What Can I recycle?

A to Z of waste

This A to Z of waste gives you an alphabetical list of items you may need to dispose of. This is by no means a comprehensive list but we are always trying to keep it updated. If you have an item or items you no longer need and they aren’t on the list please call us on 0151 255 1444 or fill in our Contact Form for advice.

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Abandoned cars
Abandoning vehicles at the roadside or in a field is illegal and if you are caught you may be prosecuted. If there is an abandoned car on the public highway you should contact your local council who will arrange to have it taken away. The removal and disposal of abandoned vehicles costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds a year. Up to 80% of a car can be recycled scrap - they should be taken to a scrap metal merchant for recycling and disposal. Look in the Yellow Pages under 'Car & Commercial Vehicle Dismantlers' and 'Scrap Metal Merchants' for contact details. Car Transplants also recycle cars - see www.car-transplants.co.uk.
Acid
Unused household acids used at home may be household hazardous waste. Do not pour them down the drain. Please contact us for advice.
Aerosol cans
Nearly all aerosols are CFC-free but most replacements contain other greenhouse gases which are not environmentally friendly. Preferably buy pump sprays instead of aerosols. Do not place in a recycling bank or kerbside collection service, unless otherwise stated, as they can explode when crushed. Dispose of in a rubbish bin, do not crush or place on a fire.
Aluminium cans
Aluminium cans won’t stick to a magnet. Take them to a Household Waste Recycling Centre, place in your kerbside collection or bring them to a can bring bank in your area. Local schools or other groups may also collect cans for recycling. Recycling aluminium cans to make new drinks cans save 95% of the energy needed to make them from raw material. Remember foil milk bottle tops, foil or pie container should not go into your aluminium recycling as these cause problems when reprocessing. For more information on aluminium recycling also see Alupro's website www.alupro.org.uk.
Aluminium foil
This can be recycled at Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Appliances
Try to reuse the appliance when you no longer need it by selling it to a second-hand shop or by donating it to a charity or jumble sale. Unwanted appliances can be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre where they will be reused or recycled as scrap metal. You can call your local council to arrange a bulky household waste collection of large appliances.
Asbestos
Asbestos is a hazardous substance and has health implications. Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) provides a free disposal service to Merseyside residents with cement bonded asbestos products.  Do not take to a Household Waste Recycling Centre without an appointment as it will not be accepted. Call us on 0151 255 1444.
Ash
Coal ash - please place in your rubbish bin for disposal. Wood ash - is excellent for placing around the garden as a soil improver, as it contains valuable minerals, or place it in your compost bin or heap, in small quantities.
Batteries
Domestic - millions of these are thrown away each year. They go to landfill sites where they could cause damage to people and the environment if their heavy metals leak out into the soil and water supply. Use the mains power wherever possible and invest in rechargeable batteries to reduce rubbish and save you cash. You can recycle them at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Car Batteries - these can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Bedding and blankets
Please donate clean unwanted items to local charity shops or voluntary organisations such as The Salvation Army or Oxfam, who will be able to reuse the bedding. Re-use as much as possible e.g. for dust sheets, children's play materials and animal bedding. They can also be placed in textile recycling banks at our Household Waste Recycling Centres or at bring banks.
Beds
Can be reused by donating to charities. All of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres accept beds and mattresses. Your local Council offers a bulky household waste collection service for large bulky items: Knowsley Liverpool Sefton St Helens Wirral
Beer kegs
Beers kegs and casks – these should remain the property of the owning brewer or container owner, whose name is normally found on the upper surface of the container. If you know of abandoned kegs, casks or dispense gas cylinders then contact Keg Watch for FREE (by landline) on 0808 100 1945 or via www.kegwatch.co.uk.
Bicycles
Bicycles are accepted at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. If you have a bicycle you no longer want you could give it to a friend or family member. Bicycles are also collected by Re-Cycle, the Bicycle Charity. The bicycles are sent to developing countries where they are repaired and reused. See www.re-cycle.org for more information.
