Bournemouth Borough Council offers a recycling collection of paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass and cans for schools.

For curriculum support there is Bournemouth's 'Wise Up 2 Waste' education pack produced in partnership with Marks & Spencer. The education pack is targeted at primary school teachers and provides supporting educational materials. Please contact Customer Services on 01202 451199 for more information. 

If your school is already part of the Bournemouth Green Schools then there is a Waste and Recycling module your school can try to complete. If your school has not joined Bournemouth Green Schools please call Customer Services on 01202 451199.


Is there a Green Waste collection service?

Yes, the 2013 service will resume on 8th April and will run until the end of November. Collections will be fortnightly excluding bank holidays. Registration for the 2013 scheme is now closed but you can register your interest for 2014. The Council will contact those residents in January 2014 to confirm whether the green waste service will be extended to include them depending on resources available. If you wish to register your interest for the 2014 scheme please call Customer Services on 01202 451199 or alternatively email us|

In the meantime if you have green waste needing disposal then you can take it to Millhams Household Recycling Centre| for composting. Alternatively you could try home composting. For latest offers on purchasing home composting or water butts bins click here |or telephone 0844 571 4444.


Is there anywhere I can take my bulky green waste?

Yes, you can take all your garden material to Millhams |Community Recycling Centre or Kings Park on Sunday between 9am-1pm where it will be sent to Eco Sustainable Solutions   |for composting.


What can I do with my textiles?

Unwanted but usable clothes and shoes can be taken to any local charity shop. Many offer a kerbside collection in plastic sacks. Alternatively textiles can be put in the neighbourhood recycling centre banks across the borough. Please contact the Ask Bournemouth Contact Centre on 01202 451199 or email the recycling team   |for your nearest bank.


Can I recycle phone directories?

Yes! White paper, magazines, promotional brochures, phone directories (including yellow pages), catalogues, leaflets and junk mail (plastic wrapping removed) can ALL go into your kerbside recycling bin.

Even better why not opt out of directory deliveries altogether and use online versions instead. To opt out visit each of the directory companies online and search for their opt out option.


Is there anywhere I can recycle polystyrene packaging?

Unfortunately, we do not have the facilities to recycle polystyrene packaging. Expanded polystyrene packaging is an inefficient use of resources for its size, as it is made up of 98% air and only 2% material, which becomes only too apparent when it comes to storing it for disposal. It is for these reasons that it is hard to recycle.


What can I do with old electrical equipment e.g. typewriter, video, printer or TV?

The best thing to do is reuse. You could advertise on freecycle |in Bournemouth and surrounding areas as free to a good home. If not Dorset Reclaim| will take away unwanted bulky white goods, which are working or can be repaired and sell them on to people on low incomes.

If the items are beyond reuse then they can be disposed of at Millhams Household Recycling Centre| or if small they can go into one of the electrical banks at selected Neighbourhood Recycling Centres. To find your nearest contact the Ask Bournemouth Contact Centre on 01202 451199.


How can I recycle batteries?

All types of batteries can now be recycled at Millhams Community Recycling Centre |.

There are also household battery collections points |all round Bournemouth including all libraries, leisure centres and at the Council's Technical Services Depot in Southcote Road.


Can we put shredded paper in the recycling bins?

Shredded paper can be recycled in your recycling bin. 


How is it best to dispose of pet sawdust, bedding and waste?

If your animals are vegetarian, the best thing to do is to home compost it. Mix it in well to your compost heap. Please don’t include waste from cat and dog (carnivorous) litter trays in home compost bins. Alternatively please contact the recycling team |.


Can padded envelopes be recycled?

No, but they can be reused and re-posted.


How can I recycle my shopping carrier bags?

The best way to stop them building up is to reuse them and take them whenever you go shopping. If you have more than you can re-use, many supermarkets have carrier bag recycling points now. 


Can I recycle old videos?

Some commercial organisations such as Environmental Media Services| will recycle your old video cassettes or you could donate them to charity shops. You can also get your video cassettes cleaned for re-use. Creative Video Associates   | is a commercial company who will erase, clean and return your old videotapes in pristine condition for reuse.


What can I do with light bulbs?

Light bulb disposal is complicated due to the fact they are classed as hazardous waste There are three lightbulb recycling points in local libraries, these can be found in Southbourne Library, Kinson Hub, Bournemouth Library and Castlepoint Library. Light bulbs can also be taken to Millhams Community Recycling Centre|  

Together we can recycle more and waste less!

Related Information


Postal Address Customer Service Centre,
St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone 01202 451199
Fax 01202 454690
Minicom 01202 454974
Email Enquiries
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