Waste and recycling - frequently asked questions

We hope that the answers below will help with your enquiries about waste and recycling in the borough, but if there is still something you are unsure about please contact us by emailing recycling@basingstoke.gov.uk or phoning 01256 844844.


What can I recycle in my green bin?

Paper - newspapers, magazines, envelopes, junk mail, catalogues, telephone directories, Yellow Pages but not shredded paper.

Cardboard - cereal boxes, greeting cards, food packaging.

Plastic bottles - all types such as fizzy drink bottles, milk bottles, cleaning products, shampoo, shower gel. Please remove the lids and place these in your grey waste bin. Lids can be left on if the bottle is squashed.

Cans - food and drink cans (both steel and aluminium) including drinks cans, food or soup cans and pet food cans.

Aerosol cans - empty household aerosol cans such as deodorant, furniture polish, air freshener and hair spray. Please do not dispose of aerosols displaying a skull and crossbones logo, or a black cross on an orange background.

Please make sure your recycling is clean, dry and loose. This will make it easier to sort and keep your bin clean.

For more information on recycling, take a look at our recycling webpages.

What items shouldn't I put in my green bin?

Mixed plastic packaging such as yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic food trays.

Juice cartons - Tetra Pak cartons are difficult to recycle because they are mixture of plastic, foil and cardboard.  Unfortunately, we are not able to recycle these in the borough and you will have to put them in your grey waste bin.

Shredded paper - in order to process large amounts of material at our Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) we use automatic sorting equipment which does not recognise very small or shredded pieces. Please put this in your home composter or your grey waste bin.

Aluminium foil – this is made from a different material to the aluminium in drinks cans and therefore has to be recycled separately. There are 11 aluminium foil banks in the borough. Find your nearest aluminium foil bank.

Food wrappers - although chocolate bar wrappers and crisp packets may say they are "foil wrapped", it is not foil. It is a type of plastic that cannot be recycled. The ‘scrunch’ test will help you – if it stays screwed up, it’s foil, but if it opens back out again, it’s plastic. Please put these items in your grey waste bin.

Plastic carrier bags – the lightweight nature of plastic bags means they often get caught in the conveyor belts at the Materials Recovery Facility. Please put them in your grey waste bin or in the carrier bag recycling bins at Tesco in Chineham or Sainsbury’s at Hatch Warren and Tadley or you could re-use them.

Polystyrene and cellophane – there are no facilities to process these materials at present in the UK. Please put these in your grey waste bin. If you have a large quantity of polystyrene, please take this to the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Wade Road.

Glass - Households in the borough have been provided with a plastic box so you can recycle glass bottles and jars. All bottles and jars should be rinsed out and any corks or tops removed. The box should be placed next to the green recycling bin by 7am on your usual recycling collection day.

General household waste – this should be placed in your black bin or taken down to the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Wade Road.

Where is my nearest recycling site?

Find your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre

What happens to my recycling?

After collection, your recycling is taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where it is sorted. This is done using a combination of mechanical and manual sorting. The separated items are then sent to re-processors throughout the country to be made into new products. Find out more information about the MRF.

What happens to my plastic bottles?

What happens to my used newspaper?

What should I do with large amounts of recyclable material?

If you regularly have more recyclables than will fit in your bin, we are happy to give you a second recycling bin. If you occasionally have some large items, for example cardboard boxes, which will not fit inside your recycling bin, please flatten them and place next to your recycling bin on collection day.

If you only have a small recycling bin (140 litres), you can request a larger 240 litre bin by completing our online exchange recycling bin form or call our customer service centre to order one on 01256 844844.

Why don't you collect yoghurt pots and other recyclable material?

There are number of reasons why we don't collect mixed plastics for recycling.

UK Market - There is currently no available UK sustainable market for this material. This means that no company within the UK wants or has capacity for any more of this material. It is more environmentally and financially sustainable to send this material to the energy from waste incinerator in Chineham.

Sorting facility - The Hampshire sorting facilities do not have the technology to separate this material. The investment to do so is not planned until there is a market to send it to.