Books
All of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres will accept books. If you have books you no longer want why not give them to a friend or family member. Likewise, most charities will accept books if they are in decent condition.
Bottles
Glass bottles: can be recycled in your local council’s kerbside recycling collection service, at a Household Waste Recycling Centre and at local bottle banks. Please separate glass into colours (blue bottles can go into green bottle banks) and remove the lids. Buy milk in glass bottles and return them for reuse or buy economy size bottles which create less waste. Plastic bottles: reuse as much as possible (e.g. make plant pots) or if your local kerbside collection accepts them recycle them. You can currently take plastic bottles to all Merseyside's Recycling Centre - see the Materials Matrix on our HWRC page for more details.
Brake Fluid
Brake fluid can be taken to all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres as engine/motor oil.
Building materials/Rubble
Old building material should not be placed in your bin. Second hand building materials such as roof tiles and bricks can be reused. If you cannot reuse them yourself contact second hand building merchants/reclamation yards. This type of waste is accepted at our Household Waste Recycling Centres – if you have a lot then you should think about hiring a skip or taking it to a private transfer station. Materials from private contractors and trade firms is not accepted.
Bulky Household Waste Collections
Your District Council can arrange for the collection of bulky waste from your home: Knowsley Liverpool Sefton St Helens Wirral
Cans
Both aluminium and steel cans can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. There are also many smaller can banks situated throughout Merseyside – please contact your local council or check the bank locator for your nearest recycling facilities. Your local Council’s recycling collection service may accepts cans.
Caravans
An unsellable caravan can be taken to a scrap yard so that it can be stripped down and reused or recycled. Look in your local telephone directory or search online for your local dealer. The following organisations may also be of use when trying to dispose of an old caravan: Copy Clough Caravans - 01254 384316 A&A Caravan Breakers - 01254 233942 Caravan Salvage - 0161 6527074 Caravans Direct - 0161 6653401 The Camping and Caravan Club - 0845 130 7631
Cardboard
Cardboard boxes and packaging, such as pizza and cereal boxes can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. Cardboard Items not to be placed into the cardboard containers are: paper, magazines, waxed/grease coated card. Cardboard boxes can be reused as storage. Smaller boxes and packaging can also be donated to nurseries and primary schools for play material. A small amount of torn up cardboard can be added to your compost bin to remedy very wet sloppy compost and also helps air circulation.
Cards, postcards and greetings cards
Can be donated to playgroups and schools or can be cut up and turned into gift tags or home made cards. Your local playgroup, nursery or school may be able to use them.
Carpets and rugs
Carpets that are not reusable can be laid as mulch and local allotments and gardening groups may welcome them. Do not place unwanted carpets in your rubbish bin. Please contact your local Council for a bulky household collection or take to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre. Good quality carpets and rugs can be sold second-hand or donated to charitable organisations, voluntary groups or furniture reuse groups.
Carrier bags
Use reusable shopping bags whenever possible. Some shops offer money back or some form of reward to all customers reusing their old carrier bags. Most supermarkets (e.g. Sainsbury's, Tesco, Safeway and Marks & Spencer) have a 'bag for life' scheme - large, tough, reusable shopping bags - and when the bag can no longer be used the supermarket will replace it with a new bag free of charge and recycle the old one. See your local supermarket for details. Some supermarkets also provide carrier bag recycling bins for the public to use.
Catalogues
Catalogues can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, with your kerbside collection or at paper bring banks across Merseyside.
CDs and DVDs
If you wish to get rid of a small number of CDs and DVDs then charity shops will take them. Or try selling them at carboot sales, recycle swap shops or through online sellers such as e-bay. All of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres will accept CDs and DVDs.
Ceramics
If unbroken, they can be donated to your local charity shop. Please do not place into glass bottle banks, as it cannot be recycled with glass and will mean the contents of the entire recycling bank will have to be thrown away instead. Broken ceramics and china helps drainage when placed at the bottom of plant pots - or it should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in your rubbish bin for safe disposal.
