Waste A-Z of items

This guide gives you details of how to get rid or items, whilst trying to reuse and recycle as much as possible. Even those things that cannot be reused or recycled still need to be sent to the right place.

You can recycle many household items in your recycling collections at home. Click on links to your local council to keep up to date with your recycling collections at home. Visit Aylesbury Vale, South Bucks, Chiltern or Wycombe councils.

You can recycle many more things at the Household Recycling Centre including batteries cooking or engine oil as well as electrical items and textiles. These items should not go into your recycling bin at home.

Use the A-Z below to look for specific items to re-use, recycle or dispose.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Abandoned vehicles

Check with your district council if this service is available in your area. Visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Aerosols

All household aerosols including deodorant, cleaning sprays and hairspray can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your recycling collection at home. Aerosols are 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

Air conditioning units

You can recycle household electricals including small air conditioning units any Household Recycling Centre. This material is not accepted from businesses.

Asbestos

This material needs careful handling and you need to apply for a free permit, Full details of handling asbestos can be found on the Asbestos and garden chemicals page

Batteries

You can recycle small household batteries across the county. Large shops & supermarkets should have collection points where you can recycle them. You can also recycle of old car batteries or any domestic batteries at any Household Recycling Centre. This material is not accepted from businesses.

Chiltern, Wycombe & South Bucks Councils collect batteries alongside the local recycling collection for more details visit South BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

BBQs (inc disposable)

Permanent BBQS can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre.

Disposable BBQs can be a fire hazard and should be treated carefully. We recommend completely soaking the BBQ (inc charcoal/embers) to ensure the BBQ cools fully. Once cool, you can empty the cold charcoal/ash into your rubbish bin at home. Once emptied the aluminium case and grate can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre.

Bedding & duvets

Some animal rescue centres accept duvets to be reused as bedding for the animals. Find your local animal rescue centre at Rescue Directory.

Duvets and pillows cannot be recycled so should be placed in the small non-recyclable waste container if taken to a Household Recycling Centre.

Duvet covers, pillow cases, sheets and blankets can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre. Some local councils offer a collection service for textiles. For more details visit South BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Bikes
  • Reuse: Unwanted bicycles can be donated to local bicycle projects such as Re-cycle or the Green Bike Project. Alternatively bikes can be advertised on a free online re-use network such as Freegle. Working bicycles can also be taken to any Buckinghamshire Household Waste Recycling Centre and put in the reuse container (ask site staff for details).
  • Recycling: If a bicycle is beyond repair or in parts it can be recycled in the metal container at any Buckinghamshire Household Waste Recycling Centre

You can take bikes to your local Household Recycling Centre, and will either be placed in the reuse shop or recycled depending on the condition.

Consider donating your bike to a reuse company before taking it to the recycling centre. Bike Hub has some great bike re-use and repair locations.

Books

Local library or charity shops can take old books to be reused. Libraries are interested in newer, current books for lending or reserve stock. South Bucks Hospice run charity stores at High Wycombe and Aston Clinton Household Recycling Centres.
If the books cannot be reused, put them in your local recycling collection or take them to your local Household Recycling Centre, if necessary removing any hardback covers first. Only paper can be recycled.

Blue glass bottles

You can recycle these in the green glass bottle banks across the county and in your local recycling collection at home.

Bulky items

Bulky items are objects that are too big for standard sized wheelie bins.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for bulky waste items. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

You can take bulky Items to your local Household Recycling Centre. Many items can be re-used, so ask a member of staff, as they will keep it separate then send it to the two Bucks Hospice stores at High Wycombe and Aston Clinton Household Recycling Centres. If not re-usable, then the items can be put into the bulky waste skips on site.

Business waste

We operate five trade sites (Amersham, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield and High Wycombe) and can be recycled in the same way as household waste, visit Commercial Waste. There is a charge for commercial waste.

Businesses can also contact:

  • Envirowise on 0800 585 794 who offer UK business free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact. 
  • Corporate Environment Advisory Centre - CEAC provide practical support through training, site visits and a helpline to encourage business to be more environmentally friendly. ceac@bcuc.ac.uk or via their website

Please note: Neither organisation is a waste disposal or recycling company.

