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Council Services:

What to put in your bin

This list is constantly being updated as new items are added.

We know residents want to recycle as much as possible, but also that plenty of items can cause confusion.

This list below aims to clarify which bin to put items in and why. Just as importantly, other avenues of disposal for re-use, repair or recycling available to residents are listed.

If you cannot find your item listed or would like information about our collection services, please email refuse@lincoln.gov.uk. You can find more information on your local tip by visiting our Lincoln tip recycling and waste page.

Most households have a brown wheelie bin for kerbside recycling. Some have a black box. In the table below, any reference to brown recycling bins also apply to black recycling boxes.

  Item    Where to dispose/recycle/rehome   Why  
Aerosol cans  Empty cans go in the brown recycling binThe tin-plated steel and aluminum are recovered and recycled.
 Cans containing liquids should be taken to Lincoln tip/recycling centreOur collection lorries crush items and risk puncturing containers. If they are not empty this spills the contents, make a mess and potentially creates a hazard.
Asbestos  This must be collected by a licensed contractorIt is classed as hazardous waste and must be disposed of at specified sites. Staff at the City of Lincoln Council can tell you who is licensed in your area.
Ash (cold only) Black wheelie bin for landfillAs there is no way for us to know what was burned and so what is in your ash, it must go for landfill rather than composting via garden waste wheelie bins.
 Compost binIf you burn wood, the ash is a great dry addition to a home compost bin. Find out about discounted bins at www.getcomposting.com.
 GardenWood ash can also be put on your flower bed (it’s a high potash fertiliser).
Batteries  Lincoln tip/recycling centreIt’s illegal for batteries to go into landfill. Not only are they toxic but they contain valuable material that can only be recovered by a specialist processor.
  Collection boxes in any retail shop that sells them
Biscuit tinsBrown recycling binAll metal food and drink containers can be recycled. See ‘scrap metal’ for all other metal items.
Blankets, duvets, sheets and towels  Black wheelie bin for landfillSoiled materials are only suitable for landfill.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreClean blankets and sheets can be re-used or recycled.
 Textile collections, textile banks and charities.So long as it is clean and in good condition, spare bedding may be welcomed by homelessness charities for re-use. Animal charities will be able to use more worn bedding and old towels, but it must still be clean.
  Clean items which are donated but found unsuitable for re-use or resale are sold on to be shredded and used for a variety of low quality recycled products.
Blister packs for tablets  Black wheelie bin for landfillThese are normally a combination of plastic and metal that cannot be easily separated for the two materials to be recycled.
  The cardboard box and paper leaflet accompanying most medication can go in your brown recycling bin.
BooksCharity via shops, door step collections and their recycling banks.Books can’t be collected via your brown recycling bin (or equivalent) for recycling as they are often poor quality paper and they get ripped in the process of automated collection and sorting.
 Black wheelie bin for landfill 
   Lincoln tip/recycling centre 
Bottle tops – plastic and metalBrown recycling binThese can be recycled but we ask for them to be removed from their container before binning as they are often a different type of material - and removal will have to be done by hand at the sorting facility.
Bricks, hardcore and rubble  Lincoln tip/recycling centreThese are too heavy to be collected via wheelie bins. Recycling Waste Recycling Centres have a limit of one bin-load per day per household.
Cans and tins  Brown recycling binThe metals will be separated and recycled. Please make sure they are cleaned first.
Carpets  Black wheelie bin for landfillSmall pieces (that can easily fit into the wheelie bin) will be accepted in your black wheelie bin only.
 Bulky waste collectionA special collection can be arranged. Find out more about removal of bulky items. The collection may be free or charged for, depending on your circumstances.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centre (check site acceptance list)Large pieces of carpet will be taken for recycling or for landfill depending on the materials and the collection site.
 Re-useWorn carpet can be used to cover garden compost heaps or under the liner when constructing a new pond.
Carrier bags/thin plastic  Black wheelie bin for landfillCarrier bags and thin soft plastic that looks similar such as bread bags and food wrapping, (not cling film) is poor quality plastic which is hard to recycle. It is almost worthless to recycling processors however in large quantities ( I.E. collected separately at Lincoln tip/recycling centre) it can be worthwhile.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centre (check list for sites where it is accepted) 
 Supermarket bag banksSupermarkets have to offer recycling if they give away a certain number of free plastic bags. The collection points are normally found near the entrance or exit.
