Lancashire recycles

Do the right thing and use the right bin!

Recycling earns...Landfill costs

Everything that goes in your rubbish bin has a cost to collect and dispose of it. Last year in Lancashire, we collected nearly 400,000 tonnes of waste from households and our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

The annual cost of landfilling Lancashire's household waste is £26 million

This figure is rising every year and if we continue producing waste at the rate we currently do, it is estimated it could cost the council closer to £40 million by 2025.

We could save £4 million every year just by putting the right things in the right recycling bin – this money could be spent on delivering vital services across Lancashire.

What recycling are YOU missing? Do the right thing and use the right bin!

Watch our short animation to find out how we can all make a difference to the environment by recycling a bit more.

A-Z of recycling - What do I do with...?

Recycling is a simple idea but there are some items that you may be unsure about. Our simple A to Z guide lets you know what to do with those items you are unsure about.


  • Aerosols - can either be recycled as part of your kerbside collection service with your cans or can be taken to your local Recycling Centre. Please ensure that aerosols are empty and are not pierced. This is especially important for aerosols that contain lighter fluid, which can explode when they are crushed.
  • Aluminium cans - can either be recycled as part of your kerbside collections with your tins and cans or can be taken to your local Recycling Centre. Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely as reprocessing does not damage its structure.
  • Aluminium foil - clean foil can be recycled as part of your kerbside collection service.


  • Batteries - Household and car batteries should be recycled separately at your local Recycling Centre, and NOT be put in any of your kerbside bins. There have recently been a number of fires in waste collection vehicles caused by batteries in waste.  A number of primary and secondary schools in Lancashire also collect household batteries for recycling.
  • Bicycles - Why not pass your unwanted bicycle to a friend or neighbour to use? Some charities and community groups will accept donated bicycles which are in good condition. Bicycles can also be taken to the Recycling Centre.
  • Bottles - See "plastic" and "glass"


  • Cans - can be recycled as part of your kerbside collection service. Please only use this collection for food and drink cans, aerosols and clean tinfoil. For all other metals see "Scrap Metal". Every steel can is 100% recyclable. It can be recycled over and over again into products like bicycles and, of course, new cans.
  • Cardboard - can either be recycled as part of your kerbside collection service or can be taken to your local Recycling Centre.
  • Christmas Trees - Your local waste collection authority may collect Christmas trees. Real Christmas trees can also be taken to the Recycling Centre for composting.


  • Electrical appliances - You can take unwanted electrical appliances to the Recycling Centre. This includes both white goods, like washing machines, and small electrical items, like kettles.


  • Glass - Glass bottles and jars are collected as part of your kerbside recycling collection. They are also accepted at any of the Recycling Centres. Don't forget to include perfume bottles and other cosmetics containers that are made of glass. Other types of glass such as sheet glass, pyrex and drinking glasses should not be included in these collections. This type of glass should be taken to the Recycling Centre and disposed of in the hardcore skip.


  • Hard Plastic - This is the term used to describe the plastic used to make plastic garden furniture and children's toys. We now have containers where you can recycle this kind of plastic on the majority of our recycling centres. Anything that is clearly only made from only plastic is suitable, but anything which is mixed with another material, such as metal or fabric or insulating foam is unsuitable to go in the container.

    It's really important that only the right kind of items go in these skips so please ask the site staff to help you.


  • Irons - Irons cannot be recycled in your bin home or disposed of in your general rubbish bin. Please take them to the Recycling Centre and dispose of them in the Small Electrical container.


  • Junk Mail - Junk mail can be recycled in your paper and card recycling bin (remove all plastic wrapping first) or recycled at your local Recycling Centre.


  • Kitchen Foil - Clean aluminium foil and foil trays can be recycled in your mixed recycling bin at home or at your local Recycling Centre.


  • Left Overs - Don’t throw away the left overs from Christmas Dinner this year. Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website and find a recipe to use up the food that didn't get eaten.



  • Metal - See "Scrap metal"


  • Paper - Paper is included in the recycling collection carried out at the kerbside by your local council. Alternatively you can recycle paper at any Recycling Centre or at your local recycling bank.
  • Plastic bottles - At present in Lancashire we can only recycle plastic bottles made from PETE or HDPE. If you are unsure, look for the triangular symbol on the bottom. If the symbol contains either a number 1 or 2 then it is the correct kind of plastic. Remember to check all your plastic bottles as even those containing, for example, shampoo, fabric softener and washing up liquid may be made from PETE or HDPE. Plastic bottles are collected at the kerbside as part of your recycling collection, or can be taken to any Recycling Centre. Don't forget to recycle plastic bottles from your bathroom too.

  • Polystyrene - packaging goes in the non-recyclable skip or can go in the kerbside general waste.
  • Pots, tubs and trays - All other types of plastic, including meat trays, yoghurt pots and margarine tubs, should be disposed of in your general waste bin. 