Caravans and trailers

Even old and damaged trailers and caravans can be sold, if only for a small amount. You could search online for companies that breakup and recycle caravans and trailers.

We cannot accept Caravans or trailers at Household Recycling Centres.

Cardboard

All household cardboard including cereal boxes, delivery boxes & toilet roll tubes can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. Cardboard is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

Car parts

Contact a local scrap merchant/ salvage and breakers.

Carpets

You can take carpet to all Household Recycling Centres in Buckinghamshire.

Chiltern, Wycombe & South Bucks Councils collect carpets in their bulky waste service collection for more details visit South BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Cartons

All food and drinks cartons including fruit juice, UHT milk and chopped tomatoes cartons can be recycled in your local recycling collection at home. Remember to squash your empty cartons and put the lid back on to save space in your recycling. Cardboard is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

CDs & DVDs

Working CDs or DVDs, music or film, may be accepted by charity shops. Some charity shops also accept empty CDs or DVD cases.

CDs & DVD cannot be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre at the moment. Please put in your household rubbish bin at home.

Chipboard

You can take chipboard, MDF and plywood to all ten Household Recycling Centres across Buckinghamshire

Christmas cards

Christmas & all greetings cards can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. Card is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

It is important that you remove any non-card items such as bows, felt or plastic before you recycle them,

Christmas trees

Real Christmas trees can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre. Please remember to remove all of the decorations.

Some garden centres also shred Christmas trees - see your local press for details.

Unwanted artificial trees can be disposed at your local Household Recycling Centre but cannot be recycled

Christmas wrapping paper

Not all wrapping paper can be recycled or composted. Some wrapping paper contains metal content plus there is the issue of sticky tape, glitter and foil back paper. If it is just paper then it can be recycled in the usual way, at a Household Recycling Centre or your local recycling collection at home.

Tip: Wrapping paper made out of paper will be white in the middle when torn.

Clinical waste

If you are a householder and have clinical waste within categories A to D to dispose of please contact your local Primary Health Care Trust for advice. Alternatively, check with your district council if this service is available in your area.
Clinical waste should not be taken to any of the Household Recycling Centres as they do not have facilities to deal with this type of waste.

Clinical waste categories

Group A: Identifiable human tissue, blood, animal carcasses and tissue from veterinary centres, hospitals or laboratories. Soiled surgical dressings, swabs and other similar soiled waste.
Group B: Discarded syringe needles, cartridges, broken glass and any other contaminated disposable sharp instruments or items.
Group C: Microbiological cultures and potentially infected waste from pathology departments and other clinical or research laboratories.
Group D: Drugs or other pharmaceutical products. Suitable to put in your household rubbish bin to be collected by your local council.
Group E: Items used to dispose of urine, faeces and other bodily secretions or excretions which do not fall within Group A. This includes used disposable bed pans or bed pan liners, incontinence pads, stoma bags, catheters and urine containers.

Clothes

Good quality textiles and clothes can be taken to your local charity shop. Alternatively you can find your nearest textile recycling bin here

You can also take any textiles, clothes or shoes to your nearest Household Recycling Centre where they will be reused or recycled.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for textiles. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Commercial waste

See Business waste above.

Computers and computer monitors

Any household electrical items can be taken to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

Ensure you have wiped your computer's hard drive (which contains your personal details) before depositing.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your personal details have been removed. 

If you take your computer to a repair shop, check they will guarantee their work against possible data theft.

Computer consumables

For printer cartridges see toner cartridges.

Computer CDs, DVD and floppy disks cannot be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre at the moment. Please put in your household rubbish bin.

Working CDs or DVDs, music or film, may be accepted by charity shops. Some charity shops also accept empty CDs or DVD cases.

Cooking oil

Your local Household Recycling Centre will accept cooking oil from householders (not from trade) where it will be recycled

Dead animals

If you find a dead animal on your land, it is your responsibility to dispose of it. The exception, is if it is a dead swan, goose or duck in which case you need to report it to Defra on 08459 335577.

If you find a dead animal at the side of or on the road report it to your local council Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

If the dead animal is your pet, contact your local vet or your local Environmental Health Officer for advice. 

DIY Waste

There are many companies that offer skips, large reusable bags and other collection services for DIY waste.

