Lewisham Council - What can I put in my recycling bin?

What can I put in my recycling bin?

Find out about everything you can put in your recycling bin.

What can go in What cannot go in

Metal tins and cans – empty

Aluminium and steel food and drink cans, biscuit tins, lids and any other tin or can.


No full tins or cans.​

Tin and aluminium foil – clean

Kitchen foil and metal takeaway meal containers.


No dirty foil.​


Aerosol cans – empty

Cleaning products, deodorants, shaving foam and other aerosol cans.

Aerosol cans must be empty as the container is a gas cylinder.​


No full or part full aerosol cans.​


Plastic food containers – clean

Margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, takeaway containers, coffee cups, fruit and vegetable punnets, meat trays, ready meal food trays, ice cream containers and any other plastic container.


No dirty or full containers.

No polystyrene.

Plastic bottles – empty

Soft drink bottles, cleaning product and bleach bottles, shampoo and toiletry bottles and any other plastic bottle. Please put lids in separately.​


No dirty or full bottles.​

Plastic bags and plastic film

Plastic sacks, supermarket carrier bags, sandwich bags, cellophane, plastic wrap (like cling film) and other film plastic.


No black sacks.


Food and beverage cartons – empty

Large and small juice cartons, soup cartons and any other beverage carton. These cartons are made by companies like Tetra Pak, Elopak and SIG Combibloc.


No full cartons.​

Glass bottles – clean

Any type of glass bottles including: wine bottles, vinegar bottles, olive oil bottles, perfume bottles and any other glass bottle.

Glass jars –

Any kind of glass jars including: jam jars, honey jars, pickle jar and any other glass jar.

Remember clear and coloured glass accepted!

Lids from glass jars or bottles can be kept on or taken off.


Window glass, broken glass, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, pyrex, ceramics or ovenware.

Recycle your light bulbs at the reuse and recycling centre.


Paper – clean

Most paper, including newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes, corrugated paper and greetings cards.


No tissue or toilet paper.

No wallpaper.

No dirty or soiled paper.

Books, telephone directories and catalogues

Please note: charity shops are still the best place to take books that are in good condition.

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Cardboard – clean

All cardboard including heavy cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, egg boxes and any other type of cardboard.

Make sure large cardboard boxes are flattened.​

​No dirty or soiled cardboard.

Shredded paper

Both straight and cross shredded paper is ok.​


Only put items that can be recycled in your recycling bin. Household refuse, like food and garden waste, can contaminate your recycling bin. We will put a red tag on your recycling bin if it is contaminated. If you keep contaminating your recycling bin, we will remove it. For more information, read our service standards.




Changes to waste collections

Later this year there will be big changes to rubbish and recycling collections.

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