Recycling boxes

Recycling is collected every week.

Most households are given two recycling boxes. We only collect from North Somerset Council boxes.

The only exception is groups of properties with communal waste and recycling areas.

Did you know...

Discarded electrical items are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and globally there are over 50 million tonnes thrown away each year. 

In North Somerset we collect small electricals with a plug, battery or cable if you bag it and place on top of your recycling box on collection day.

Find out more on the recycle your electricals website.

For more information about how to repurpose unwanted electricals, and donate to someone who can use them, see our reducing your household waste page.

We now provide two different coloured recycling boxes (green and black) to residents who request new or replacement boxes, to help you sort your recycling.

Put your house number on your boxes to help us return them to the correct property.

Sorting your recycling

Please sort your recycling into box one and box two, and separate the materials inside each box.


Box one (green)

  • plastic including all white, clear, coloured or opaque plastic packaging
  • metal including foil, tins, cans, lids from jars, tin trays and empty aerosols
  • paper including newspaper, magazines, catalogues, white or coloured paper, but excluding brown paper which goes with cardboard in box two

Keep paper separate from your plastic and metal packaging.

Box two (black)

  • all types of cardboard (flattened), including brown paper
  • cartons including Tetra Paks (wash and squash)
  • glass bottles and jars (rinse and make sure they are visible in your box and not in plastic bags)

Cardboard and cartons may be mixed together but should be separate from glass.

Items that can go in either box

These are items that are not used regularly and include:

  • small electrical appliances including all household appliances and IT/telecommunications equipment smaller than a standard domestic toaster. For example toasters, radios, clocks, laptops, keyboards, computer mouse, irons, watches, hair dryers, telephones
  • Spectacles
  • Sunglasses
  • Textiles and Clothes (suitable for reuse)
  • Shoes (tied in pairs)
  • Mobile phones
  • Batteries 

Bag these separately in a carrier bag and tie loosely to keep them dry. Put batteries separately in a clear plastic bag inside the box.

If you only have one box please use loosely tied carrier bags to separate materials so we can collect more quickly.

Items we don’t collect for recycling

  • flat glass, broken glass, pyrex, drinking glasses and light bulbs
  • black plastic
  • polystyrene (non-rigid expanded or foam types)
  • plastic film, plastic wrapping and carrier bags
  • rigid plastic – can be recycled at recycling centre
  • spray paint or lighter fluid containers
  • car batteries
  • nappies
  • business waste
  • crisp packets
  • saucepans
  • tissues and paper towels
  • glass vases

Recycling is sorted by hand. If these items are in your box we won’t empty it but will leave a note to explain why.

Did you know it takes around 20 seconds to empty a sorted recycling box, but a jumbled box takes about two minutes

Stack your boxes with the food waste caddy on top to prevent items from blowing away.

Sorting your recycling helps the crew to collect it more quickly. Quicker collections will reduce traffic delays and help to reduce congestion.

It will also help the crews to clearly see all the items in your bin, reducing contamination and increasing the quality of the recycling collected.

Better quality recycling has a higher value when sold on to be recycled. This helps to subsidise the cost of collections and helps to keep Council Tax lower.

Recycling box nets

Recycling box nets are a great way to stop litter blowing around in the wind. They are available to buy for £2 at all of our libraries.