Small amounts of household DIY waste, can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre. Please note, you may require a permit before visiting the site, see full details here Waste Permit.

We would recommend separating all the waste you produce whilst doing home improvements, as much of it can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre if it is kept separate.

Plasterboard (not all sites), soil, rubble, wood and large household items, can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre.

Electrical Goods

Any household electrical items can be taken to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for large electrical items. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

South Bucks Council also collect small electrical items alongside their usual recycling collections for more details visit South Bucks council

Engine oil and engine filters

You can dispose of up to 10 litres of used engine oil at any Household Recycling Centre. This material is not accepted from businesses. Please do not dispose of this material in your recycling or residual waste bin as this is a hazard.

The Oil bank line provides advice on disposal of motor oil. 

Envelopes

Envelopes can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre and in your local recycling collection at home. The whole envelope can be recycled including the window and glued sections. Envelopes are 100% recyclable and should not go in the rubbish bin.

Fire extinguishers

Your local Household Recycling Centre will accept small domestic fire extinguishers such as those used while travelling abroad in your car, little kitchen ones. This material is not accepted from businesses.

Do not put these items in any household bins at home as this is potentially hazardous.

Fireworks

These are not accepted at Household Recycling Centres.

Safety First

Misfired or partly spent fireworks should be soaked in a container of water for several days and the manufacturer or supplier should be contacted for guidance on disposal.

Bucks County Council is advising residents not to bury or put fireworks on the bonfire - even when fully spent. Fully spent fireworks (not misfired or partly spent) can be put in your rubbish bin at home.

Flares

Misfired or partly spent fares should be soaked in a container of water for several days and the manufacturer or supplier should be contacted for guidance on disposal.

Fluorescent tubes

Fluorescent tubes, light bulbs and energy saving bulbs can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre

This material is not accepted from businesses.

Foil (Aluminium/tin)

All aluminium and tin foil such as foil trays and baking foil can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre and your local recycling collection at home. It is important to make sure there is no food left on the foil before you recycle it. Foil is 100% recyclable and should not be put in the rubbish bin.

Please note, crisp packets and other plastic foil cannot be recycled.

Food Waste

Most food waste is avoidable, like leftovers, rice or bread that is past it's best. You can find out tips and recipes to reduce your food waste at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.

We all have some food waste that we can't avoid, like banana skins, tea bags or chicken bones. Each council in Bucks collects food waste for recycling weekly. To find out more about your service visit Aylesbury Vale, South Bucks, Chiltern or Wycombe councils.

Fridges and freezers

All household fridges and freezers can be taken to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for large electrical items. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

For trade waste there is a charge of £25 per item plus VAT and they must be taken to a Trade Facility (Aylesbury, Aston Clinton, Amersham, High Heavens and Beaconsfield).

Please note, we do not accept commercial style fridges or freezers, such as chiller or drinks cabinets.

Furniture (eg old sofas)

Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) promotes the re-use of unwanted furniture and household effects. They have several sites in Buckinghamshire.

You could sell or donate your old sofa on-line on sites such as Freegle or Ebay

If you cannot reuse your furniture, you can take it to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire also offer a collection service for large household items. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Garden chemicals   

Up to 5 litres of garden chemicals can be taken to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

See Asbestos and garden chemicals on the Asbestos and garden chemicals page for further details.

Garden waste

Ideally home composting is the best thing to do with your garden waste as it can provide you with a ready supply of compost for your garden. Visit Recycle4Bucks  for more information on composting.

All compostable garden waste can be taken to your nearest Household Recycling Centre where it will be sent for composting. So we cannot accept kitchen waste, branches larger than six inches in diameter or Japanese Knotweed. All local councils in Buckinghamshire run household collection services for garden waste. Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern & South Bucks Councils charge for this service, for more details of all the services visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Gas bottles and cylinders

Old gas cylinders can be returned to the retailer or supplier. For Calor Gas Bottles, call 0800 662 663 for your nearest Calor Gas Direct Outlet.

Do not place gas cylinders in your rubbish bin at home.

You can dispose of up to 3 gas bottles from Householders at any Household Recycling Centres. This material is not accepted from businesses.

Glass bottles and jars

All household glass bottles and jars including jam jars, wine bottles & perfume bottles can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. Glass is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

See below details on other types of glass.

