What goes in your bins

What can go in your recycling bins or sacks

  • Empty aerosols (deodorant cans, furniture polish)
  • Food tins and drink cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Paper and card (junk mail, magazines, newspapers, telephone directories, corrugated cardboard, cereal packets, shoe boxes)
  • Drink cartons (fruit juice, milk and soup cartons)
  • Plastic bottles, tubs, pots and trays (margarine tubs, yoghurt pots and fruit trays)

What can't go in your recycling bins or sacks

  • Ceramics
  • Clinical waste
  • Clothes or shoes
  • Dirty containers
  • Electrical items
  • Foil
  • Foil containers
  • Food and garden waste
  • General rubbish
  • Light bulbs or broken glass
  • Meat trays
  • Nappies or tissues
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic toys
  • Plastic wrapping
  • Polystyrene
  • Recycling in tied plastic bags
  • Rubble
  • Sanitary products
  • Shredded paper
  • Wallpaper
  • Wood

Helpful ideas for your recycling:

  • flatten cans, bottles and boxes to save space
  • rinse your plastic bottles, food containers, trays and cartons in your old washing-up water
  • have another bin or box in your kitchen for recyclable items

Shoes, textiles and electrical items can't be placed in your blue lidded recycling bin. These can be taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre.

We have teamed up with TRAID, Clearabee and Barnet Furniture Centre, so that residents can contact them for free doorstep collections of textiles, shoes, furniture and some electrical items.

Arrange a free textiles collection with TRAID

Arrange a free electrical collection with Clearabee

Arrange a free furniture or electrical collection with Barnet Furniture Centre (items need to be in good condition and from areas neighbouring Barnet)

You can also find out what happens to your recycling.

For a printable version of the above recycling list, see our leaflet (PDF). You can also see our flats above shops leaflet (PDF).

We will not collect your recycling bin or sack if it contains the wrong items because they may make the other items unsuitable for recycling. All recycling must be clean and dry.

If you are not in estate housing, our crew will place a sticker on your bin or sack to notify you if there are any incorrect items. You should remove the incorrect items and we will collect your recycling on the next collection date.

All the items we collect for recycling are sent to a sorting facility in Edmonton and then on for specialist re-processing to be turned into new products. For more information on how items are recycled and composted, visit Recycle Now.

Sometimes recycling collected by us is refused at the sorting plant due to the wrong items being put in blue lidded recycling bins. Dirty items also results in nearly a thousand tonnes of recycling being thrown away each year.

If you have unwanted clothes or shoes, giving them to a charity shop is an excellent way of reusing items rather than throwing them away. Wearable clothes and shoes donated to charity shops are sold to raise money for good causes or sent overseas to those in need.

Items can also be placed in any of the 30 recycling banks located throughout Enfield, or taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre in Winchmore Hill for reuse or recycling.

As well as recycling unwanted clothing, you can reuse and recycle other textiles such as:

  • towels
  • sheets
  • bedding
  • blankets
  • soft furnishings

We do not accept dirty items or any of the below items if they are placed in your blue lidded recycling bin:

Items that can't be placed in blue lidded recycling bins

For tips on how to recycle right, see our recycling leaflet (PDF).

What happens if you contaminate your blue lidded recycling bin

If you contaminate your bin once:

  • it will not be emptied and will be given a sticker stating the reason
  • you will need to remove the incorrect items from your bin in order for the recycling to be collected on your next scheduled collection day
  • a warning letter specifying that you are in breach of section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act, will be sent to your address if your bin contained nappies, food waste, textiles and bags of general waste.

If you contaminate your bin again within a 12-month period, the above actions will be taken once more. We may also decide to serve a Notice of Intent to issue a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice on the occupier. You will still be given a sticker on your bin and will need to remove the incorrect items before your next collection day.

Recycling contamination policy (PDF)

Rubbish and recycling FAQs (PDF)

What can go in your garden and food waste bin

  • Fish and meat bones
  • Compostable bags (with the seed logo)
  • Cooked and uncooked food (including meat)
  • Egg shells
  • General food waste
  • Leaves and small branches (up to 10cm in diameter)
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds

What can't go in your garden and food waste bin

  • Soil
  • General rubbish
  • General recycling
  • Cooking oil (small amounts of cooking oil may be placed in a sealed container and disposed of in the general waste bin or taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre. Engine oil may also be taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre)
  • Dog waste and pet litter
  • Logs (greater than 10cm in diameter)
  • Japanese knotweed (visit GOV.UK for guidance to dispose of Japanese knotweed and prevent it from spreading) 
  • Shredded paper

For a printable version of this list, see our leaflet (PDF).

We will not collect your garden and food waste bin if it contains the wrong items because they may make the other items unsuitable for recycling.

Our crew will place a sticker on your garden and food waste bin to notify you if there are any incorrect items. You should remove the incorrect items and we will then collect your bin on the next collection date.

Garden and food waste is taken to a composting facility and turned into fertiliser.

For more information on how items are recycled and composted, visit Recycle Now.

What can go in the shared food waste bin

  • Compostable bags (with the seed logo)
  • Cooked and uncooked food (including meat)
  • Egg shells
  • General food waste
  • Fish and meat bones
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds

What can't go in the shared food waste bin

  • General rubbish
  • General recycling
  • Garden waste
  • Cooking oil (small amounts of cooking oil may be placed in a sealed container and disposed of in the general waste bin or taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre. Engine oil may also be taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre)
  • Dog waste and pet litter
  • Shredded paper

For a printable version of this list, see our leaflet (PDF).

We will not collect your shared food waste bin if it contains the wrong items because they may make the other items unsuitable for recycling.

Garden and food waste is taken to a composting facility and turned into fertiliser.

For more information on how items are recycled and composted, visit Recycle Now.

You can throw away rubbish in a:

  • grey lidded rubbish bin
  • grey rubbish sack
  • shared rubbish bin

What can go in your rubbish bin or sack

  • Foil
  • Polystyrene
  • Pet bedding and pet food pouches
  • Pyrex glass and ceramics
  • Nappies and tissues
  • Plastic film and bags
  • Shredded paper

What can't go in your rubbish bin or sack

  • Corrosive products
  • Rubble and hardcore (bricks and tiles)
  • Items from household building and renovation works
  • (The three items above can be taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre)
  • Paint
  • Oil (small amounts of cooking oil may be placed in a sealed container and disposed of in the general waste bin or taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre. Engine oil may also be taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre)
  • Hazardous waste

For a printable version of this list, see our leaflet (PDF).

You may need to use a black rubbish sack if your flat or estate does not have a shared rubbish bin and you are not given grey rubbish sacks.

You do not need to remove incorrect items from shared bins.