Why don't you collect shredded paper?

We use a range of mechanical and manual sorting techniques to separate your recyclables from each other. This takes place at a Materials Recovery Facility. Due to the size of shredded paper, the machinery is unable to separate the shredded paper from the other items and it simply passes through the system and is disposed of. Shredded paper can be placed in your home composter or your grey waste bin.

Can I place my recycling in a bag?

No, all of your recycling should be placed into your bin clean, dry and loose. This makes it easy for us to sort. Any items that are wrapped in a plastic carrier bag or a black sack may be disposed of as waste.

Can I recycle plastic carrier bags?

These should not be placed in your green bin. Plastic bags can become tangled in the sorting machinery and can contaminate other recyclable items.

You can reuse your plastic bags the next time you go shopping or around the home, for example as bin bags. Larger supermarkets offer collection points for plastic bags, usually at the front of the store and they will then be recycled.

Why not consider buying a reusable 'bag for life'? These are now available from most shops. They are much more durable than carrier bags and will help reduce the amount of rubbish you produce.

How clean do the recycled materials need to be?

We ask you to rinse food cans out, perhaps using the water that you have washed your dishes in. There is no need for these containers to be thoroughly cleaned using fresh running water, the important thing is to remove any large amounts of food residues, which can contaminate the other recycling in your bin. Labels can be removed but it doesn’t matter if they aren’t, as this is part of the reprocessing stage.

What can I do if I have a large amount of cardboard?

Cardboard which should be flattened and all contents removed can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Alternatively, flattened cardboard can be put out alongside your green bin on your usual collection day.

Where can I take glass bottles and jars?

All properties have access to a kerbside collection of glass bottles and jars. Should you require a collection box or need an additional one, you can complete our online order a replacement bin or box form or contact 01256 844844.

There are also over 70 recycling sites in the borough where you can take a wide range of recyclables, including glass bottles and jars; clothing and shoes; books; and, aluminium foil.
Find out where your nearest recycling site is.

What happens if I put the wrong items in my recycling bin?

Our crews try to check that recycling bins have not been contaminated with general waste, and may not collect recycling bins which are contaminated with non-recyclable items.

Contamination such as nappies, black sacks of waste, electrical items, can ruin the other recyclables in your green bin, and when it is sorted it could be dangerous to the people who sort the recyclables by hand. Putting items which can't be recycled into your green bin could lead to the rejection of an entire load of recycling

The green bin is for paper, card, tins and cans , aerosols and plastic bottles only. The grey bin is for all household waste and should not contain recyclables.

Recycling left in black sacks or carrier bags will not be collected - put recycling into your green bin clean, dry and loose.

Can I recycle my water filters?

Brita recycling bins can now be found at high street shops such as Argos, Robert Dyas and Tesco. The bins take all Brita water filters including those for Brita jugs and water filter taps.

For more information on where to recycle your Brita water filters, contact Brita customer care on 0870 487 1000 or visit www.brita.co.uk

You can post your Brita water filters back to the company at: Brita Recycling, FREEPOST NAT17876, Bicester, OX26 4BR.

My recycling (green) bin has been lost/damaged/stolen, can I have a new one?

If your recycling (green) bin was broken on the collection vehicle during the emptying process, or has been stolen or damaged by somebody, you can have a replacement free of charge. You can order a replacement bin by completing the Order a replacement bin or box online form or by calling 01256 844844.

Please note there is a charge for a replacement glass (red) bin and can be ordered by calling 01256 844844. More information can be found on our waste collection service page.

Waste (black/grey) bin

Why are bins chargeable?

The council introduced the charge of waste bins to help cover the increasing costs of replacing lost, damaged or stolen bins.

Can I choose the size of bin I purchase?

No, the size of bin that a household can have is relevant to the number of occupants.

A 140ltr bin collected weekly for household waste should be sufficient for the majority of households.

Those with larger families can apply for a larger waste bin and/or increase the size of their recycling bin. As with all councils’ we are trying to encourage residents to reduce the amount of waste they produce and also to increase recycling.