Glass – other

Glass which is neither bottles or jars (Other glass) cannot be recycled at Household Recycling Centres or through your local recycling collection at home. Items such as window glass, mirrors, crystal or heat treated glass (Pyrex) are manufactured differently to bottle & jars.

Please put these items in your rubbish bin at home or take them to your local Household Recycling Centre

Hardcore & rubble

There are many companies that offer skips, large reusable bags and other collection services for hardcore and rubble.

Small amounts of household hardcore and rubble, can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre. Please note, you may require a permit before visiting the site, see full details here Waste Permit.

We would recommend separating all the waste you produce whilst doing home improvements, as much of it can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre if it is kept separate.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids are collected at a variety of places such Doctors surgeries, Hospital audiology departments, private hearing specialist, some charity shops and organisations such as 'The Lions Clubs'.  These collections are usually charity based and the hearing aids that are donated are repaired and refurbished. For more details visit What to do with hearing aids

Junk mail 

All household junk mail, including envelopes can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. Paper and card is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

To reduce receiving junk mail contact the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) which is a free non-profit service which allows subscribers to register their wish not to receive unsolicited direct mail. To find out more about the MPS or to use the service call 0845 703 4599, you can also register online.

To reduce the amount of unaddressed mail delivered to your home you can contact Royal Mail, by either writing to 'Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs, Royal Mail, Kingsmead House, Oxpens Road, Oxford, OX1 1RX' or email optout@royalmail.com

Light bulbs

Fluorescent tubes, light bulbs and energy saving bulbs can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre

Energy saving light bulbs should not be placed in your rubbish bin at home.

You can take energy saving light bulbs to other locations where these will be handled safely and recycled in an appropriate manner. For details of local outlets and alternative disposal points see Recolight collection point map

Man-made wood

Wood of all kinds can be re-used, search for local “wood recycling or reuse” shops, such as Chiltern wood recycling or, Oxford wood recycling, who both offer collections and drop off.

Man-made wood like chipboard, MDF etc cannot be composted.

You can take chipboard, MDF and plywood to all ten Household Recycling Centres across Buckinghamshire. Please note, you may require a permit before visiting the site, see full details here Waste Permit.

Mattresses

You can take mattresses to any of our Household Recycling Centres.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for large household items. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Medicines

If you have left over medicines, contact your local chemist or pharmacy on how best to dispose of them. Or visit to RecycleNow find out more and find your nearest recycling point

Metal

All household metal packaging like tin cans, aerosols and tin foil can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. Metal is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

All scrap metal such as shelving, saucepans & bed frames can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre

Mobile phones

All mobile phones can be repaired or recycled. There are many charities who raise money from old mobile phones. Here are a few examples:

Age UKOxfam and British Red Cross - you can donate mobile phones directly into their shops or go check their website links below:

You can also take mobile phones to your nearest Household Recycling Centre they will be collected for onward recycling and re-use.

Remember to take out your old SIM card and ensure all data is removed from your device. For example by resetting your phone to restore it to its factory settings and if included by wiping all data from any memory card. .

Nappies

Nappies cannot be recycled, so you can put them in your household rubbish bin. Alternatively, real nappies offer a less wasteful and cheaper option

Oil

You can take engine and vegetable oil to your local Household Recycling Centre where it can be recycled. These oils can be recycled and should not go in your rubbish bin at home.

This material is not accepted from businesses.

Paint

To donate paint for recycling visit Community RePaint for your nearest collection point.

We cannot accept liquid paint, as liquid wastes are banned from landfill sites, so if you can't use it up or find it a good home by giving it away you will need to harden it before disposal. You can buy a paint hardener, or add sawdust, sand or soil to the tin and leave the lid off until the paint becomes solid and dry (please pierce the dried paint before taking it to your local Household Recycling Centre to make sure it's fully hardened)

Paint cans that are completely dry or empty can be recycled at your local Household Recycling Centre

This material is not accepted from businesses.

Paper

All household paper including magazines, newspaper and shredded paper can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. Paper is 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

Pet bedding

Pet bedding such as straw, sawdust and shredded newspaper cannot be put in the garden waste collection services, or in the garden waste containers at the household recycling centres.

