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A - Z of waste

Whatever you have to recycle or reuse we can point you in the right direction. Do see what you are looking for? Feel free to contact us with suggestions. 

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M -

N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

A

Acids – acids used at home can be hazardous. Acids must be disposed of properly. Do not pour acids down the drain. Contact Northamptonshire County Council for disposal advice.
 

Aerosols – aluminium and steel aerosols can be recycled. Make sure that aerosols are completely empty before recycling them and never attempt to puncture, crush or burn an aerosol can! 
 

Aluminium cans – making an aluminium can from an old one uses 95% less energy than manufacturing it from raw materials. Aluminium cans can be recycled at a bring bank or through your local kerside collection..
 

Asbestos – Asbestos is a hazardous substance. Find detailed disposal advice on the Northamptonshire County Council website.


Ash – ash from a solid fuel fire cannot be recycled or composted. You must dispose of ash as general waste. Wait until the ash has cooled before handling the ash. Do not put hot ash into any waste container.
 

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B

Batteries – batteries cannot be disposed of in your black (landfill) bin. Major retailers such as your local supermarket will collect them. You can also take them to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.
 

Bedding and blankets – You could give unwanted bedding and blankets to your local charity shop or animal shelter.
 

Bicycles – if you have an unwanted bicycle, this can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for recycling, or donate it to your local charity shop for reuse. Why not advertise it in your local newspaper or local shop?
 

Books – Take unwanted books that are in good condition to your local charity shop. Damaged or worn books could be taken apart and recycled. You can also take unwanted books to your local doctor's surgery or hospital for the waiting rooms.
 

Brita water filter cartridges – Brita have recycling bins in several high street stores such as Argos and Boots where the Brita products are sold.  Please visit the Brita website to locate your nearest recycling point.  Other water filter products are available however not all will be recyclable.  Please check with individual manufacturers if their filters are recyclable.
 

Bulky items – Your local council may offer a bulky waste collection service for items such as TVs and furniture. This is usually a chargeable service and should be booked through your local council.  Please consider whether the item can be reused by donating it to a local charity.
 

Building Materials – Small amounts of domestic building materials can be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Trade waste is chargable. See Northamptonshire County Council website for further details.
 

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C

Cans (food and drink) – Aluminium and steel cans can be recycled. Recycling aluminium and steel cans conserves raw materials used in their manufacture and also conserves energy.
 

Cars – ELVIS (End of Life Vehicle Impound Scheme), the countywide partnership for collecting abandoned, untaxed and nuisance vehicles, can also collect your old car for scrapping free of charge.  Call 08456 121 999 to arrange collection.
 

Car batteries – car batteries can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres in the county where they are collected for recycling.
  

Cardboard – You are able to recycle cereal packets, cardboard boxes, loo roll inners, and other grey and brown cardboard, through your local council’s kerbside collection scheme.
 

Cards – greetings cards are sometimes difficult to recycle due to glitter, glue and other non-card items that can contaminate the recycling process. Uncontaminated plain greetings cards can be recycled.  Many retail stores also offer a recycling collection point in January each year for old Christmas cards.  You can reuse your Christmas and greetings cards by making them into gift tags for next year.
 

Carpets and rugs – good quality carpets may be donated to your local charity shop. If you cannot find a use or new home for your unwanted carpets, they can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.


Carrier bags – only accept a carrier bag if you really need one. Carrier bags can be taken for recycling at some supermarkets.  Also look out for 'bags for life' that some supermarkets offer and will replace when worn.  Invest in some cotton or Jute shopping bags and keep them in your car so that they are always to hand when out shopping.
 

Catalogues – You can recycle catalogues through your local council’s scheme.
 

CDs and DVDs - You may be able to donate your unwanted CDs or DVDs to a local charity shop. Alternatively you can send your unwanted CDs/DVDs to Polymer Recycling. Other companies may also recycle discs.


Ceramics – unwanted ceramics or china may be donated to your local charity shop if still usable. Broken ceramics or china could be used for drainage in plant pots. Alternatively it can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres and disposed of as general waste.
 

Chemicals – chemicals used at home can be hazardous. Do not pour chemicals down the drain as they may damage the environment. Contact Northamptonshire County Council for disposal advice
 

Christmas trees – You may be able to recycle your real Christmas trees through your local council’s garden waste recycling scheme.  Some local councils may offer a separate collection in the New Year.
 