  • Quilts - Quilts should be taken to the Recycling Centre and placed in the non-recyclable container.


  • Rugs - Rugs and carpets in good condition may be suitable for donation to charity or to a reuse organisation. If not, then please take them to the Recycling Centre and place them in the non-recyclable container.


  • Scrap Metal - Scrap metal can be taken to any Recycling Centre.


  • Toys and Games - Unwanted toys and games in good condition can be donated to charity or to reuse organisations. Plastic toys should not put in your mixed recycling bin.


  • Wrapping paper - Wrapping paper is recyclable at the kerbside or at the Recycling Centre, except where the wrapping contains foil. To check if the paper is recyclable, scrunch it into a ball. If the ball opens back out then it contains foil and should go in your general waste bin.

Recycling around your home

So you’ve got a recycling routine that works for you. You know it inside and out and there’s not one empty plastic milk bottle or food can in sight in the kitchen – they’re all patiently waiting to be collected for recycling. The job is done! But is it really?

There are lots of items that people often forget to recycle from other rooms in the house including the bathroom, bedroom and the living room. 

The unusual suspects

By simply remembering to rinse and recycle these items, we can all make a big difference.


  • Toothpaste boxes
  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Shampoo, bleach, shower gel bottles


  • Tissue boxes
  • Deodorant and hairspray aerosols
  • Make up and perfume bottles

Living Room

  • Envelopes
  • Junk mail
  • Newspapers and magazines

Visit the Recycle Now website to find out about other unusual suspects hiding around your home.

Here are some simple steps to help us all recycle more across Lancashire:

  • Double check if anything you are going to throw in the rubbish bin can be recycled instead – either at home in your recycling bins/boxes or at your local recycling centre.
  • Rinse out empty food and drink containers before you recycle them.
  • Squash plastic bottles and flatten cardboard boxes so you can fit more in your recycling bin.
  • If its plastic and bottle shaped it can be recycled – don’t forget the shampoo, spray cleaner and bleach bottles from your bathroom.
  • It is not just newspapers that you can recycle – we want wrapping paper, envelopes, toilet roll tubes and toothpaste boxes.
  • It might help you to get a second bin or box in your kitchen and bathroom for collecting things to recycle from around the house, before you put them into your main recycling bin.

Reduce - How do I waste less?

There are simple steps you can take to ensure that you waste less in the first place. Taking a reusable bag to the shops, reducing your food waste or donating unwanted goods to charity are all small things that make a massive difference in wasting less.

Five easy steps to help you reduce waste

  • Avoid wasting food – visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for lots of tips.
  • Think before you shop - buy things with less packaging and use reusable shopping bags.
  • Stop junk mail - contact the Mailing Preference Service (external website).
  • Your rubbish is another person's treasure - donate good quality clothing, books and unwanted gifts to a reuse or charity shop or advertise unwanted items in local papers/websites.
  • Re-paint - donate left-over paint to your local Community Repaint (external website).

Visit the Recycle Now website to find out more about reducing waste.


Many of the things we throw away haven’t always reached the end of their useful life. Something that you don’t want any more can still be used by someone else.

Our recycling centre Reuse shops

We have two reuse shops at our recycling centres in Garstang and Preston. You can buy and take items here that you think someone else may get some use out of. The shop opens at the same time as the recycling centre.

The reuse shops accept donations and sell:

  • Bric-a-brac
  • Electrical goods
  • Furniture
  • Spare parts
  • Bits'n'bobs
  • Pre-loved bargains

Other Reuse shops in Lancashire

Here in Lancashire we are lucky to have a range of organisations who will put your unwanted items to good use:

Reuse Shop






01772 796622

Furniture Matters 


01524 426622



01772 716572 

International Aid Trust


01772 611122



01524 413700




01257 485114


Open Door Furniture Recycling 

Burnley and Pendle

01282 452400


Wyre and Fylde

01253 873371

St Catherine's Hospice

South Ribble and Chorley

01772 629171 

What goes in my recycling bins or boxes?

Each of the twelve district councils in Lancashire has different coloured bins/boxes/bags for collecting recycling and waste.

If you know which district council collects your bins – have a look on the relevant district council website below to remind you what you can put in each bin/bag/box or to find out which day your bins are collected.

What can I put in my bins and boxes?

Blackburn with Darwen





South Ribble



West Lancashire





Ribble Valley



What happens to your waste?

Ever wondered what happens after your recycling bins are collected or you drop something off at the recycling centre in Lancashire?

Waste and recycling collected from your doorstep or taken to one of our recycling centres is either recycled, made into compost or can even be turned into electricity.

Your district council collects the waste and recycling from your home and takes it to a waste transfer station. The county council then transports it for further processing.

If you would like to find out more about:

  • How we are doing in Lancashire
  • How your waste and recycling is sorted
  • What happens to the recycled materials after they have been sorted
  • Local recycling schemes

Visit our website to find out more about what happens to your waste