Small amounts can be composted at home however, along with other garden waste, fruit and veg peelings, grass cuttings and prunings, visit www.getcomposting.com for information on how to get started.

If you have large quantities of pet bedding, or cat/dog faeces, please contact your district council to see if they can help as part of their collection services. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Petrol and other inflammable fuels

BCC recommends contacting your local garage or a scrap car breakers/ salvage company.

We do not accept these materials at Household Recycling Centres.

Plastic bags

There are plastic bag recycling banks at some supermarkets, either near the door or with the other recycling banks. The national 5p charge on single use carrier bags has reduced their usage by over 80%, so remember to take reusable bags with you when you go shopping

Plastic bottles, tubs, pots and trays

All household plastic bottle, pots, tubs and trays can be recycled at Household Recycling Centres and in your local recycling collection at home. You can recycle all these plastic items:

Drinks bottles (e.g. milk or squash)

Cleaning & bottles (e.g. bleach, shampoo or fabric softener)

Clear trays (e.g fruit punnets or meat trays)

Pots (e.g. yoghurt or sauce)

Tubs (e.g. ice cream or butter)

Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays are 100% recyclable and should not go in your rubbish bin.

Plastics - other

All plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays are recyclable. However, other hard plastics like toys or appliances or very thin plastic like plastic film over a food tray cannot be recycled locally.

These can all be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre. Please keep large plastic items separate from smaller ones. Each site has containers for small waste and large household waste.

Plasterboard and other gypsum-based products

Plasterboard (gypsum) can only be taken to  Amersham, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, High Heavens or Langley Household Recycling Centres. Please note, you may require a permit before visiting the site, see full details here Waste Permit.

This material cannot be mixed with general waste.

Businesses can take plasterboard items to trade sites (charges apply for traders).

Pressurised containers

See gas bottles and cylinders

Printer cartridges

See toner cartridges below.

Spectacles

Charities such as Vision Aid can benefit from your old spectacles. Please contact them direct for more details

Stamps

Some charities collect used stamps one such charity who want your old stamps is :

RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) Stamp Recycling, PO BOX 185, Benfleet, SS7 9BH

Soil

There are many companies that offer skips, large reusable bags and other collection services for soil removal.

Small amounts of household soil, can be taken to your local Household Recycling Centre. Please note, you may require a permit before visiting the site, see full details here Waste Permit.

Televisions

Any household electrical items can be taken to your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for large electrical items. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

This material is not accepted from businesses.

Textiles

Good quality textiles can be taken to your local charity shop. Alternatively you can find your nearest textile recycling bin at the Find your nearest recycling facility, select textiles and type in your postcode.

You can also take any textiles, clothes or shoes to your nearest Household recycling Centre.

All local councils in Buckinghamshire offer a collection service for textiles. For more details visit Aylesbury ValeSouth BucksChiltern or Wycombe councils.

Toner cartridges

There are many charities that can raise money from your old toner cartridge. Check with your local charity shop or stationers. You can also recycle toner cartridges from the home at your nearest Household Recycling Centre.

Toys

Your local charity shop, hospital or clinic could benefit from your unwanted good quality toys.

You can take toys to your nearest Household Recycling Centre. If they currently work or are repairable, staff on site will keep them separate then send them to the two Bucks Hospice stores at High Wycombe and Aston Clinton Household Recycling Centres. If not reusable, then the items can be put into the general waste skip on site, or into the scrap metal if they are mainly metal.

Trade waste

See Business waste above

Tyres

You can recycle of up to 5 car tyres at your local Household Recycling Centre

This material is not accepted from businesses.

Water filters

Only Brita offer a collection for their water filters. To find out more contact BRITACare on 0844 742 4800

Recycling points are in a range of high street stores such as Argos, Boots, Sainsbury's. 

Wood

Wood of all kinds can be re-used, search for local “wood recycling or reuse” shops, such as Chiltern wood recycling or, Oxford wood recycling, who both offer collections and drop off.

Man-made wood like chipboard, MDF etc cannot be composted.

You can take all wood to all ten Household Recycling Centres across Buckinghamshire. Please note, you may require a permit before visiting the site, see full details here Waste Permit.

Wrapping paper

See Christmas wrapping paper above.

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