My bin was damaged by the crew, do I have to pay?

Yes, bins do have a limited life span and as they get older they become brittle; bins left in the sun are prone to this.

Only bins that have gone into the back of the lorry, and have been verified by the crew will be replaced free of charge. Items, like bins, which are subject to robust mechanical handling and use will suffer disrepair/damage due to wear and tear.

My bin was stolen, do I need to buy a replacement?

If you have evidence that your bin has been stolen you should report it to the police and see if such theft is covered by your house contents insurance. As in all cases of theft the responsibility for replacement falls on the owner,

Can I buy my own bin so that I have a larger 240 litre bin?

We can't stop you from purchasing your own bin, but the council may not empty the bin if it does not comply with the required standard ie manufactured and tested to EN840 - DIN30700.

If you are in receipt of qualifying benefits you maybe entitled to a 50% discount for a replacement.

Does the bin come with a guarantee?

We will have a record of your new bin purchase it would be expected that the bin would have, with normal wear and tear, a life expectancy of seven years. You will not have to pay for a replacement if proved faulty within 2 years.

If I report that my bin is stolen to the police, will it be replaced free of charge?

No. Refer to question 'My bin was stolen, do I need to buy a replacement?'

I saw my bin go into the back of the refuse lorry but you have no knowledge of this, do I need to pay for a replacement?

The crews are required to report bins that go into the back of the lorry and our records do not show that this has occurred. If you see this happen please report it immediately by phoning 01256 844844.

My bin has not been returned after collection, what should I do?

The first thing to do is check with your neighbours. Very often bins turn up again after a couple of days.

Your bin should be returned to the agreed point of collection, for example bins should be presented at the kerbside at the nearest point accessible to the refuse vehicle on the public highway. If this is not occurring we can investigate with our contractor, please complete a bin service issue form.

Please ensure that all your bins display your house number/name clearly so that the crews can identify easily and return to correct collection point. Also this allows them to report, if it happens, which bin has been damaged/gone into the back of the lorry.

I do not want to buy a bin, is there another option?

No, if you refuse to use an approved bin you will have to make your own arrangements for disposal.

If you are in the process of purchasing a bin from the council (this will show on our records) to replace one that is lost, damaged or stolen we will be able to collect waste presented in sacks until your new bin is delivered.

Will there be a discounted rate for residents who are on benefits?

There is a 50% discount for residents on low income (if you are in receipt of qualifying benefits).

What happens to my waste?

All waste collected throughout Basingstoke and Deane is taken to Chineham incinerator.


My bin/sack wasn't emptied, can you come back and pick it up?

We will collect from the kerbside outside of your property from 7am until early evening on your collection day. If we've missed your bin, you can report a missed collection online.

Providing the bin was not left due to one of the reasons we may not collect, we'll try to return the next working day.

Our crews will only return if you report your missed collection by 5.30pm, 48 hours after your collection was due.

When is my collection day?

Your rubbish and recycling bin should be placed on the edge of your property by 7am on the day of collection. Find out when your bins are being collected.

Does the council offer a service to clean my wheelie bin

No, we do not offer this service. You can either clean the bin yourself using a long handled brush and some soapy water or find a private company by looking in your local telephone directory.

What should I do with my garden waste?

You have a number of choices for composting green garden waste. By using a home composter, you can produce your own compost from grass cuttings, leaves, hedge clippings and kitchen waste.

Recycle for Hampshire has teamed up with getcomposting.com to provide compost bins at special offer prices and other great green products for residents of Basingstoke and Deane.

Alternatively, you can sign up to the council's garden waste collection service and we will do the composting for you. Find out about the council's garden waste collection service.

Garden waste can also be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) on Wade Road.

You can no longer dispose of garden waste in your household bin.

I am unable to put my bin/sack out for collection, will the council provide assistance?

The council provides an assisted collection for residents who are unable to put their bin/sack out for collection due to disability or infirmity. Please complete an assisted bin collection form to request this service or call 01256 844844.

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    8.30am to 4.30pm
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