Wealden District Council
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Your Waste Collection Service – Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Where should I put my bins for collection?

Please ensure that your bins are put out at the edge of your property by 7 am on the day of collection (collection times may vary).

How do I order a replacement bin?

You can do this via our online form on My Wealden for a replacement bin or by calling us on 01323 443322.

What happens if I live in a flat and use communal waste and recycling facilities?

If you have communal rubbish and recycling bins, please look out for stickers on your bins and make sure you use the bins as shown.

I will struggle to get the bin to the edge of my property, can you help?

Yes, we can provide assisted collections on request. Please see the Assisted Collection Service page or contact us using the details below for further information.

How to arrange for a missed bin collection?

If we have missed your collection, please report it to us by 5pm the following working day. Our collection work is scheduled carefully each week and we cannot return to collect missed bins, if they are reported late. If you would like to report a missed collection please do this via our online form for a missed by on My Wealden or calling us on 01323 443322.

Do you offer a cleaning service for the bins?

No, we do not offer bin cleaning as part of the service. Please see our Wheelie Bin Hygiene Tips or contact us using the details below for information on local cleaning companies which may be able to help.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): disposing of waste

How to dispose of home lateral flow device tests, face coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Put the test in the small waste bag provided with the kit and place it in the normal rubbish bin at home. You must not put the lateral flow device tests into the recycling bin.   

If a face covering/PPE is not washable, is worn out or disposable, put it in the rubbish bin.  You must not put used face coverings of any kind or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, into the recycling bin. 

Recycling Bin

What goes in my Recycling Bin?

You can recycle the following items in your recycling bin: Glass bottles and jars, cardboard, paper, food/drinks cans, foil, aerosols,  plastic bottles, plastic pots (no plant pots), tubs and trays, plastic film and bags(no black bags & plastic polystyrene trays).

What types of plastic can I recycle?

You can recycle a wide range of plastics including: plastic bottles (e.g. milk, soft drinks and shampoo), plastic pots (e.g. yogurt, cream and soup), plastic tubs (e.g. margarine and ice cream), plastic trays (e.g. meat, fruit and ready meals) plastic bags, plastic film and wrapping (around magazines, multi-packs and food).

Do I have to wash containers and remove labels?

Please wash your containers and foil. This helps to keep your recycling cleaner and prevents smells. You don’t need to remove the labels as this is done as part of the recycling process.

Do I need to squash my plastic bottles?

Yes, please. Squashing your bottles means there is room in your bin to recycle even more.

Do I have to take the lids off plastic bottles?

Please squash your plastic bottles and put the lids back on before placing them in your recycling bin.

Do I need to bag up my foil?

No, please place this loose in your recycling bin.

Can I recycle the metal lids from glass bottles and jars?

Yes, these can be recycled with cans, so please place in your recycling bin.

Do I need to separate plastic from paper or cardboard?

There is no need to remove the windows from envelopes. However, please take the paper out of junk mail/magazine wrappers and cereal liners from the boxes, and place all the separated items in the recycling bin. This reduces contamination and improves the quality of the recycled materials.

Why we cannot accept food and drinks cartons (Tetra Paks) for recycling?

Although the Council was able to collect food and drinks cartons (Tetra Pak) for recycling in the past, we can no longer accept cartons for recycling and they need to be placed in the rubbish bin instead.

The recycling process for cartons is often costly and inefficient. In general, cartons are made of six layers of material, which need to be separated for reprocessing. Whilst the cardboard can be recycled, the remaining plastic film and aluminium foil has to be incinerated.

The recycling industry has recently tightened its quality standards and cartons can no longer be recycled alongside general cardboard but need to be sorted separately. At present the Material Reclamation Facility (MRF) in Crayford (Kent) used by East Sussex County Council doesn’t have the sorting methods available to separate cartons from the rest of the mixed recycling. This means any cartons that are delivered there will end up contaminating the paper and cardboard.

