What Can I recycle?

A to Z of waste

This A to Z of re-use and recycling gives you an alphabetical list of items you may need to dispose of, recycle or re-use. 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.

Merseyside Recycling Guidelines

The councils of Merseyside and Halton offer full recycling collections from households. The details are available in this downloadable document – Merseyside Recycling Guidelines 2017 (pdf 4mb) – which is a comprehensive guide to what can and can’t be recycled from Merseyside and Halton homes.

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Z
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
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. Note: St Helens Council DOES accept empty aerosols in the pink recycling bag.
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. Remember to rinse them out. 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. 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. If you live in St Helens aluminium foil can go in your pink recycling bag (as long as it is clean). No other districts accept foil.
Appliances
When you no longer need an appliance it could be sold online, to a second-hand shop or donated to a charity. Unwanted appliances can be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre where they will be reused or recycled. Or 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.
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, alternatively retailers which sell batteries should have take back collection points. 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. Alternatively, bicycles are accepted by several local organisations for repair, re-use and re-sale - see our Community Fund page for examples and www.charitychoice.co.uk for a list of charities in your area who may accept your unwanted goods.
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 (at bottle banks please separate glass into colours - blue bottles can go into green bottle banks). 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). They can also be recycled through your kerbside household collection, or take them to a 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.
Brown paper
Brown paper (from parcels etc.) if recycled at home can be put in your recycling bin. If taking it to a Recycling Centre then it should be placed into the card/cardboard container (it causes brown flecks in new paper, resulting in whole loads of paper being rejected).
Building materials/Rubble
Large quantities of building material should not be placed in your household waste bin, and none at all should go in your recycling or garden waste bin. Second hand building materials such as roof tiles and bricks can be reused - try online buying/selling/exchanging (see http://www.merseysidewda.gov.uk/waste-recycling/a-to-z-of-waste/#O) as someone else might want them. If you cannot re-use 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
Your local Council’s doorstep recycling collection service will accept food and drink 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.
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/card
Cardboard boxes and packaging, such as pizza and cereal boxes can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres and through your local household recycling collection. Card and cardboard includes:
  • Cardboard boxes (e.g. cereal boxes, dishwasher tablet boxes). Corrugated cardboard. Online delivery boxes and cardboard envelopes (Remove all plastic inserts and polystyrene, as well as packing tape). Greetings cards without glitter (Remove any badges and batteries). Egg boxes.
  • Please remember - once soiled with grease, cardboard and card cannot be recycled because the fibres cannot be separated from the oils during the recycling process.
  • Cardboard boxes can also 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
Cards etc can be put in your kerbside recycling bin. However, cards covered in glitter can't be accepted - the glitter cannot be removed and the recycled card has to be rejected). Cards can also be donated to playgroups and schools or can be cut up and turned into gift tags or home made cards.
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 and always remember to take them shopping with you. Most large stores now charge 5p per bag. 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
Cards etc can be put in your kerbside recycling bin. However, cards covered in glitter can't be accepted - the glitter cannot be removed and the recycled card has to be rejected). Cards can also be donated to playgroups and schools or can be cut up and turned into gift tags or home made cards.
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
  • Clothes should never be thrown away. You can donate clean and good condition items to local charity shops or voluntary organisations who will be able to reuse them.
  • You can even donate unusable items (e.g. torn or ripped clothes, single socks) but keep separate from good quality materials and label bags as rags.
  • Duvets, cushions and pillows are rarely wanted by charities but can be used for upcycling into draught excluders or stuffing for arts and crafts projects.
  • You can always donate clothes to a local jumble sale or a clothes swap Shwopping event.
  • For more information about clothes recycling initiatives see http://recycleformerseyside.com/waste-prevention/clothes-reuse-and-recycling/
  • All clothes and textiles can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Coathangers
Check to see if any charity shops, community scrap stores or other community organisations 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. Most councils collect green and garden waste (some districts charge for the service - please check your area). Alternatively 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 reduced 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
Remember to shred any personal information to safeguard against identity theft. However do not put the shredded paper in your recycling bin as shredded paper cannot be recycled - simply bundle into a bag or tie together with tape/elastic and place in your non-recycling bin.
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). 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 an online selling/re-use group. Alternatively, 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 re-use shops at Old Swan and South Sefton Recycling Centres. Couches will only be accepted if they still have their fire retardant label attached. 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 (St Helens Council does accept empty aerosols in the pink recycling bag), 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 (wheelie or otherwise) into a water butt?
Egg boxes
Cardboard egg boxes can be recycled at Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres, via local paper banks or in your household recycling collection. 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
All envelopes (both window and windowless) can be recycled at through your household recycling collection, or at Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres in the paper recycling containers. Envelopes can also be reused by placing labels over the old address or used as scrap paper.
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 or local arts and crafts groups 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 - the only exception is St Helens who collect clean foil in the pink bag.
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 using online re-use/selling. 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 re-use shops 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.
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 - some charge for the service so double check. Don't include bricks, rubble or excess soil in your bin. 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 in your local kerbside recycling collection, and at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Please rinse bottles before placing in the container. Lids and tops can stay on.
  • 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 do not melt at the same temperature as bottles and jars and will 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.
  • We do not accept window glass at the Recycling Centres.
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 all kerbside recycling collection services accept glass jars. Rinse out any liquids/food and keeps tops/lids on.
Junk Mail
Most junk mail can be recycled at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre, in your kerbside recycling collections, or in local paper banks. To find out more about reducing the amount of junk mail you receive visit our 'Junk the Junk Mail' page.
Kitchen waste
Wasted food costs the average family £60 a month. What can you do to reduce the amount of food you throw away? Follow these simple tips…
  • Check what is in the cupboard, fridge and freezer before going shopping
  • Know what you are going to buy before you go shopping
  • Plan meals in advance
  • Check the dates on food regularly and use foods with the shortest date first
  • Freeze foods you will not get round to eating in time
  • Measure portion sizes to help avoid cooking or serving too much food
  • Be creative with using up leftovers (most leftovers will keep for two days in the fridge if they are well wrapped, apart from rice)
  • Use the fridge to extend the shelf-life of fruit and vegetables
  • Wrap fresh foods well or store in air-tight containers once opened
  • For more information and handy tips, advice and recipes for leftovers to help waste less food, visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.
 