Civic amenity sites – please see Household Waste Recycling Centres.
 

Clinical waste – there are two types of clinical waste currently collected from domestic households. The first is waste relating to incontinence and similar conditions. This is not classed by the NHS as hazardous.  If you or a member of your household suffer from incontinence and are struggling with the waste collections, please do not hesitate to contact your local council for further advice.

The second type of clinical waste relates to dressings and wounds. Such waste will contain blood. The NHS considers this hazardous and as such your local council may be able to offer a separate collection service. If you, or a member of your family has dressings and similar waste, please do not hesitate to contact your local council for further advice.

Clothing – You could give unwanted clothing to your local charity shop or take to a bring bank.
 

Composting –  Composting your organic waste produces an excellent soil conditioner that will improve soil structure and fertility.
 

Computers – take your unwanted computers to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centres. Computers are classed as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). We recommend wiping personal and confidential information before disposal.


Confidential waste – ripped up paper confidential waste such as bank and credit card statements and till receipts can be recycled. Confidential waste can also be composted at home.
 

Cooking oil – Small amounts of cooking oil can be recycled with engine oil at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.


Cutlery/Crockery – Old cutlery/crockery in good condition could be taken to a charity shop for reuse.
 

Commercial waste – Waste produced by a business or trade is not covered by local taxation and so disposal is chargeable.  Your local council may offer a commercial waste collection service. Trade waste can also be taken to selected Household Waste Recycling Centres. You can also look in the local telephone directory under waste disposal for other companies in this area that offer trade waste collections.


Curtains – You may be able to recycle curtains through your local council’s scheme.  Or why not donate these to your local charity shop?
 

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D

Dead animals – if you find a dead animal at the side of the road, inform your local council with a detailed location, and they may be able to remove the animal if it is on a public highway.
 

Disposable nappies – Disposable nappies are made of a mixture of materials (plastic, textile, adhesive strips), and cannot be recycled. The alternative to disposable nappies is of course reusable nappies.
 

Duty of care – every waste producer, including households, are under a legal obligation to ensure that the waste they produce is managed correctly and disposed of safely. Waste should be stored safely and securely and if waste is passed on, it should be passed on to an authorised carrier only. Records of waste transfer and disposal should also be kept by all businesses. Please visit the Environment Agency website for more information. 
 

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E

Egg boxes – cardboard and plastic egg boxes can be recycled in your council collection service.  Alternatively, they can be torn up and placed into a home compost bin.
 

Eggshells – can be placed into your home compost bin.
 

Electrical items – producers of electrical equipment must now make arrangements to reuse or recycle our unwanted electrical items. WEEE items can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centres for recycling. When purchasing a new appliance, the retailer may also offer a recycled service.


Engine oil – small amounts of engine oil from your household can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres for disposal.

The Household Recycling Centres cannot be used to dispose of large quantities of oil from a business or trade. Businesses such as garages wanting to dispose of engine oil should contact the Oil Bank Line on 0800 663 366 to find a company registered to remove any waste engine oil.

Remember, it's illegal and dangerous to dispose of engine oil down the drain. Many drains are connected to a river or stream that can become polluted. Heavy fines are imposed for oil pollution offences.
 

Envelopes – You can recycle envelopes through your local council’s scheme.  
 

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F

Fluorescent tubes – under new legislation, fluorescent tubes are now classed as hazardous waste. You can dispose of these are your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Energy saving light bulbs can also be recycled with fluorescent tubes at the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Businesses, however, are now required to arrange a separate hazardous waste collection for fluorescent tubes.
 

Foil – You are able to recycle foil through your local council’s scheme.
 

Food – The Northamptonshire Waste Partnership is backing a national campaign, Love Food Hate Waste to help cut the amount of food we throw away. Some local councils collect food waste at kerbside.
 

Food and drink cartons – liquid food and drinks cartons used to store fruit juices, long life milk, cooking sauces and smoothies are made of a mixture of waxed cardboard, plastic and foil. Several local councils will collect these items through the kerbside recycling scheme.You can take cartons/tetrapaks to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centres.
 

Fridges and freezers – fridges and freezers contain CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in their coolant system. CFCs are damaging to the environment and fridges and freezers need to be disposed of correctly. These items can either be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres or can be collected as a bulky item from your household by your local council.