CataloguesBrown recycling binAll catalogues can be put in the recycling wheelie bin for the paper to be recycled.
CDs/DVDs and casesBlack wheelie bin for landfillOur recycling contractor does not accept CDs and DVDs so they cannot be put in the brown recycling bin. However, the cases on their own can be put in the brown recycling bin but please remove any paper information sheets/booklets and put these in separately.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreBoth discs and the cases (minus paper inserts) can be placed in the ‘Rigid plastics’ container at Lincoln tip/recycling centre for recycling.
 Donate to charityDiscs still in their cases are accepted by many charities for resale, or by companies such as MusicMagpie for fundraising.
Chemicals (household) Collection on requestChemicals should not be put in any wheelie bins as they need specialist treatment for safe disposal.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreHousehold chemicals are accepted at all recycling centres where staff will access locked storage.
Cling filmBlack wheelie bin for landfillFor plastic to be recycled it is shredded and then melted to make new products. Cling film generally comes in small pieces and is too thin to be shredded for melting. It is also often soiled.
Clothing - soiled  Black wheelie bin for landfillSoiled clothing should be placed in landfill.
Clothing - clean  Lincoln tip/recycling centre or donate to charity via shops, door step collections and their recycling banksTextiles are not collected for recycling in your brown recycling bin. Clean clothing should be donated to charity or handed down to family or friends.
  What is unsaleable will generally be sold on to the rag trade.
Coat hangers  Black wheelie bin for landfillHangers are not accepted by our recycling contractor. Wood is not on our accepted recycling list, metal hangers have a tendency to get caught in sorting machinery and plastic hangers often have a metal hook (so contaminate either the metal or the plastic).
  Plain plastic hangers can be placed in the rigid plastics container at recycling centres for recycling.
 Charity shopsSome charity and clothing shops may also accept hangers for reuse.
Computers  See ‘Electrical items’ 
Crisp packets  Black wheelie bin for landfill.Even the most advanced recycling facilities can’t get that combination of metal and plastic apart for recycling.
Curtains  Black Wheelie bin for landfillThese are not currently accepted in your brown recycling bin
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreCollected with clothes and textiles, and are taken by the Salvation Army for resale/recycling.
 Donate to charity via shops, door step collections and their recycling banksCharities often welcome clean curtains for sale and reuse.
DVDs (see CDs)   
Electrical items  Bulky waste collectionsIt’s illegal to put electrical items in landfill because of the valuable materials in them that can be recycled. The City of Lincoln Council currently does not collect these items from your brown recycling bin. It may be possible to collect you electricial items separately. Find out more about removal of bulky items.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreCheck individual sites for a list of accepted items.
 British Heart FoundationThe Lincoln branch will collect fully working items they consider suitable for resale. Call 0844 412 5000.
Engine oilLincoln tip/recycling centreThis needs specialist treatment to enable it to be cleaned and re-used. It should be taken to the Lincoln tip/recycling centre in a sealed container.
Engine partsLincoln tip/recycling centreMost engine parts can be placed in the metals skip.
Flower pots (plastic)  Black wheelie bin for landfillFlower pots tend to be made out of cheap, low quality, and therefore hard to recycle, plastics and so are not collected for recycling.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreAs with all hard plastics these can be taken and placed in the Rigid Plastics container at recycling centres.
 Garden centresMany garden centres accept pots back for re-use and recycling.
FoilBrown recycling binClean foil can easily be recycled – bigger pieces are most worthwhile.
Food trays (plastic or cardboard) Brown recycling binCleaned hard plastic trays whether clear, white, green, black – or plain cardboard e.g. from meat, fruit, veg etc can be recycled.
Food trays (polystyrene) Black wheelie bin for landfillBlack/grey soft polystyrene type food trays e.g. from meat, fruit, veg, cannot be recycled.
Food waste  Black wheelie bin for landfillFood waste must not be put in brown recycling bin or into the green garden waste bins. Recycling must remain clean for it to go on for reprocessing, which is why we ask residents to rinse all items. The contents of our green garden waste bins is laid outside and turned intermittently to break down into compost. By law food waste cannot be included in this process.
 Home composting bin (not green wheeled bin)Raw fruit and vegetable food waste can be composted at home. Discounted bins available from www.getcomposting.com
  More information on how to compost is on the recycleforlincolnshire website.
Furniture  Black wheelie bin or bulky item collection.Small items which fit easily in your bin will go to landfill, as will bulky items collected by arrangement.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centre. Donate or sell for re-useRe-homing your furniture is the best option. There are many furniture reuse schemes operating in Lincoln including the Nomad Trust, and ACTS Trust.