Charities
Local charities accept all sorts of items that people no longer want. See www.charitychoice.co.uk for a list of charities in your area who may accept your unwanted goods.
Christmas cards
Can be placed in the Christmas card recycling boxes located at participating shops and stores throughout Merseyside during the Christmas and New Year period. Try to buy cards made from recycled paper, available in charity merchandise catalogues, charity and fair trade shops, e.g. Oxfam, and large stationers.
Christmas Trees
Can be recycled at all Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres as garden and green waste, or contact your local Council to find out about local schemes at Christmas. Most trees will be made into woodchips that can be used as mulch. Consider purchasing a tree with a root so that it can be planted in the garden and used the following year or purchase an artificial tree that can be reused for many years.
Clothes (see also textiles)
Clothes, unless in really bad condition, should never be thrown away. You can donate clean and good condition items to local charity shops or voluntary organisations such as The Salvation Army or Oxfam, who will be able to reuse them. Old clothes can be put into your kerbside recycling collections. Clothes and textiles that are not suitable for donation can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Coathangers
Check to see if any charity shops could make use of them for displaying clothes.
Collections
District Councils are responsible for collections of refuse and kerbside recycling both dry recyclate and green waste collections: Knowsley MBC Liverpool CC Sefton MBC St Helens MBC Wirral MBC
Commercial waste
You can contact your local Council as they offer some trade waste services or contact a private contractor. Look in a telephone directory or search online for details. Some commercial waste, such as paper and card, could be collected for recycling. Again, search for local recycling companies. Alternatively, call the Environment Agency (0870 850 6506 or www.environment-agency.gov.uk) if you have to dispose of commercial waste. We do offer a trade waste service at our Huyton, Old Swan and Bidston Recycling Centres - please see our trade waste page for more details.
Composting
Around a third of our household waste can be composted, including fruit and vegetable leftovers, tea bags, leaves, weeds, dead flowers, grass cuttings and general garden waste. Large quantities of autumn leaves are best composted separately. Compost is a rich fertiliser for the garden which will enrich and improve soil structure. Composting makes good use of material that might otherwise be dumped and put into landfill sites. Using compost instead of peat helps save rapidly disappearing areas important for wildlife. Green garden waste can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre for composting or you can carry out home composting look out for offers by your local Council for compost bins at reduce cost. Go to our composting page for more information.
Computer monitors
If your computer monitor isn’t reusable then you can bring it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre to be recycled.
Computers (see also electrical appliances)
Computers can be reconditioned or parts taken from them and recycled. If your computer isn't reusable then you can bring it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre where it will be recycled. Make sure you delete all personal information from the hard drive before disposal.
Confidential waste
The Data Protection Act places companies under statutory obligation to ensure the safeguard of information. When companies are disposing of large amounts of confidential waste, especially in paper form, it can be recycled. Check a telephone directory or search online for companies who provide confidential collection and destruction services for sensitive documents and data. Remember to shred any personal information to safe guard against identity theft.
Cooking oil
Cooking oil is accepted at all our Household Waste Recycling Centres. There are also additional containers for leftover plastic bottles. No oil from businesses is accepted as this is trade waste and a private contractor should be contacted. Other methods of disposal - Old vegetable oil generated by households should not be poured down the drain. If you have a home composter you can pour small quantities onto it (it's best to mix it first with paper and cardboard). If not, put one polythene bag inside another (in case of holes), fill with absorbent material and fill slowly with cold oil, then place in the dustbin. Other uses for it include making an oil and sand mixture to clean garden forks and spades, or you can dilute the oil with paraffin and rub onto outdoor wooden furniture to add life to it.
Corks
Chopped up pieces of natural cork can be composted or you can use pieces of cork in the base of plant pots to help your plants retain moisture.