Fruit – you can place fruit peelings and cores into your home compost bin.
 

Furniture – unwanted furniture such as three-piece suites, beds, and tables can be donated to a Furniture Reuse Charity (FRC). If it is not suitable to be reused a bulky item collection service may be provided by your local council.
 

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G

Garden waste – You may be able to recycle garden waste through your local council’s scheme. Garden waste can also be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres. You can also compost your garden waste at home in a compost bin.
 

Gas cylinders – gas cylinders/bottles should be returned to the supplier for reuse.  


Glass – You are able to recycle glass bottles and jars through your local councils scheme. If you have any sheet or window glass to dispose of it should be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.
 

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H

Hazardous waste – care should be taken when disposing of hazardous or potentially hazardous waste.  If in doubt whether an item is classed as hazardous or can be disposed of at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres, please contact Northamptonshire County Council for disposal advice.


Householders' duty of care - All householders in England have a legal responsibility to ensure that all of their waste is disposed of properly. Under the waste ‘Duty of Care’ regulations, all householders need to make sure their rubbish is passed to authorised carriers only. Flytipping is illegal. Householders not taking reasonable measures to do so could face fines of up to £5,000.

If you're using anyone, other than your local council to remove household, garden or construction waste, you can check they are registered waste carriers by telephone or online:

Call the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 and request an instant Waste Carrier Validation Check

Always ask for a waste carrier's number or check their details with the Environment Agency. Remember that household waste can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres or you may be able to use our Bulky Waste Collection service.


Household Waste Recycling Centres - These sites are owned and run by Northamptonshire County Council.  For further details on Household Waste Recycling Centres, visit the Northamptonshire County Council website.
 

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I

Inkjet cartridges – see printer cartridges.
 

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J

Junk mail – put a stop to unwanted direct mail by contacting the Mail Preference Service (MPS). This is a free service and MPS will take you off of its databases and put a stop to a large proportion of the junk mail received by householders. Visit the MPS' website or call 0845 7034599. 

In the meantime, don't forget to recycle your junk mail. You may be able to recycle junk mail through your local councils scheme.
 

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K

Keys and locks – keys and locks can be recycled as scrap metal. Please take them to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre and place them into the scrap metal skip. 
 

Kitchen and toilet roll tubes – inner tubes from your toilet and kitchen roll tubes are made of cardboard.  You may be able to recycle these through your local councils scheme. Or if you compost at home you can place your inner tubes into your compost bin.
 

Kitchen waste – your uncooked fruit and vegetable waste can be composted. Some councils collect food waste, please check with your local council. Otherwise, any cooked food or raw meats should be placed into general waste, as they cannot be composted. 
 

Knives - Any knives that need to be disposed of can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres within the district. They should be placed in the metals skip.  If you need any assistance please see staff on site.
 

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L

Light bulbs – standard, old fashioned household light bulbs have been phased out. They can't be recycled. Energy saving light bulbs can however be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centres when they reach the end of their life using the fluorescent tubes container.
 

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M

Magazines – You can recycle magazines through your local councils scheme.  You could always donate your unwanted magazines to your local doctor's surgery or hospital for use in the waiting room.
 

Medicine – return any unwanted medicines to your local chemist. 
 

Metal – You can recycle metal tins and cans through your local councils scheme. Large metals items and scrap can be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.


Mirrors – if in one piece, you could donate unwanted mirrors to a local charity shop.  The type of glass used to make mirrors mean that they can't be recycled.  Larger mirrors can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres for disposal.
 

Mobile phones – must be recycled as WEEE. Charity shops often provide collections of mobile phones. If your mobile phone is in working order, why not advertise it in your local newspaper or shop? Just because you no longer want it, it can still be reused or recycled.
 

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N

Nappies – please see disposable nappies and real nappies.
 

Needles – if you use syringes or needles as part of a medical condition, your local council may be able to offer you a regular sharps collection.  If you find a discarded needle in a public place, don't handle it. Report this to your local council.

 

Newspapers – You can recycle newspapers through your local councils scheme.

 

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O

Oil – No oil should be poured down drains.  See engine oil and cooking oil.
 