Glass - Bottles, jars and drinking glasses (for reading glasses see spectacles).Brown recycling binThe best thing for bottles and jars is to re-use them, but if this is not possible they will be melted and made into new items.
 Window glass, cosmetic containers and any other type of glass.Black wheelie bin for landfill
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreWindow glass and pyrex and has subtly different properties from jars and bottles, often making them much tougher. The glass collected from recycling bins is spun in a drum like a washing machine with holes; as it spins the glass breaks and falls through the holes. This does not work for the other glass so for now it cannot be collected and must instead be placed in the black landfill wheelie bin or taken to the a Lincoln tip/recycling centre.
Grass sods  Lincoln tip/recycling centreThese are too heavy to be collected from wheelie bins and are not good ingredients for making compost.
Ice-cream and margarine tubs  Brown recycling binThese will be recycled. Many are suitable for re-use within the home. Please make sure they are cleaned first.
Knives  Black wheelie bin for landfillWrap well in newspaper or similar for safety. They cannot be put in the brown recycling bin for safety reasons – the contents are hand-sorted.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centrePlace with scrap metal.
Light bulbs  Black wheelie bin for landfillPlace in container for low energy bulbs and fluorescent tubes. These lights contain mercury which is recovered safely from items collected in dedicated skips.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centre 
Magazines  Brown recycling binPaper recycling uses a range of different quality ingredients.
Mail – unwanted/junk  Brown recycling binThe paper content will be recycled
Mobile phones  Charities/ Lincoln tip/recycling centre.Many charities and some schools collect unwanted mobile phones which are sold on for re-use, re-furbishment or recycling. Alternatively they should be put with electrical items at the HWRC. They must not be placed in your wheelie bin.
Nappies (also, used tissues, sanitary protection, plasters, dressings etc) Black wheelie bin for landfillThey contain bodily fluids so cannot be recycled or composted regardless of the original materials. Ideally consider choosing reusable, washable nappies (Lincolnshire County Council offer £30 cash back on £50+ purchases) or next best, degradable nappies: plastic ones will sit in landfill for hundreds of years.
Newspaper  Brown recycling binThis quality paper can still be recycled
 Add to a home compost heap.Compost heaps need wet and dry ingredients: paper counts as dry and helps when there is a high proportion of kitchen waste, lawn clippings or other ‘wet’ green material.
 Make into paper bricks for burningUse a kit to make bricks which you dry in the sun in the summer and burn on a stove or open fire in the winter
PackagingBrown recycling binE.g. for toothbrushes, toys and gadgets – plastic and cardboard. Separate the two and put in your recycling bin.
Paint and paint potsLincoln tip/recycling centre (accepted at all sites)Paint can contain ingredients which are harmful to the natural environment so need specialist disposal.
 Black wheelie binPaint pots which are completely empty and dry, inside and out, may be disposed of in landfill.
Paper and cardboardBrown recycling binThese will be sorted before being recycled.
Phones (not mobiles) Lincoln tip/recycling centreThese count as small electrical items. For disposal, please take to a HWRC. If the item is in working order then re-homing or donating to charity is a better option. Please do not out in your wheelie bin.
PillowsBlack wheelie bin for landfillNot acceptable in brown recycling bin
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreThese will be put in landfill if taken to a recycling centre as it is not practical to separate materials.
 Donate to charity via shops, door step collections and their recycling banksCharities (e.g. animal and homeless) often welcome clean pillows.
Plastic containersBrown recycling binAny plastic containers from food, drinks, cosmetics and cleaning products are collected via the brown recycling bin (or black box). Please ensure they are clean first.
 Black wheelie bin for landfill.Squeezy tubes e.g. toothpaste, and anything that cannot be rinsed out.
Polystyrene (also see ‘food trays’) Black wheelie bin for landfill.We cannot recycle these.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centre (check list for sites where it is accepted)It is recyclable when collected in bulk.
 Return to sender/providerSome companies will offer to take back the packaging of large items they deliver.
Printer cartridges  Black wheelie bin for landfillThese cannot be recycled through our brown recycling bin collection.
 Return to manufacturerMany will provide prepaid envelopes on request.
 Donate to charityMany charities gather and sort cartridges to sell back for re-charging and recycling.
Records (music) Black wheelie bin for landfillWe cannot recycle these.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreRecords which are unable to be reused can be recycled via the ‘rigid plastic’ containers at recycling centres (please remove paper/card sleeves and recycle these separately).