Couch
If the couch is in a good condition it may be able to be reused - try contacting a local re-use group such as http://uk.freecycle.org or selling it online. Alternatively, if it is in a reasonable condition, unwanted furniture will be accepted and sometimes collected by charity shops. Have a look in a telephone directory or search online for a full list of your local charity shops. There are charity collection points at Old Swan and South Sefton Recycling Centres. Furniture can also be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, and your local Council also offers a service for bulky household waste.
Crockery and cutlery
Charitable organisations will take most kitchen utensils.
Curtains
Can be accepted at Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres as textiles. Many charities will accept curtains if they are in good condition.
Dead animals
If you find a dead animal on the roadside that could cause an accident, contact your local Council's cleansing department, who will arrange for the animal to be collected.
Deodorant cans
Do not place in a recycling bank or recycling collection service, unless otherwise stated, as they can explode when crushed. Dispose of in a rubbish bin, do not crush or place on a fire.
Dustbins
Old metal dustbins make ideal compost bins. For more information see Composting. Or why not convert your old bin into a water butt?
Egg boxes
Cardboard egg boxes can be recycled at Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres or via local paper banks. Alternatively, tear them up to use for composting. Try to avoid polystyrene or plastic egg boxes as these cannot be broken down or recycled. Some local butchers and grocers will take egg boxes for re-use.
Electrical appliances
(see also fridge/freezers, bulky household items and computers) You can bring your small electrical items to any Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres. Electrical items include everything from battery operated appliances to everything you plug into electrical sockets. If your electrical item is in good working condition you may be able to sell items to a second-hand shop. Charity shops often accept some items and appliances but it is advisable to check with them first. Your local Council offers a bulky household waste collection service for larger items, contact them to arrange collection. Also, consider hiring specialist tools or equipment for one-off jobs, or if you already own the items let friends and neighbours know you are willing to share.
Engine oil & filters
These can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. It is illegal to pour Engine oil down the drain or burn it.
Envelopes
Remember to buy envelopes made from recycled or environmentally friendly paper. These can be bought from most stationery stockists, many large supermarkets and charity shops such as Oxfam. Envelopes can be reused by placing labels over the old address or used as scrap paper. White windowless envelopes can be recycled at Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres in the paper recycling containers. Brown envelopes are made from different fibres and should be recycled with your cardboard.
Fire Extinguishers
To dispose of a fire extinguisher call CylinderCare on Tel: 0800 091 0000, visit www.wastecare.co.uk/services/cylindercare or contact your local fire brigade.
Flower pots
These can be returned to some garden centres for re-use. If broken, clay pots can be placed at the bottom of new planter pots to help improve drainage. Please do not put plastic or clay pots into kerbside garden collections or green waste at the Household Waste Recycling Centres as this contaminates the load.
Fluorescent tubes
Fluorescent tubes can be taken to all our Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Fly Tipping
If rubbish has been discarded in a public place please contact your local Council or the Environment Agency (0870 850 6506 / www.environment-agency.gov.uk).
Foil
Aluminium foil can be brought to all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres and deposited in Scrap Metal containers. Most kerbside recycling collections do not accept foil.
Foreign coins
The Royal national Institute for the Blind (RNIB) will take British coins (new or out of date). Call their Fund Raising Enquiry Line on T: 0345 345 0054 for more details. Oxfam also raise money from recycling coinage - visit Oxfam's Stamps and Coins Unit at www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/donate-goods/what-you-can-donate/donating-stamps-and-coins.
Fridges/Freezers
The disposal of fridges and freezers are governed by the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations. Fridges and freezers contain CFCs as a coolant - this needs to be removed and disposed of safely. The metal can also be taken for recycling too. All Household Waste Recycling Centres will take refrigerators. Your local Council also offers a service for bulky household waste, contact them to arrange collection. If your old appliance still works, someone else may want it. Try contacting a local re-use group such as http://uk.freecycle.org/ or you could sell it online.
