Shropshire Council

Recycling and rubbish FAQs

What can I put in my bins and recycling boxes?

I produce lots of rubbish, can I have a bigger bin?

We provide a standard 240 litre wheeled bin for general household rubbish. We make an exception for families who have six or more permanent residents in the house by allowing a larger (360 litre) wheeled bin. To apply for this, use our online customer portal.  

Can I have a smaller bin?

Yes. We're happy to exchange your refuse or garden waste bin for a smaller (140 litre) version. Contact customer.service@shropshire.gov.uk to order. 

I have a large garden - can I have an extra garden waste bin?

We provide one garden waste bin per household. If you produce lots of garden waste the best thing to do is compost it at home. You can rent one extra garden waste bin from us but we charge £65 a year. You can also take extra garden waste to our household recycling centres. 

Why can't you collect black plastic for recycling?

Unfortunately we can't accept black plastic at present because the sorting technology used to separate the plastics into their different types uses infrared light which can't detect black. 

Why can't you collect shredded paper for recycling?

We will collect small amounts of shredded paper for composting with your garden waste. Please don't add shredded paper to your recycling boxes though to prevent litter and because our paper recycling mill prefers not to take shredded paper. 

Where can I recycle batteries?

Household batteries can be recycled at most supermarkets and at our Household Recycling Centres (NB - car batteries should be recycled separately).

Alternatively, you can now put them out with your normal household recycling. Simply seal them in a clear plastic bag and put the bag out with your recycling boxes, making sure it's somewhere the collection crew will be able to see it.

What recycling issues must I consider if I'm building new homes?

It's essential that you make provision for waste and recycling collections, in particular providing sufficient space to store waste and enabling access for large collection vehicles. Find out more from our guidance. 

Do I have to remove the plastic window when recycling envelopes?

No you don't. This is a common myth about envelope recycling but it's really not necessary, as our paper mill can cope with small amounts of non-critical contamination like these. 

Can I put Tetra Paks in my blue bag?

Tetra Pak cartons are made of a composite material and aren't currently collected kerbside in Shropshire, but there are recycling facilities at all five household recycling centres for Tetra Pak. These are then collected by another organisation which transports it to a paper mill in Yorkshire for further processing.

An organisation called Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) works with governments, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste, and actively encourages packaging companies to redesign their products to reduce non-recyclable materials and thereby achieve better recycling rates.

Can I dispose of car tyres?

A full set of car tyres, including the spare, can be taken to any of our five household recycling centres in any one month.

Where do I put my blue bag when putting out for collection?

Containers should be presented on the pavement in front of your house, or in areas without pavements on the edge of the nearest 'adopted' road.

What can I put in my blue bag?

You can put paper and cardboard in your blue bag. Mixing your paper and card together in one container is acceptable as these items will be collected together on the collection vehicle.

Please ensure that it does not contain any staples, tape, polystyrene or plastic as these can't be recycled with your cardboard.

Where does the recycling go?

The recycling from your boxes is taken to our materials recovery facility in Wolverhampton, where it's sorted and sent to reprocessors to make new things. In fact, it takes just 12 weeks for a tin can to be back on the shelf at your local supermarket.

The paper and cardboard from your blue bag is bundled and sent to a reprocessor to be made into paper and cardboard again.

Find out more from our 'What happens to my recycling?' page.

Why do I have to keep the paper and cardboard separate to the mixed recycling in the boxes when you're throwing it all in the same truck?

The recycling trucks have two compartments, one for the paper and card mix and one for the mixed recycling (cans, plastic and glass). The two sets of recycling get sent on to different facilities.

Recycling journey

 

What happens if I have more paper and card than will fit into the blue bag?

If you have lots of cardboard, please cut or tear into small manageable pieces (the size of your blue bag) and secure together. Leave the extra cardboard by the side of your blue bag, secured so that it doesn’t become wind blown. Please ensure that it doesn't contain any polystyrene, staples, tape or plastic, as this can’t be recycled.

You can request an additional blue bag using our online form.

Am I allowed extra containers if I regularly have more recycling?

We want you to recycle as much as possible, so if you have extra recycling, you can request more containers using our online form. Alternatively you can ring our customer service centre on 0345 678 9007 during normal working hours.

Please note that you can leave extra cardboard by the side of your blue bag, secured so that it doesn't blow away.

What happens if my recycling containers are broken?

If your containers are broken, please request new ones using our online form. Alternatively you can ring our customer service centre on 0345 678 9007 during normal working hours.

Can I place my additional cardboard/paper out in carrier bags

No. If you have lots of cardboard, please cut or tear into small manageable pieces (the size of your blue bag) and secure together. Leave the extra cardboard by the side of your blue bag, secured so that it doesn’t become wind blown. 

Please ensure that it doesn't contain any polystyrene, staples, tape or plastic, as this can’t be recycled. Excess paper can be left for collection in a paper bag. We can't recycle cardboard and paper in plastic bags.

Why aren’t residents in Bridgnorth and Oswestry receiving a food waste service?

At present we don't have the facilities to deal with collecting food waste from residents in Bridgnorth and Oswestry. A service will be introduced soon.

Where can I order caddy liners from?

You can purchase caddy liners online from local retailers and supermarkets. Please ensure they display the seedling logo below to ensure that they're compostable.

Will the food in my caddy smell?

All food waste can be scraped straight into your caddy. Putting a small amount of newspaper at the bottom of the caddy will absorb any smells or moisture. This newspaper can be thrown into the garden waste along with your food waste. Storing food in the caddy is just the same as placing it in your normal rubbish bin.

Can I use plastic bags to line my caddy?

No. Any bags used to contain food waste must be compostable and display the compostable logo...

Caddy liners can also be purchased via the Veolia website. You can also use newspaper to line your caddy. This can be thrown into the garden waste along with your food waste.

Please don't leave your caddy out for collection - tip the contents of your caddy into your garden waste bin/sack instead.

What can I put in my food caddy?

You can put in eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, bones, tea bags, ground coffee, bread, pasta, rice and plate scrapings, including gravy.

Please don't put any liquids including milk, cooking oil or cooking grease in it - these should be put in the residual waste.

Food packaging, including cling film, plastic trays or paper, must not be put in your caddy either.

The bags you supply look and feel like plastic bags - are they?

No, they aren't. These are compostable starch liners. Plastic bags, and other types of bags, won't compost and using them may mean your waste remains uncollected. 

Store your liners in a cool, dark, dry place.

What do I do with packaged food items, such as fruit punnets or lettuce in a bag?

We can't accept any type of food packaging with your food waste. Please remove and empty any food waste from the packaging into your caddy and then dispose of the packaging in your recycling or rubbish collection.

I already compost at home, should I still use my composter?

Yes, if you already compost at home, please keep composting all your fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags and garden waste. However, cooked food waste and meat/bones/bread products can't go into your home compost bin. Put these items in your caddy.

Won’t food waste attract animals like rats, foxes and squirrels?

No. You'll empty your caddy into your garden waste bin, which will prevent animals getting in.

Can I still take excess cardboard to my local household recycling centre

Yes, our aim is to save you the trip to your household recycling centre (HRC), but if you do have a large amount of cardboard you can always take it there.

Why are bin men taking photos of my bin / street?

Collection crews now record any issues electronically.  This can be contamination, incorrect container presented or container not presented.  Photos taken are kept in accordance with GDPR and are deleted after 3 months.