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.

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. These can be recycled at one of the plastic and carton recycling banks in the borough.

Juice cartons - Tetra Pak cartons are difficult to recycle because they are mixture of plastic, foil and cardboard.  These can be recycled at one of the plastic and carton recycling banks in the borough.

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?

There are 75 recycling sites in the borough, where you can recycle a wide range of items, some of which we cannot collect from the kerbside. Find the nearest recycling site to you.

There is also the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Wade Road where you can recycle bulky household waste and other recyclable items, such as batteries and light bulbs

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 (120 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 many different types of plastic and items such as yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic food trays and carrier bags are very different from plastic bottles, which we can recycle. You can recycle your plastic pots and cartons at one of the plastic and carton recycling banks in the borough.

The type of plastic used to produce plastic bottles is different and there are markets in the UK for all types of plastic bottles. These are recycled into a range of items including fleece clothing and drainage pipes.

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.

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.

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.

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

If your 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.

Waste (black/grey) bins will be replaced with a smaller 140 litre bin as we no longer issue 240 litre bins for households with four residents or less.

There is no charge for a replacement, or an extra green bin. 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.

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 on your collection day. If we've missed your bin, please allow us up to 4pm on the day of collection before reporting a missed collection, to allow for delays such as weather or road works.

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 on the collection day or the next working day.

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.

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 ring the council on 01256 844844 to request this service.

Contact details

Waste Management Team

If you have an enquiry about waste collection, send a message to the Waste and Recycling Team

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