Furniture
If the item of furniture is in a good condition it may be able to be reused - try contacting a local re-use group such as http://uk.freecycle.org or selling it online. Alternatively, if it is in a reasonable condition, unwanted furniture will be accepted and sometimes collected by charity shops. Have a look in a telephone directory or search online for a full list of your local charity shops. Furniture can also be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, and your local Council also offers a service for bulky household waste.
Garden tools
Charities and environmental groups may welcome unwanted tools, as may local re-use groups such as http://uk.freecycle.org.
Garden waste
Garden waste, such as grass cuttings, weeds, prunings and leaves, can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Most councils run a kerbside collection scheme for garden waste. Home compost bins are available which will enable you to compost at home and some local councils offer a green waste kerbside recycling collection service. For more information see Composting.
Gas bottles
Household Waste Recycling Centres do not accept gas bottles or cylinders. Gas bottles should be returned to the retailer or your original supplier where they will be reused or be refilled - check the bottle for a phone number.  If that doesn't help try here for advice - www.uklpg.org/advice-and-information/cylinder-recovery/ Do not place gas cylinders in your rubbish bin because they may explode if they are crushed.
Glass
Glass bottles and jars can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Please rinse bottles before placing in the container. Most local kerbside recycling collections accept glass jars and bottles. We do not accept window glass at these centres. Glass jars can be reused as storage containers or can be filled with home made preserves or pickles. Empty wine bottles also make good candle holders and vases. When possible glass bottles should be colour separated into clear, green and brown and put into the correct containers. If you have blue bottles these should be placed into the green glass recycling bank. Try to buy refillable and returnable bottles where possible. For example buy milk and fruit juices from your local milkman who will collect empty bottles. Other glass products (e.g. pyrex, drinking glasses, crystal, mirrors or window panes) should not placed into glass recycling banks as these types of glass contaminate the recycling process. Small amounts of this type of glass can be disposed of in your rubbish bin, but please wrap in newspaper. Unwanted mirrors, drinking glasses, plates, bowls or crystal items which are in good condition can be donated to a charity shop or sold to a second hand shop.
Glasses/spectacles
Some opticians take old spectacles to send overseas to third world countries.
Gypsum
Gypsum and plasterboard can be taken to any of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Hazardous waste
Must be disposed of carefully. Please click here to find out more about our hazardous waste service.
Household Waste Recycling Centres
There are Recycling Centres across Merseyside where householders can take unwanted items for recycling and disposal. Remember just because you no longer want something doesn't mean it has no value. For details of your nearest Centre and what items are accepted follow this link.
Ink (printer) cartridges
All Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres accept printer cartridges. Refilling ink cartridges using a refill kit is much cheaper than buying a new cartridge so look in your phonebook for local providers. Many charities also now collect used ink cartridges, including to Scope http://www.scope.org.uk and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation www.roycastle.org.
Jars
(see Glass bottles) Try to reuse them (for example preserving food or as containers for pins, screws). All Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres  will accept glass jars, and most kerbside recycling collection services accept glass jars.

Junk Mail (see also Paper and magazines)

Most junk mail can be recycled at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre, in your kerbside paper collections, or in local paper banks. To find out more about junk mail visit our 'Junk the Junk Mail' page.
Kitchen waste
Some local councils now provide facilities for collecting kitchen waste in their kerbside collection. If yours does not, you can put it in a home composter to make compost. However cooked food or meat products should be composted in a womery. See composting for more advice. Instead of throwing away food, think about using up leftovers to create something new, or try and buy less in the first place. www.recycleformerseyside.com is full of ideas for leftover recipes.
Landfill sites
For further information on the closed landfill sites MRWA is responsible for please see the following link. MRWA does not operate any open landfill sites. Enquiries concerning the disposal of commercial or industrial waste should be directed to the nearest landfill site where they will be able to quote for the disposal of such waste.
Licensing
Licensing information for waste is available from the Environment Agency (www.environment-agency.gov.uk / Tel: 0370 850 6506) for waste sites and waste operations.