The lack of recycling facilities for cartons in the UK also means that cartons often have to be transported over long distances, which means any benefit to the environment through recycling is lost. Therefore, for the moment, the most effective method for disposal is to send the cartons to an incinerator such as the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility to generate electricity.

Can I recycle shredded paper?

Yes, we accept shredded paper. Please put this in a clear plastic bag to keep it contained, and place it in your recycling bin.

Why can’t I recycle other glass products such as window panes and Pyrex/ovenproof glassware?

These are made from toughened glass which has a higher melting point, making it impossible to recycle them together. It is important that these items are kept out of your recycling bin as they could contaminate an entire load and prevent it from being recycled.

Can I put out extra recycling?

Yes, you can put out extra recycling in white or clear bags. Do not use black bags. They will not be picked up as the collection crew won’t be able to see what is in them. Please put your glass bottles and jars in your main recycling bin and not in a plastic bag.

If you have extra cardboard please ensure all boxes are flattened and folded/cut to a size which will easily fit into the Recycling Bin.

What happens to my recycling?

The contents of the recycling bins are initially bulked up at a recycling depot in Maresfield before being transported to the Viridor Materials Reclamation Facility in Crayford, Kent. Here the materials are sorted both mechanically and by hand into the individual materials and then sold onto reprocessors. The raw materials are then sold to those with the greatest demand for it. The vast majority of materials are processed within the UK.

Recycling small electrical items and batteries

I have some electrical items that show a crossed out wheelie bin symbol. Where can I recycle or dispose of these items?

Please don’t put electrical items in your rubbish bin. Small household electrical items such as mobile phones, hairdryers and electronic toys can be placed in a separate bag on top of either your rubbish bin or recycling bin for collection.

You can also take these and larger electrical items to a Household Waste Recycling Sites .

Where can I recycle batteries?

You can place household batteries (not car batteries) in a separate bag on top of either your rubbish bin or recycling bin.

Why do I have to separate batteries?

Batteries are a huge fire risk. In 2019 there were six fires at depots in Sussex because of batteries. Lithium ion batteries found in most gadgets are a particular risk as they can set alight when damaged by compactors in our waste trucks. For this reason we ask that batteries are placed in a separate carrier bag so that we can recycle them safely.

Why do we have to use a plastic bag?

A bag helps store multiple items and also keeps leads and cables neatly together. Plastic bags are also more weather proof than paper bags. The plastic bags can be recycled after collection just as they are when placed in your recycling bins.

Can I put multiple bags out at a time?

Please only put out one bag per household to ensure everything can fit in the compartments in the vehicles. If you have a lot of electricals to dispose of at any one time, please take them to a Household Waste Recycling site.

I have an item but it won’t fit in a carrier bag. Can I leave it out anyway?

If the electrical items won’t fit into a carrier bag then it is too large to fit into the compartments on our collection vehicles. Please take these larger items to a Household Waste Recycling Site.

What happens to small electrical items and batteries?

Electrical items are separated into the various different components for recycling in Lewes and then sold to customers depending on demand and market conditions.

Household batteries collected at the kerbside are taken to a facility in Garforth, Leeds, where they are bulked and sent on for recycling. The bulked batteries are taken to one of two specialist facilities in Belgium where they go through a chemical treatment process before being recycled. The resources gained from recycling batteries are the very same materials being mined in other parts of the world.

Recycling other items

I have some old furniture and a fridge. Can I recycle these sorts of things?  

If your unwanted items can be re-used there are several charities in the local area you can donate them to. Some may come to your home and pick up the items for free.

Alternatively, we provide a Bulky Household Waste Collection service and if we can reuse or recycle it, we will.  There is a charge for this service. Please contact us using the details below for more information.

Where can I recycle textiles?

Clean textiles such as clothes, sheets, towels, curtains and pairs of shoes can be taken to the textile banks located at our Neighbourhood Recycling Points or you can take them to  a Household Waste Recycling Site.