 Donate to charityMany charities will accept these for resale.
Rubber gloves  Black wheelie bin for landfillYou can reduce waste from these by only throwing out the one with the leak – replacing them one hand at a time rather than discarding a pair.
Scrap metal (also see ‘Electricals’)Black wheelie bin for landfillSaucepan sized or smaller only.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreIdeally all metal items and electricals, including fire extinguishers and gas bottles, should be taken to Lincoln tip/recycling centre. Metals are valuable and take a lot of energy to refine.
 Scrap metal merchants 
Shredded paper  Black wheelie bin for landfillAs a rule recycling plants don’t like shredded paper in the mix because it is too small to sort falls through the system and clogs up the machinery.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreThe paper mills don’t like a lot, partly for the same reasons but also as it is not great for recycling: When you shred paper, what you’re actually doing is cutting the lengths of the individual paper fibres, thus cutting the future recycling potential of that fibre. The length of a paper fibre determines its value since a longer fibre can be used to make a higher-grade paper and can be recycled more times.
 Home composting bin (not green wheeled bin)Discounted compost bins available from www.getcomposting.com - Good compost is made from 50% wet items (e.g. grass, fruit and veg peelings and 50% dry items (e.g. dry leaves, cardboard, shredded paper)
 Use as pet bedding 
Shoes  Lincoln tip/recycling centreWorn out or unwearable pairs of shoes should be placed into the black wheelie bin.
 Donate to charity via shops, door step collections and their recycling banksMany charirties and clothing collection banks will accept shoes. Please make sure they are clean before donating. There is also a market for odd shoes, so if one shoe is in reasonable condition and the other one in poorer condition, it is still worth putting the pair in a clothing collection bank.
Soiled pet bedding  Black wheelie bin for landfillFor safety and hygiene reasons animal waste cannot be commercially composted and therefore is not collected in either the green garden waste bin or brown recycling bin
 Home compost bin (not green wheeled bin)Discounted compost bins are available from www.getcomposting.com. Straw and paper from plant eaters like rabbits and guinea pigs can be home-composted. Animal waste from dogs, cats, reptiles and other meat eaters is potentially hazardous and should be land-filled.
Spectacles  Black wheelie bin for landfill 
   OpticiansMost collect old spectacles for the charity Visionaid
Telephone directories and Yellow PagesBrown recycling binThe paper will be recycled
ToysBlack wheelie bin for landfillToys are often thrown away because they are broken or dirty. Toys cannot be collected in brown recycling bins, even if they are in good condition as they are likely to be damaged during collection and the recycling sorting facility we use is not designed to deal with these items.
 Donate to charityMany charity shops and toy libraries accept toys in good condition.
Tree stumps and root balls  Lincoln tip/recycling centreThese are too heavy to be collected in wheelie bins and no good for recycling.
Tyres (car) Tyre-fitting centre or garageIt is illegal to landfill tyres.
  When your car tyres are replaced at the garage they go through a specialist collector to be reprocessed into materials such as surfaces for equestrian or sports pitches, carpet underlay, drainage systems, roof tiles, road and playground surfaces and even laminate flooring.
  If you have old spare tyres to dispose of, most tyre-fitting centres will take them for the cost of disposal (about £1.50 per tyre).
  Lincoln tip does not accept tyres.
Video cassettesBlack wheelie bin for landfillThe tape causes real problems in the sorting machines, wrapping itself around the equipment. If you are a really conscientious recycler you can remove the tape (and put in landfill) and place the cartridge in your brown recycling bin
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreWith the tape removed the plastic case can also be put in the ‘Rigid plastic’ recycling container for recycling. Please note that book and music banks at some Lincoln tip/recycling centre accept DVDs but not videos.
 Donate to charityMany charity shops still accept these for reuse/resale.
Waxed cartonsBrown recycling binThese will be recycled.
Wires/cablesBlack wheelie bin for landfillThe City of Lincoln Council does not collect these items in brown recycling bins.
 Lincoln tip/recycling centreThese should be taken to recycling centres and recycled with electrical items so that the valuable metal can be recovered and reused.
Small, untreated wood from gardening  Green garden waste wheelie binTwigs, small branches and real Christmas trees (cut into small pieces) can all be put in green garden waste bins for composting.
Furniture, DIY, treated woodLincoln tip/recycling centreLarge pieces of wood, furniture or DIY leftovers will be chipped and recycled if taken to a recycling centre.
Yoghurt pots  Black recycling binWe are currently unable to recycle yoghurt pots through kerbside collections.
  If you eat a lot of yoghurt, choosing fewer large pots reduces the ratio of packaging to product.

 

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