Light bulbs
All lightbulbs can be recycled at all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres. Try and buy energy efficient/saving light bulbs, especially for places where you leave the lights on for long periods. These will last much longer than a standard light bulb and use much less energy, saving you money in the long run.
Litter
Litter breeds litter and it costs Local Authorities thousands of pounds a year to deal with it. The 'Keep Britain Tidy' group has worked long and hard to clean up streets blighted by litter. Check out current campaigns on www.keepbritaintidy.org.
Magazines
(see also Paper and Junk mail) Think about donating old magazines to your local Doctor or Dentist Surgery. If not always recycle them. Magazines can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres, with your kerbside collection or at paper bring banks across Merseyside.
Mattresses
Mattresses can be taken to all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Medicine
Most unwanted medicine can be returned to pharmacies and chemists. Old medicine bottles can be returned to Boots stores and clean, empty bottles can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres, with your kerbside collection or at bottle banks across Merseyside.
Metal
Many metals can be re-used by the scrap metal industry. If you have a large amount it will be worthwhile taking it directly to a scrap metal merchant, see a telephone directory or search online for local dealers. Alternatively, metal can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Milk bottles
Try and buy your milk in returnable glass bottles and make sure that you return them to the milkman. On average the glass milk bottles used by the milkmen are reused 24 times. This saves energy and resources each time they are returned to the milkman. Please do not take them to a Household Waste Recycling Centre and don't place in your kerbside container or in a 'bottle bank'.
Mobile phones
All small electrical items can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. There are several companies who pay for mobile phones, and some charities take phones also.
Nappies
Disposable nappies can take hundreds of years to break down in landfill sites. If you have to use disposable nappies choose ones that are dioxin free and/or unbleached. This should be marked on the packaging. A better alternative is to use cotton or terry towelling "real" nappies which can be reused over and over again - see our real nappy page for more information.
Newspapers
(see also Paper) Newspapers can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres, with your local Council's kerbside collection service or at bring banks across Merseyside.
Office paper
See Paper and confidential waste.
Oil
Pouring any oil down the drain is not only illegal but also harmful to humans and the environment. A lot of surface water drains lead to the nearest stream and oil may cause pollution, affect aquatic life and contaminate water supplies. It is also harmful to put oil in soil or sewers. Motor oil and cooking oil can be recycled at all Household waste Recycling Centres. If you have large amounts of oil it is best to contact a specialist organisation - see your phone listings for local operators.
Packaging
Most products require some packaging for health or product information reasons but you can try to avoid buying items with excess packaging. Packaging components include -
  • Paper and board
  • Plastics - rigid and flexible
  • Glass
  • Metals - tinplate and aluminium
Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres recycle some packaging as do most kerbside local collections, e.g. Amazon cardboard packaging. Try to reduce the amount of waste packaging by:
  • Buying lightly or non-packaged products
  • Avoiding wasteful or gimmicky packaging
  • Refusing extra bagging
  • Using products with refillable containers whenever possible.
Try and reuse plastic containers before throwing them away e.g. ice cream tubs for storage containers, yoghurt pots for plant seedlings. Local playgroups and schools may want plastic containers for play materials.
Paint
Paints, varnishes and wood stains can contain hazardous chemicals or solvents including heavy metals. Do not pour paint down a drain. Local community groups, playgroups or charities will often welcome donations of useable paints. Many DIY superstores will take back unwanted paint, call them to check. If you have many pots they can be classed as hazardous waste - please click here to find out more. If you only have a couple of part full tins of paint then leave the lid off (if it's safe to do so) - eventually they will dry and harden and can be put into your normal non-recycling bin. Residents can contact re-use venture Recipro who may accept re-usable paint - 08442 253 000 or http://www.recipro-uk.com/. Some of our Recycling Centres can accept paint.
Paper
Paper can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Local councils collect paper as part of their kerbside recycling collection and there are also many recycling banks located throughout Merseyside.
