Recycling FAQs

You can see what goes in your blue bin here:

Where can I get a blue box?

Blue boxes can't be ordered online. You can pick one up at one of our offices or at one of our leisure centres.

Why can't I put glass in the blue lidded wheeled bin?

Glass must be kept separate and out of the paper stream for safety reasons and effective recycling. It must be placed in the blue box. If glass is placed in the wheeled bin it will contaminate the bin and not be emptied.

Why can't I recycle black plastic?

Plastic items are sorted by optical scanners which use the reflection of light to identify the types of plastics. Black plastic doesn’t reflect light, so it cannot be seen and sorted by the scanners and could end up contaminating other materials. Studies are currently looking into whether adding a pigment or marking to the trays would make the material detectable and recoverable.

Why can’t I recycle plastic bags, film or cling film?

Plastic bags are still not as widely recycled as other forms of plastic. Typically, made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE, number 4 plastic), plastic bags and films are difficult to recycle because they are thin and flexible. The recycling sorting equipment is designed to separate rigid materials like cans, bottles or paper products. When plastic bags get mixed in with other recyclables, they’re difficult to sort out and often jam or damage machines at the sorting facility and slow down the recycling process. The covering of items with film can also mean the rejection of otherwise good materials. Many larger supermarkets now accept soft packaging at instore collection points, including the Co-op, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Can I recycle shredded paper?

Yes, but it needs to be contained in either a cardboard box such as a cereal box or in tied in a clear plastic bag so that the recycling crews can clearly see that it contains shredded paper.

Can I have an extra recycling bin and/or box?

Yes, but the containers must be put out for collection every fortnight - material should not be stockpiled. Material should be flat-packed as much as possible, especially cardboard boxes. Only council provided bins will be emptied - if you use a bin that you have purchased privately it will not be emptied.

What time must bins and boxes be at the kerbside?

Recycling bins and boxes must be out for collection no earlier than the evening before the collection day and by 6am at the latest. If they are not available from this time they may not be collected.

Where do I put the bin and box for collection?

Place them in the same location as used for refuse collection.

How are the containers emptied?

The contents of the glass box are tipped into a separate pod to be tipped mechanically into the collection vehicle. The wheeled bin containing co-mingled materials is lifted mechanically and emptied into the vehicle.

What happens if I put the wrong things in the wrong container?

Bins that contain the wrong materials cannot be emptied - a notice will be issued informing you of the incorrect material and you will be required to remove it before the next collection.

I live in a terraced house with no front to rear access and nowhere to store bins. I am on black sack collection for refuse - what do I use for recycling?

You use the box for glass collection and rolls of recycling sacks are issued for mixed materials.

I live in a flat - can I recycle?

Some properties - including flats - are allocated communal recycling wheeled bins. Generally communal containers are moved to and from the storage area by the collection crew.

I live on a farm - will I get a collection?

Yes, but where there are three or fewer properties up a lane the collection will normally be from the lane end. If there are more than three properties we will go up the lane to collect as long as the lane is in good condition, has suitable passing places and a turning place available at all times, however this is subject to a site location survey.

I am on the black sack collection - how will I get the sacks?

Residents of properties where it is not suitable to use wheeled bins should contact the council to arrange and discuss delivery of sacks. Alternatively sacks and extra boxes can be collected from our offices:

Can I still get an assisted collection?

If you have assisted collection for refuse, you will get one for recycling.

Do I have to buy the wheeled bin?

No, they are free of charge. Developers pay for bins at new properties.

Who owns the bins?

The bins remain the property of the council and must be left at the property when you move.

Can I personalise my bin?

Yes, put your house name or number on the bin and box, so they can be easily recognised, especially at communal collection points.

My recycling has been missed - when will it be collected?

If it is a genuine missed collection we will try to return within two working days or as agreed. However, there may be times when poor weather makes this impossible.

If I deal with my own recycling can I have my Council tax back?

No. Council tax pays for a multitude of services with waste collection only being a small part of the annual figure. Hambleton District Council gets around 6% of the Council Tax bill you pay -  the rest goes to North Yorkshire County Council, Fire Service, Police and Parish or Town Councils. More info here:

Why have the recycling sites been removed?

By providing increased kerbside recycling the recycling centres are no longer needed. The council will make significant savings as the costs of servicing these sites was high.

When am I going to get a reply to my email/letter/phone call?

We will reply to all emails and phone calls as soon as possible. Written correspondence will be replied to within ten working days.

Where can I take my excess recycling?

The household waste recycling centres (tips) are still in operation and can be found here:

What happens to the recycling?

The recycling collected on our kerbside collection service is taken to Yorwaste transfer stations at Tancred, near Scorton or Thirsk. 

The glass is then taken to Berrymans in West Yorkshire. The mixed recycling is collected by UPM in North Wales.

UPM separate the mixed recycling into different types of material, they process the majority of the paper themselves into paper for newsprint, the rest is sold to companies in the UK and abroad for recycling. 

During 2020/21, 92% of our kerbside collected mixed recycling was reprocessed in the UK.

All the companies which purchase the material for recycling are licenced. The following information shows where our material was recycled from April 20 to March 2021 

Where recycled
Total tonnes
Newspaper UPM Shotton UK 1463
Mixed paper UK 1369
  Germany 59
  Netherlands 14
Cardboard UK 861
  Netherlands 46
Aluminium cans UK 96
  Germany 63
Ferrous cans UK 227
  Germany 77
Plastic UK 615
  Turkey 65
  Netherlands 36
  Slovakia/Lithuania 22
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