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Waste and recycling

Recycling in York

Check what you can and can't recycle at the kerbside before putting your boxes out for a recycling collection.

Kerbside recycling collections

Our Waste teams unload your recycling into compartments on a collection vehicle, then take it to a site where:

  • materials are separated and bulked
  • any unsuitable materials (‘contamination’) are disposed of

We only collect high quality materials which we sell on to manufacturers for reprocessing.

Find out more, watch our video about the 'York Recycling Journey'.

'Fully co-mingling' recycling

We may occasionally need to collect your recycling in a different way, for example, when there's a vehicle breakdown.

When this happens, we:

  • may mix or 'co-mingle' all your recycling in the vehicle
  • will need to sort recycling items after collection, but the material will still be recycled

Contaminated kerbside collections

We receive an income for the recyclable material we sell on, however, this can sometimes be reduced due to contamination.

If you place items we can't recycle in your recycling box, we:

  • could reach the maximum 'contamination threshold' of our contract
  • may need to send a whole lorry load of recycling to be processed as household waste
  • may incur a charge

So, it's important to sort your recycling correctly, both for the environment and to keep our waste collection costs as low as possible.

Recycling and mixed plastics

We collect a wide range of plastics as part of our kerbside recycling collections.

We collect:

  • plastic bottles, shampoo and cleaning product bottles with lids or trigger spray nozzles on
  • plastic yoghurt pots, margarine tubs
  • light-coloured and clear plastic food trays

Plastics we accept will be labelled:

  • PET 1
  • HDPE 2
  • PP 5

Remember to wash and squash items before placing them in the boxes.

We do not collect:

  • plastic bags, film, wrapping or bubble-wrap
  • black plastic food trays, such as ready-meal containers
  • hard plastic materials such as children’s toys, plastic furniture
  • polystyrene

It's not currently cost effective for us to recycle these other types of plastic, but we'll continue to explore opportunities to increase the amount of plastic we recycle in future.

We cannot take black or dark coloured plastics, regardless of what label they have on them, as these plastics cannot yet be recycled.

You can dispose of other types of plastic:

Recycling at our Household Waste Recycling Centres

You can take many items which can't be recycled at the kerbside to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC):

We typically recycle around 70% of waste taken to our HWRCs not including composting and reused items.

Our Bulky Waste collection service can also be used to dispose of larger unwanted items such as furniture and fridges which cannot be collected in the household waste collections.

Charities may also be able to take and collect unwanted items which are in good, reusable condition. Please see our A-Z of recycling services for specific information.

Also see

Waste, Highways and Environmental Services

Telephone: 01904 551551