Bins - what can I put in them?

Brown bin

Examples of plastic items which can be recycled

Anything plastic with a number 1, 2 or 5 in the recycling triangle can go into your brown bin, no matter what shape or colour it is. Just make sure you rinse it out so there's no food left inside.

Put in your brown bin:

  • Type 1 (PET) - clear or coloured bottles of soft drink or toiletries and trays for some pre-packed food
  • Type 2 (HDPE) - softer plastic used for the likes of supermarket bottles of milk
  • Type 5 (PP) - tubs and pots which contain foods like margarine, yoghurt or sweets

Not all plastic is labelled with one of these types. You can still put these things in, even if they aren't labelled:

  • Plastic 
  • Glass bottles
  • Glass jars
  • Food tins
  • Drink cans
  • Clean foil
  • Clean foil trays
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Metal biscuit and sweet tins
  • Metal bottle caps and lids
  • Plastic bottles, including, for example, shampoo and detergent bottles
  • Plastic lids (either on or off the bottles)
  • Pots (e.g. yoghurt, soup)
  • Plastic lids, as long as they are firm plastic and not plastic film
  • Tubs (e.g. margarine, ice cream)
  • Trays/punnets (e.g. raw meat or ham trays; take-away trays; fruit and veg). Remove any film lids, film wrapping, and absorbent pads in the bottom of the trays, and put these in your general rubbish
  • Chocolate and biscuit tubs and trays
  • Other clear plastic packaging
  • Plant pots

Do not put in your brown bin:

  • Types 3 (PVC) and 4 (LDPE) - plastic film off ready meals and plastic carrier bags
  • Type 6 (polystyrene) - widey used packaging material, but which cannot easily be reformed
  • Type 7 (blended) - includes milk and juice cartons, which are a complex mix of materials that are difficult to separate
  • Paper and card
  • Cat food pouches
  • Crisp packets
  • Hard plastics - children's toys and other similar items can be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Site
  • Paint tins or tubs - these can be recycled using the Community Repaint scheme
  • Any other metal


You cannot put batteries in your brown bin. They can cause fires - even in our bin wagons. All major supermarkets and DIY stores are required to accept batteries for recycling, so take them there instead.

The item I want to recycle isn't in this list

For information about where to recycle things that you can't put into your brown bin, check the RecycleNow website