Your recycling

Your recycling service

Enter your postcode to check your collection day:

Order recycling bins, bags etc

What can you recycle?

Paper and card


  • cardboard boxes
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • envelopes (including ones with plastic windows)
  • shredded paper
  • brochures and catalogues
  • corrugated cardboard (eg delivery boxes)
  • brown paper bags
  • telephone directories
  • white computer paper
  • gift wrap
  • food and drink cartons including Tetra Paks

Please break and fold any large boxes and leave them next to your green bags.

Plastic pots and trays


  • margarine tubs
  • ice cream tubs
  • yoghurt pots
  • fruit punnets
  • ready meal trays

Please remove any film lids and absorbent pads in the bottom of trays and put these in your general rubbish.

Plastic bottles


  • drinks bottles
  • shampoo and detergent bottles

Please remove plastic tops on cartons before placing into your green bag.

For hazardous chemicals, please check the bottle for disposal instructions.

Tins and cans


  • steel and aluminium including aerosols
  • drinks cans
  • food tins

Make sure aerosols are empty but please don’t squash or pierce them.


Including: kitchen foil and foil trays. Please rinse them clean.

Glass bottles and jars

Including: glass bottles and jars including non-food bottles (eg perfume, aftershave, face creams).

All coloured glass accepted. No broken glass. Please remove and rinse lids.

What can’t you recycle?

These items go in your rubbish bin:

  • nappies
  • tissues
  • paper towels
  • tampons and other sanitary items
  • wet wipes
  • cotton wool
  • make up pads
  • toothpaste tubes (although pump action tubes are accepted)
  • medicine packaging such as foil or plastic blister packs
  • chemical bottles
  • cling film
  • freezer bags
  • hard plastic containers eg lunchboxes
  • bubble wrap
  • crisp packets
  • sweet wrappers
  • film from ready-meals
  • laminated pouches eg cat food
  • polystyrene
  • metallic wrapping paper
  • paper or card that’s stained or dirty with food, grease, paint etc
  • glittery greeting cards or glittery wrapping paper
  • wallpaper
  • mirrors
  • lightbulbs
  • plastic toys
  • general kitchenware such as cutlery, pots and pans, drinking glasses, and ceramics
  • black bags – if you put your recycling in black bags it won’t be recycled


Most waste is recyclable, so if you use your green bags properly you’re likely to have very little waste left over. Line your main kitchen bin with a green recycling bag

You can then take the green bag out on collection day. You could use a smaller bin for non recyclable waste, store it somewhere else in your home or put it straight into any outdoor containers / bins you may have.

Use an outdoor container for green bags during the week

You may want to use a bin to store full green recycling bags during the week. If you do this please ensure green bags are taken out of the bin in time on the morning of your collection.

Wash and squash all recyclable materials – they take up less space and do not encourage foxes.

Black bags

Do not put your recycling in black bags – it will go to landfill.

Foxes and rats

Rinse out all food and drink containers and lock all food waste in a food waste bin – that way there won’t be anything to attract rats or foxes.

Green bags

You can use as many green bags as you like and you don’t need to separate materials.

Do not put your recycling in black bin bags.

Report missed collection

Green bags are not provided to residents who use the orange communal recycling bins.

What can you recycle elsewhere?

Clothes and textiles

Take them to your nearest public recycling bank.

Electrical appliances and low energy bulbs

Take electrical appliances and low energy bulbs to your nearest public recycling bank.


There are battery recycling points at all Hackney Libraries.

Ink cartridges

Check with the shop where you bought them.


Check the bottle for disposal instructions.

If you live in a house or flat

Put your recycling in your green bags, tie the tops closed and leave them outside your property at street level before 7am on your collection day.

If you live on a high street

If you live on a high street, you might have to put your recycling out during set timebands.

If you have communal bins (estates and blocks)

Please put all your waste and recycling inside the bins. Don’t dump anything next to the bins or anywhere else on your estate or street.

Dumped waste is dangerous, against the law, attracts rats and ruins the area for everyone.

Report a problem with communal bins

We can provide reusable recycling bags to help you recycle:

  • place the bag inside your kitchen to collect your recyclable materials
  • when full, take your bag to your recycling bins to empty
  • return your reusable bag to your kitchen to begin collecting again

We won’t collect recycling from your door – if you leave reusable bags outside your front door, they could be removed but not returned.

You can put recycling in plastic carrier bags and put these in the recycling bins.

Please break down any large cardboard boxes and put them in the recycling bin.

Polystyrene is not recyclable – please put it your rubbish.

Why your communal recycling bins are locked

Communal recycling bins are locked to stop bags of non-recyclable waste being put into the recycling bins – it contaminates the recycling.

Use the opening at the front of the bin.

What happens to your recycling

The Council is responsible for the collection of recycling. It is a constituent borough of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), which is responsible for the disposal of household and commercial residual waste and recycling.

The arrangements for the sorting and processing of recyclable waste collected in Hackney are managed by NLWA. Mixed recyclable waste from Hackney is sent to a recycling facility in Edmonton. As much recyclable material as possible, and in particular recyclable plastic, is supplied to manufacturers predominantly in the UK.

However, there are manufacturers across the world who can use recyclable material so these opportunities are driven by global markets.

Page updated on: 30 June 2020

Hackney Recycling


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Phone line: Mon to Fri: 8am - 5pm