Plasterboard
Plasterboard and gypsum can be taken to any of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Polystyrene (expanded)

If expanded polystyrene is part of the packaging of electrical appliances, you can ask at the time if the appliance is delivered and if the company can take back the packaging to be reused or recycled. CDP Services in Wirral can recycle polystyrene packaging chips (also called loosefill or peanuts). They can be contacted via: CDP Services Wirral Ltd, PO Box 42, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 8FP, Tel: 0151 653 8042.
Plastics
Plastic bags: 500 million plastic bags are used in the UK every week and every plastic bag thrown into landfill takes 500 years to decay. Tesco and Safeway supermarkets now have banks for recycling plastic bags/carrier bags. Some stores also have reward schemes for reusing bags. Sainsbury's, Tesco, Safeway and Marks & Spencer have 'a bag for life' scheme. These are reusable shopping bags, when the bag can no longer be used the supermarket will replace it with a new bag and recycle the old one. See your local supermarket for details. However, when shopping why not take your own bag or reuse your old carrier bags as liners for rubbish whenever possible. Plastic Bottles: Plastic bottles are accepted at all of our Household Waste Recycling Centres - check our HWRC page- and most local kerbside recycling collections. Plastic Containers: try and reuse plastic containers before throwing them away e.g. ice cream tubs for storage containers, yoghurt pots for plant seedlings. Local playgroups and schools may want plastic containers for play materials. Items such as tubs, trays and pots aren't recycled on Merseyside. Plastic Cups: aren't currently recycled on Merseyside. However, they can be recycled into plastic pencils and rulers. Find out more at www.remarkable.co.uk and www.save-a-cup.co.uk. Large plastics: All of our Household Waste Recycling Centres accept hard plastics, which includes - crates, empty barrels, empty drums, buckets, car bumpers, childrens' toys, bins, water and gas pipes, empty paint pots, plant pots, plastic pallets, plastic trays, drainage pipework, drainage chambers, plastic furniture.
Postage Stamps
Collecting Stamps can help raise money for charities.
Postcards
Playgroups and schools may want postcards for play materials. Or, they can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres in the cardboard skip.
Printer Cartridges
Printer cartridges can be recycled at all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Records, tapes and CDs
Can be donated to hospital radio stations, playgroups, schools and charity shops. Unwanted CDs can be reused as drinks coasters, or make excellent scarecrows if hung shiny side up, as the reflected light from the CDs scares the birds. Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres accept CD's.
Recycling Credits
Recycling Credits is a system of payment for the recycling of household waste. MRWA administer the recycling credit scheme on behalf of the District Councils in Merseyside and will pay Recycling Credits to approved third parties (with the main criteria being non-profit making organisations). To download more information about Recycling Credits click here, for a Registration Form click here and for a Claim Form click here.
Reuse
(see also Community recycling and Scrapstores) Just because you no longer need something doesn't mean you should throw it away. There are lots of suggestions for reuse:
  • Donate to local charities and community groups
  • Car boot sales are a great way of getting rid of unwanted items - a list of regular UK car boot sales can be found at www.carbootjunction.com (click to find a list of Merseyside car boot events)
  • Contact a local recycle network such as Freecycle.
For more tips visit www.recycleformerseyside.com.
Rubber
See also Tyres.
Rubble
(see also Building material) Small amounts can be accepted at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. If you have a large amount to dispose of then consider hiring a skip.
School uniforms
Most schools require uniforms so don't throw old ones away. Check with the school to see if they raise funds by selling old uniforms. If they are beyond repair then they can be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre or a local bring bank.
Scrap metal
Can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. If you have a large amount it will be worthwhile taking it directly to a scrap metal merchant, see phone listings for local dealers.
