Recycling guide

Recycling collections

We try to recycle as much of Swindon’s waste as possible. We collect recycling using boxes so that we can hand sort materials at the kerbside. Our collectors are trained to reduce the contamination levels of the materials collected.

You can find your collection day for all your waste and recycling collections using our online calendar.

We encourage every household to have a minimum of two recycling boxes. This is so that you can sort your waste correctly. One box should contain paper and card, while the other should contain glass, metal and aerosols.

You can order additional recycling boxes. If you have more than two boxes, you should divide your recycling further to make it easier for the collection crews to sort.

If you live in a flat, you can find out more information on recycling for flats and communally occupied properties.

Paper and card recycling

Paper and card should be placed in the same recycling box. Large pieces of cardboard should be broken down before being placed in the box. Try to keep paper and card dry.

Yes please

  • Books
  • Letters and envelopes
  • Junk mail and leaflets
  • Newspapers, magazines and catalogues
  • Non-metallic wrapping paper and greeting cards
  • Cardboard and corrugated cardboard
  • Cereal and egg boxes
  • Shredded paper (contained in an envelope, paper bag or box)

No thanks

  • Paper towels and tissues
  • Heavily contaminated/dirty cardboard
  • Dirty paper plates and cups
  • Metallic wrapping paper and greeting cards
  • Tetra Pak and similar cartons

Please note: If you have large sheets of cardboard that do not fit in your recycling box, we will collect them as long as they are bundled and tied together. The cardboard bundle should be no taller than the height of two recycling boxes or wider than one recycling box (approximately 65cm x 65cm). 

Yes - we will accept this:

Cardboard collection image showing what we will take

No - we will not accept this:

Cardboard collection image showing what we won't take

Metal cans and glass recycling

Metal cans and glass should be placed in a separate recycling box to paper and card. Food and drinks cans and glass items should be rinsed before they are recycled. Please take the lids off glass items and add them separately to your recycling.

Broken glass is dangerous and cannot be recycled at the kerbside. Please wrap broken glass carefully and put it in your black wheelie bin or blue bag.

Yes please

  • Glass bottles
  • Glass jars
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Food cans
  • Drink cans
  • Clean aluminium foil and trays

No thanks

  • Pyrex, drinking glasses, vases and window glass
  • Light bulbs
  • Coffee capsules
  • Spectacles
  • Steel or copper household items (pans/baking trays)

Textiles, clothing and shoes recycling

Textiles are collected at the same time as your recycling boxes. Textiles must be securely tied in a carrier bag marked ‘TEXTILES’ and placed on top of, or inside, your recycling boxes. Please do not put wet or damp textiles out for recycling as they will not be collected.

Yes please

  • Clothes
  • Towels
  • Linen
  • Curtains
  • Footwear (preferably paired)

No thanks

  • Duvets
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping bags

Food waste recycling

For more information, visit our food waste collections page.

Plastics recycling

We collect plastic recyclable materials every fortnight. This is a separate collection to your recycling box collection and may fall on a different day. You can find your collection day using our online calendar.

You should place plastics for recycling in a white or transparent plastic bag. We do not provide plastic bags for you. You should place bags at the nearest point of your property to the highway by 6.30am on your collection day.

Plastic items should be rinsed before they are recycled. Dirty plastic items pose a risk of contamination and will not be collected.

Yes please

  • Drink bottles
  • Milk bottles
  • Food trays (white/transparent)
  • Soap bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • Plastic takeaway tubs
  • Food tubs (spreads, yoghurts and ice cream)

No thanks

  • Black plastic (black food trays)
  • Plastic furniture
  • Plastic toys
  • Plant pots
  • Polystyrene and bubble wrap
  • Cling film and sandwich bags
  • Hard plastic (buckets and washing up bowls)

Garden waste

There are three ways we can dispose of garden waste. You can:

Our subscription service is available to all residential properties. Each subscriber receives a 240 litre bin (or green bag alternative) for an annual fee.

We recycle all the garden waste we collect into environmentally friendly compost/soil improver. See also: Garden waste

Bulky waste

If you have unwanted large free-standing household items (bulky waste) that won’t fit in your bin, you can:

The bulky waste collection service is available to all residential properties in the borough.

Clinical waste

You can request a clinical waste collection free of charge. You should not include hazardous clinical waste in your black wheelie bin or blue bag.

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