  • 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.
 
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.
Leaflets and flyers
Most leaflets and flyers can be recycled at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre, in your kerbside recycling collections, or in local paper banks. To find out more about reducing the amount of junk mail you receive visit our 'Junk the Junk Mail' page.
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) 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 household 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. Card packaging for tablets or tubes can be recycled. Blister packaging cannot.
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. You could try selling it online.
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/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.
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.
Online buying/selling/exchanging
The last couple of years have seen an increase in the number of online classified websites and apps which allow people to buy, sell, give away and exchange items that they no longer need. Just a few are:
Packaging
Most products require some packaging for health and safety, product protection and 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. Try: 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. 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 paper recycling banks located throughout Merseyside. Paper includes:
    • Newspapers and supplements. Magazines, brochures and catalogues. White paper (e.g. computer paper, letters). Telephone directories. Leaflets and flyers. Envelopes (Including windows). Brown paper.
  • Please remember: Remove any plastic wrapping and free gifts from newspapers, magazines and flyers and put in the general rubbish. Paper is one of the most valuable recyclable materials – but only when it is clean.
 
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.
Plastic pump sprays
These can be recycled as plastic bottles where the trigger is made from plastic. If the trigger includes a metal spring then remove the trigger and just recycle the bottle. Remember to ensure the bottle is rinsed and empty of liquid.
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, 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, Blu Ray, DVDs 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. Or try selling them at car boot sales or through online sellers or exchange sites.
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
Just because you no longer need something doesn't mean you should throw it away. There are lots of suggestions for reuse: 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. There are local community groups who would like uniforms, such as www.wirralfuss.co.uk.
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 business and household 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, or a local Community Fund project.
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. Check with the charity or on the shoe bank whether they take all shoes or just wearable shoes.
Sofa
If the sofa is in a good condition it may be able to be reused - try contacting an online selling/re-use group. Alternatively, 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 re-use shops at Old Swan and South Sefton Recycling Centres. Sofas will only be accepted if they still have their fire retardant label attached. Furniture can also be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, and your local Council also offers a service for bulky household waste.
Soil
This is best kept for use in your garden where possible. Small amounts of excess soil can go into the green waste bins and taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centres. Soil should not be put into any recycling, food or general waste collection bins.
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.
Telephone directories
Telephone directories (e.g. Yellow Pages) 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 paper recycling banks located throughout Merseyside.
Telephones
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. You could try selling it online.
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
  • Clothes should never be thrown away. You can donate clean and good condition items to local charity shops or voluntary organisations who will be able to reuse them.
  • You can even donate unusable items (e.g. torn or ripped clothes, single socks) but keep separate from good quality materials and label bags as rags.
  • Duvets, cushions and pillows are rarely wanted by charities but can be used for upcycling into draught excluders or stuffing for arts and crafts projects.
  • You can always donate clothes to a local jumble sale or a clothes swap Shwopping event.
  • For more information about clothes recycling initiatives see http://recycleformerseyside.com/waste-prevention/clothes-reuse-and-recycling/
  • All clothes and textiles can be recycled at all of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Timber
This can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Tin cans
Food tins and drinks cans can be recycled in your household recycling collection, or at a Household Waste Recycling Centre. Remember to empty and rinse the items (as leftover foods or liquids can cause contamination) and  put the lids inside the tin. We DO NOT recycle the following items:
  • Biscuit/chocolate tins and their lids.
  • Aerosols. Note: Aerosols ARE accepted for kerbside household recycling in St Helens.
  • Aluminium foil (e.g. for baking/covering food). Note: Aluminium foil is accepted for kerbside household recycling in St Helens.
  • Aluminium foil trays (e.g. take-away trays).
  • Aluminium tubes (e.g. tomato puree).
  • Metal containers for chemicals (e.g. white spirits/paints).
  • General kitchen ware (e.g. cutlery, pots and pans).
  • Any other metal items (e.g. kettles, irons, pipes, white goods).
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/local re-use groups can be a good way to pass on old videos, consoles and games to other people, as can online selling/exchanging. Non-working games consoles can be brought to a Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Washing machines
Washing machines and other large domestic appliances can be taken to all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres.
White goods
White goods (such as Fridges and freezers) are accepted at all Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres. Your local Council may provide a service for unwanted white goods, contact them to arrange a collection of bulky household waste. There are also local charities/community organisations that will take white goods for repair and re-use e.g. CreateUK or Bulky Bob’s. 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
Wood and timber can be recycled at all of Merseyside's Household Waste Recycling Centres. Wood can also be re-used in many ways from home DIY to arts and craft projects to upcycling and use by local allotments and community environments.
Yellow pages
Telephone directories can be recycled in all local kerbside recycling collections.
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