Scrap vehicles
Abandoning vehicles at the roadside or in a field is illegal and if you are caught you may be prosecuted. If there is an abandoned car on the public highway you should contact your local council who will arrange to have it taken away. The removal and disposal of abandoned vehicles costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds a year. Up to 80% of a car can be recycled scrap – they should be taken to a scrap metal merchant for recycling and disposal. Look in the Yellow Pages under ‘Car & Commercial Vehicle Dismantlers’ and ‘Scrap Metal Merchants’ for contact details. Car Transplants also recycle cars – see www.car-transplants.co.uk.
Scrapstores
These collect waste such as fabric remnants, wood offcuts, unwanted paint, paper etc. from commercial and industrial sources. Community groups can then use various materials for creative play - contact Merseyside Play Action Council (MPAC) Recycling Project on 0151 707 2090 or http://www.merseyplay.com/ who may be able to reuse or recycle items.
Shoes
Shoes can be put into shoe banks which are located around Merseyside (including Household Waste Recycling Centres). Please remember to tie pairs together. You can also donate shoes to charity shops.
Sofa
If the sofa is in a good condition it may be able to be reused - try contacting a local re-use group such as http://uk.freecycle.org or selling it online. Alternatively, if it is in a reasonable condition, unwanted furniture will be accepted and sometimes collected by charity shops. Have a look in a telephone directory or search online for a full list of your local charity shops. There are charity collection points at Old Swan and South Sefton Recycling Centres. Furniture can also be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, and your local Council also offers a service for bulky household waste.
Spectacles/glasses
Unwanted glasses can make a real difference to people in developing countries, so please donate yours to the many opticians who take part in these schemes.
Steel Cans
(see also Cans) Steel cans can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres, placed in your kerbside collection or take to a can bank in your area.
Telephones
(see also Mobile phones) Many charity shops take working phones, check with them first.
Televisions
If you have a working television that you no longer want why not take it to a charity shop or see if a friend or family member would like it? You can also bring televisions (working and non-working) to all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Tetra Paks
All Household Waste Recycling Centres on Merseyside accept beverage cartons and Tetra Paks.
Textiles
Can be accepted at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Please donate clean unwanted items to local charity shops or voluntary organisations such as The Salvation Army or Oxfam, who will be able to reuse them.
Timber
This can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Tools
Tools for Self Reliance (www.tfsr.org) is a charity run by volunteers who refurbish tools to be sent abroad. They deliver aid to groups of artisans in poor communities, and ensure that the right tools get to the right hands. Workaid (www.workaid.org) is a charity which helps tackle poverty in developing countries by supplying tools for those who are in need. Feed the Children (www.feedthechildren.org) is working with Nottcutts Garden Centres, they collect tools to help the children in developing countries. Car boot sales are also a great way of selling unwanted tools - check out www.carbootjunction.com for information on your local car boot events.
Toys and games
If you have toys and games you no longer want why not give them to a friend or family member. Likewise, most charity shops, children's homes, playschools, hospitals and jumble sales will accept toys and games if they are in decent condition. Large plastics can be taken to all Household Waste Recycling Centres - take a look at our Materials Matrix to see which is the closest to you.
Tyres
Tyres can no longer be landfilled. Recycled tyres are used as a fuel base for power stations and crumbing for compounds used in making safer playground surfaces. Tyres can be accepted at all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres. Some tyre outlets (ATS, National Tyre Service Quick Fit etc.) accept old tyres for a small charge for recycling or safe disposal. Look in a telephone directory or search online for their details and contact them for advice.
VHS/Videogames
Carboot sales or local re-use groups such as Freecycle can be a good way to pass on old videos and games to other people.
Washing machines
Washing machines and other large domestic appliances can be taken to all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres.
White goods
Fridges and freezers can be accepted at all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres. Your local Council may provides a service for unwanted white goods, contact them to arrange a collection of bulky household waste. Some large electrical retailers will collect broken, unwanted white goods when delivering new items, but you should check before delivery. Broken cookers can be taken to all Household Waste Recycling Centres and placed in the scrap metal containers.
Wood
(also see timber) Wood and timber can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Yellow pages
Telephone directories can be recycled in most local kerbside recycling collections.
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