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P

Paint – paint contains hazardous chemicals and so should not be poured down the drain. Some DIY stores will accept unwanted paint back.  Local community groups may also find a use for unwanted paint. Dried up paint can however be disposed of in general waste.
 

Paper – making paper from recycled paper uses 40 per cent less energy than making it from virgin wood pulp. You may be able to recycle paper through your local council’s scheme. 
 

Plastics – You are able to recycle most plastics through your local councils scheme.
 

Polystyrene – currently polystyrene cannot be recycled locally. It should be disposed of as general waste.
 

Printer cartridges – charities such as Oxfam and Action Aid will accept used printer cartridges for recycling. Ask in your local charity shop if they accept printer cartridges. Why not refill your printer cartridges instead of throwing them away?
 

Pyrex glass – pyrex glass cannot be recycled as it is treated to not melt at the same temperature in the recycling furnace as normal glass. Instead, broken Pyrex dishes should be wrapped and disposed of in general waste.
 

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Q

Quilts and Duvets – you can donate any unwanted quilts to your local charity shop or animal shelter. If you can't find a new home for your unwanted quilts they can be disposed of as general waste at one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.
 

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R

Real nappies – Real nappies are reusable and instead of throwing them away after use, they are washed and reused. Visit www.goreal.org.uk for impartial advice.
 

Rubble – rubble can be taken to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres.
 

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S

Scrap metal – you can take scrap metal to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres where it is separated for recycling, or you may wish to take your scrap metal directly to a scrap merchant for recycling.
 

Shoes – You may be able to recycle shoes through your local council’s scheme. Banks for shoes are found at many bring sites and your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.
 

Soil – soil can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres.
 

Spectacles – unwanted spectacles can't be recycled but can be donated to charity where they will be sent to the developing world for use there. Your local Help the Aged stores will all accept unwanted spectacles. Your unwanted spectacles can also be sent to: (please note you will have to pay postage)

Vision Aid Overseas
Unit 12 The Bell Centre
Newton Road
Manor Royal
Crawley
West Sussex
RH10 9FZ
 

Stamps – Local charity shops will often accept donation of stamps so why not ask at your local store. The charities will sell on the stamps to dealers and use the money to fund their projects.  
 

Steel cans – Recycling steel cans conserves the raw materials used in their manufacture. You are able to recycle steel cans through your local councils scheme.
 

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T

Telephone directories – (including Yellow Pages) You can recycle directories as paper through your local councils scheme.
 

Televisions – special care needs to be taken when recycling old televisions as they contain cathode ray tubes, which contain hazardous chemicals. You should recycle them as WEEE at your nearest Household waset Recycling Centre. If purchasing a new TV the retailer may recycle your old one. If your unwanted TV is still in working order why not pass it on to your local charity shop?
 

Tetrapak – please see Food and Drink cartons.
 

Textiles – You may be able to recycle textiles through your local councils scheme. Alternative take to a nearby bring bank or Household Waste Recycling Centre/
 

Tip - See Household Waste Recycling Centre
 

Toner cartridges – please see Printer cartridges.
 

Trade waste – please see Commercial waste.
 

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U

V

Vegetable peelings – you can put vegetable peelings into your home compost bin.
 

Videos– why not donate to your local charity shop for reuse? Video cassettes are not easily recycled.
 

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W

Water – water is essential for natural life and for human use. Rainwater is better for your garden plants than tap water. Try investing in a water butt.  Rainwater can be collected to water your garden, wash your car or wash down your paths. Water meters can be installed to monitor water usage in your home and help you to save money and water.  
 

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Regulations - requires that UK producers of electrical equipment must make arrangements to reuse or recycle our unwanted electrical items. Electrical items must now be recycled at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centres, or where facilites exist, though the bulky waste collection service provided by your local council.
 

White goods– please see Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.  
 

Wood – unwanted wood can be taken to one of the Household Waste recycling Centres where it is collected for biomass.
 

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X

Xylophones – these and other musical instruments can't be recycled but you could donate your unwanted musical instruments to charity, advertise them for sale or offer them free to a good home. Oxfam is one charity shop that has a network specialist music shops will accept donations of unwanted musical instruments and sheet music.
 

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Y

Yellow pages – You can recycle yellow pages as paper through your kerbside collection.
 

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Z

Zips – you could give your unwanted zips and sewing accessories to your local charity shop.
 

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