What goes in your bin, box or bag?
To find information about whether or not you can recycle a specific item, please visit our Recycling A-Z pages.
We can take a wide range of waste and recycling as part of your kerbside collections - around 70% of household waste. Please make sure you put the correct items in the correct containers. Failure to do so may mean we are unable to empty your boxes, bins or bags.
Green or black recycling box - please wash, squash and pop the cap back on plastic bottles
You can have up to two green/black recycling boxes. You can request boxes online or phone 01271 374776. The following items can go in your black/green recycling box:
- Small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) such as kettles, toasters and mobile phones. Loose cables (mobile phone and computer cables) can also be recycled. All items should be no larger than a standard-sized carrier bag
- Mixed plastics including yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic bottles and food trays, apart from black plastic which is not recyclable at the moment - squashed and lids replaced where possible
- Food tins and drink cans
- Aluminium foil
- Aerosol cans
Please do not place large items such as washing baskets, water carriers or beer kegs in your recycling box, as these will damage our recycling machinery.
Please do not place hard/rigid plastics (which do not give easily when squeezed) such as buckets, toys or storage boxes/crates in your recycling box, as these will also damage our recycling machinery.
Unfortunately, we are not able to take black plastic products (see why below), plant pots, cling film, tetra paks and packaging film. This includes cellophane, sweet wrappers and crisp packets. We are also unable to take light bulbs because we don’t have a market for them at present.
Unfortunately we are unable to accept black plastic in your recycling. Though the plastic may have a recycling symbol, it is not currently possible to effectively sort black plastic from other materials at a recycling facility, and so the trays often get sent to landfill. This is because the main pigment used to colour black plastic is not detectable by the near-infrared (NIR) optical sorting equipment because it doesn’t allow light to pass through. As a result, there is no market for selling used black plastic and recycling it ‘contaminates’ and de-values the rest of the load. Because of this – and in accordance with guidelines from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – we have had to take the decision that we won’t collect black plastic with your recycling. Read more about WRAP’s quest to get retailers to use detectable black colourants in their black plastic products.
Please ensure all bottles, tins and cans are rinsed well and, to help save space on our vehicles, please also squash your plastics and cans where possible.
Blue recycling box
You can request boxes online or phone 01271 374776. The following items can go in your blue recycling box:
- Glass bottles and jars - pop the lids back on once you've rinsed them!
Green wheelie bin
We offer an optional garden waste collection service for £45 a year. Free collections of garden waste have stopped. To sign-up for garden waste collections visit our webpage.
Please ensure the lid on your wheelie bin can close properly. The following items can go in your green wheelie bin:
- Real Christmas trees - chopped up
- Hedge clippings
- Grass cuttings
- Cut flowers
- Plants (no soil)
- Untreated sawdust
- Wood shavings
- Clean straw
You are no longer able to put food waste in your green wheelie bin. Please use your new kerbside caddy instead.
Waste must be placed loosely inside green bins, it must not be placed in a compostable or plastic bag. We are unable to empty bins with any items other than garden waste in them.
Kitchen and kerbside caddies
We collect your food waste every week from your kerbside caddy, together with your other weekly recycling. Your small kitchen caddy can be kept on your worktop and then emptied into your kerbside caddy.
The following items can go in the caddies:
- All cooked food
- All raw food
- Bones and carcasses
- Leftovers from plates
- Tea bags and coffee grounds
- Fruit and vegetables, including peelings
- Egg shells
To help look after the welfare of our crew members, please wrap all food waste that goes into your caddy. You can line your caddy with newspaper, a sheet of kitchen roll or a bag (plastic, paper or compostable) - this helps contain the food waste and is more hygienic for you and our recycling crews. All liners are mechanically separated from the food waste and are then recycled if possible or converted into energy via an energy from waste plant. If you line your caddy with a bag why not use an old cereal or bread bag to give it a second use, you don't need to buy separate compostable liners for your caddy.
Please note we cannot accept anything other than food in your food caddy. Food waste in North Devon is processed by an Anaerobic Digestor and not composted so please don't put other compostable items in your caddy.
Please do not put wool from wool insulated packaging or any other packaging which says 'biodegradable' in your kerbside caddy, despite what it says on the packaging. Instead remove the wool liner from its plastic packaging (which should go in the black bin) and place it into into either a compost bin (if available) or dig into the soil in the garden, as the wool will release valuable nitrates back into the soil as it breaks down.
You can order replacements on our website or phone 01271 374776.
The following flattened cardboard (with packaging tape removed) and brown paper items can go in the brown bag:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Cereal boxes and other cardboard food packaging
- Toothpaste boxes
- Toilet roll and kitchen roll cores
- Cardboard egg boxes
- Card sleeves (from food trays)
- Plain greetings cards (not ones with any glitter or shiny foil)
- Brown paper and envelopes (windowed or non-windowed)
You can have up to two brown bags per household. You can order replacements on our website or phone 01271 374776.
Cardboard can also be taken to recycling centres in North Devon.
The following items can go in the green bag:
- White or coloured paper (not brown paper), including shredded paper
- White envelopes (windowed or non-windowed)
- Telephone books
- Junk mail (no plastics)
- Dry, undamaged clothes
- Undamaged shoes (in pairs)
- Undamaged blankets and bedding sheets
You can have up to two green bags per household. You can order replacements on our website or phone 01271 374776.
Please note, unfortunately we can't take wet or worn-out clothes and shoes. We also can't accept duvets, pillows, sleeping bags or heavy curtains.
We are also unable to take wrapping paper.
All recyclable items listed can also be taken to recycling centres in North Devon.
Black wheelie bin
Other remaining items can go in the black wheelie bin, including:
- Vacuum cleaner contents
- Cardboard milk or juice cartons (or, you can take these to one of DCC's recycling centres)
- Disposable nappies
- Plastic envelopes
- Plastic food wrappers - such as clingfilm and crisp packets
- Black plastic food containers (or, you can take these to one of DCC's recycling centres)
You can also download a .pdf copy of our 'What Goes Where' (pdf 204KB) leaflet