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What goes in my bins and boxes?

  • COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

    Most of our waste and recycling collections are running as usual.

    To help our crews as much as possible, you should:

    • not leave side waste or extra rubbish bags next to your bin, as we can’t collect them
    • sort your recycling properly
    • make sure you wash your hands, before and after handling your bins or recycling boxes
    • wipe the handle of your bin and boxes down after you leave it at your usual collection point
    • follow social distancing guidance (link opens in new window)
    • make sure disposable gloves are placed into your black bin once you’ve finished using the
    • visit nidirect for more advice on bin hygiene (link opens in new window)

    You must not put items such as used tissues or disposable cleaning cloths into your recycling bins or boxes. This is very important.

    Coronavirus waste

    If you have suspected, or confirmed coronavirus, follow these instructions before putting items such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in your black waste bin:

    • double-bag them, tying the bags securely
    • keep them separate from other waste for 72 hours before putting them into your black waste bin for collection
  • What goes in my bins and boxes?

    Please note: Cardboard drinks cups (including takeaway coffee and tea cups) cannot go into food waste collection.

    Compost bin

    (Brown bin or green for former North Down residents.)

    Recycling bin

    (Blue bin or green for former Lisburn residents.)

    Purple recycling box

    Black bin

    Food waste Paper (no wallpaper) Glass bottles and jars Tissue paper
    Grass cuttings Dry cardboard   Plant pots (plastic)
    Plants and flowers Aerosol cans   Metal and plastic lids of glass bottles and jars
    Leaves, twigs and small branches      Plastic bottles   Bubble wrap
    Hedge trimmings Food and drink cans   Plastic cutlery 
    Shredded paper Food and drink cartons (such as milk or juice)              Cellophane wrapping
    Takeaway pizza boxes (torn up) Clean aluminium foil and foil dishes   Envelopes with cellophane windows (not removed)
    Cold ashes Magazines / catalogues   Styrofoam
    Teabags and coffee grounds Biscuit tins   Crisp bags and containers
    Egg shells Soft back books   Plastic bags
    Fruit and vegetable peelings Toilet roll tubes   Barbecue foil bases
    Bones Cardboard food boxes (such as cereal boxes)   Broken light bulbs
    Paper napkins Plastic pots, tubs and trays   Plastic ready meal packs (film attached)
    Wet paper and cardboard Envelopes with cellophane windows (removed)   Carry-out coffee containers and lids 
    Bottle corks Egg cartons (cardboard or plastic)   Nappies and sanitary waste
  • If you have two recycling boxes and a green food waste bin.

    Please recycle your waste as follows:

    Black recycling box

    Red recycling box

    Green food waste bin

    Paper (no wallpaper) Cardboard Meat, fish and cheese 
    Plastic bottles Glass bottles and jars Fruit and veg 
    Plastic pots, tubs, trays   Textiles* Bread, cakes and pastries 
    Food and drink tins Batteries* Rice, beans and pasta
    Aerosols Hand tools Teabags and coffee grounds
    Clean aluminium foil*   Potato and vegetable peelings 
    Food and drink cartons (for example, milk or juice)   Any other leftover food

    *Please put in a separate bag.

  • If you have three stacked recycling boxes (wheelie box) and a green food waste bin.

    Please recycle your waste as follows:

    Blue recycling box

    Red recycling box

    Green recycling box

    Green food waste bin

    Paper (shredded paper*) 
    (no wallpaper)
    Food and drink cans Glass bottles and jars
    (no broken glass)
    Meat, fish and cheese 
    Textiles* Biscuit tins Cardboard Fruit and veg 
    Foil * Aerosol cans   Bread, cakes and pastries 
    Batteries* Food and drink cartons   Rice, beans and pasta
    Hand tools Plastic bottles   Teabags and coffee grounds
      Plastic pots, tubs and trays   Potato and vegetable peelings 
          Any other leftover food

    *Please put in a separate bag.
    Your general waste bin is only for waste that cannot be recycled, like plastic bags, wallpaper and cling film.

  • Recycling your food waste

    Tips to help you increase your recycling:

    • Remove all food packaging before putting the waste in your food waste bin
    • Remember to rinse and recycle the packaging, if possible
    • Only use the food waste bags we supply - they decompose with the food waste and we supply them free of charge
    • If you need more food waste bags, please tie your last bag to your food waste bin or you can always collect rolls of food waste bags from any of our main recycling centres.

    If you don’t have a food waste bin or a kitchen food waste caddy, you can:

    If you are waiting for a caddy and have a food waste bin, you can place food waste directly into your food waste bin or wrap it in newspaper.

  • Disposing of needles and other sharps

    Sharps (needles, syringes and lancets) are clinical waste and must never be placed in a domestic bin of any type as they can cause injury to recycling and processing operatives. Sharps boxes can also be purchased from pharmacies.

  • Putting the wrong materials into your bins or boxes?

    If you put the wrong materials into your recycling bins or boxes, we won't be able to collect them.  It can contaminate our collection and all waste in the lorry may have to go to landfill. 

    We'll put a non-collection tag on it telling you why it wasn't collected.  Please remove the offending item, dispose of it correctly and put your bin or box out on the next collection date. 

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