Recycling starts with your local district and county councils
Your own District Council (who you pay your Council tax to), is your Collection Authority for all your kerbside collections.
West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is the Waste Disposal Authority and manages waste collected by your District Council.
So recycling starts with the way in which you collect and sort waste packaging, food waste and garden waste into your bins for weekly or fortnightly collection, and how you use your local council recycling schemes. Use the links below to answer your recycling questions.
Please note that we are based in Horsham District so there may be information below which only applies to Horsham. You can find out information about all of West Sussex on your local council website, the WSCC websites or through Recycle Now.
- Use this site (all links open in new tab) to answer all your waste collection and recycling questions for waste that is collected by your council.
- Where is my nearest Recycling centre? Remember, each site can take slightly different items, so do check before you book and set off. Many sites now require booking online or via an App, and you’ll need an ID and car registration number.
- This flyer remind you what you can recycle.
If you can’t recycle with your council through bin collections or local centres, then look at our specialist schemes before you dispose of your waste.
Preparing your recycling
Clean your items before putting them in the recycling bin
- All items placed in your recycling bin should be clean; a quick rinse will usually do. Items that have left over food or drink in them can ruin the quality of other items in your recycling bin. This can then in turn spoil the recycling in the recycling lorries and at the materials recycling facility (MRF). Items that are covered with leftover food and drink cannot be recycled.
Keep your recycling dry
- All items placed in your recycling bin should be dry, and cans and bottles should not contain any liquid. Liquid will make any paper or cardboard in your recycling bin wet and it won’t be able to be recycled. During the sorting process, wet paper and cardboard can also stick to the machinery, clogging it up, and to glass, meaning it can’t be recycled.
- ‘Make sure your bin lid closes. Do not stack cardboard alongside your bin for collection’.
Keep your recycling out of bags for easier sorting
- No. Please do not put your recycling in plastic bags before putting it in your recycling bin as it cannot then be sorted by the MRF. Please place your recycling in your bin, clean, dry and loose.
Frequently asked questions
- You can recycle fast food trays (but not the film covers)
- If in doubt, try the scrunch test. Material that stays scrunched when you crunch it in your palm can be recycled. Stuff that springs back can’t.
- Bubble wrap goes in the household waste in West Sussex, although some supermarkets can take it.
- Here’s the plastics list for West Sussex.
- Don’t forget that even if the council won’t take items, the the Sussex Green Living with Terracycle schemes may well do so, so do check before you bin it.
Things to keep out of household bin recycling in West Sussex. But don’t despair, we can help!
Please don’t give us
- plastic bottle lids smaller than coffee can or standard jam jar lids
- plastic triggers on bottles (but the bottle body is OK)
- no polystyrene takeaway drinks cups or their lids (but plastic ones can be recycled)
- plastic flower pots, seed trays and garden plastic furniture of any colour (because they are made of a different type of plastic)
Click the link on the left to see how Sussex Green Living can help with those hard to recycle items
- All West Sussex District Councils offer garden waste kerbside collection (opens in new tab) through a subscription service, or you can take it to your local recycling centre.
- You can put in: Plant prunings, Grass cuttings, Twigs and small branches no larger than the width of your wrist, Old or used compost, Leaves, Weeds and Flowers
- But Not: household rubbish, soil, eggs or food waste, hardcore or rubble or plastics. And not even items labelled as compostable.
- And definitely not : Japanese knotweed or diseased plants including Ash wood cuttings.
- WSCC also offers a scheme to help you buy a home composting bin at a discounted rate from getcomposting.com
- Here’s the link for Horsham District Council but each District Council has its own site.
West Sussex and Food waste
- Starting on 19 May 2021, Arun District Council, in partnership with West Sussex County Council, are running a year-long trial collection service. This will include weekly food waste and absorbent hygiene product (AHP), such as nappies and incontinence waste, collections. Arun is the first district in West Sussex to trial these collections as part of an enhanced recycling and rubbish collection service.
- In general, we encourage you to shop smart and reduce food waste, or donate surplus food to community fridges and food banks
- If your food is past edible, then compost vegetable matter and teabags.
- Our Youth Eco Forum E-zine has a great article on Food Waste
Special Council schemes
- A number of District Councils, including Horsham, operate a clinical waste collection service . They’ll take bandages, incontinence pads, needles and sharps, and stoma bags. None of this should go in household waste, and your district council will supply boxes and packaging free of charge.
- Most District Councils will collect up to eight items for a charge, currently £20 for the first item and £14 thereafter (Horsham 2021 prices) The WSCC site allows you to search by postcode for large item schemes
Other useful ways to recycle
Give your waste a new lease of life
- Repair your items (small household electrical appliances, toys and clothing) at our Horsham Repair Cafe, which is on the last Saturday of every month at our Sussex Green Hub.
- Extending the life of textiles is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Re-Use plastic and wood and even wool and cotton creatively in your garden.
- Compost– its black gold!
Use a shop-based scheme
- Don’t forget that many shops will take everything from batteries to lightbulbs, textiles, bags and shoes, coffee cups andeven electrical appliances. Currys PC World in particular will take everything from old cameras and computers to phones, toasters and kettles and much more.
- You can now take back the some single use plastics to plastic bag collection points at the larger stores of most major supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Co-op and Waitrose. For online shopping deliveries, many supermarkets also allow you to hand your unwanted bags back to the driver for recycling. Download this handy list to keep in the kitchen.
- Recycle Now has a locator for your postcode for many types of material (opens in new tab)
Recycle for charity
- There are many charities that will collect waste and sell it for a small profit. Sussex Green Living partners with TerraCycle to operate a number of drop-off locations. for single-use plastics. TerraCycle operates schemes across the UK, so if our schemes don’t suit, you’re sure to find one on their website.
- We work with Recycle4charity to recycle ink cartridges to raise funds.
- We recycle mobile phones and plastic mobile phone cases at our main drop off locations, as seen here.
- We collect aluminium ring pulls for the Purple Community Fund, which helps Filipino families (with children as young as 4) get off their landfills and into work and school. These types of waste resources can be delivered in a bag into our collection bins to any of the following addresses:
- William Penn Primary School, Coolham, Nr Billingshurst, RH13 8GR
- Quaker Meeting House, Worthing Road, Horsham, RH12 1SL (please use the green bin by cottage door, right side of the main building, under the window)
- There are many SGL drop-off locations across Horsham District in West Sussex, you can check by looking at the map.
- Don’t forget local schemes such as Bags of Support which collects textiles and shoes for communities in need.
- If you want to start your own TerraCycle scheme with us, here’s how!
Pass your items on to others
- There are many schemes such as Freecycle or Freegle which allow you to pass unwanted items on within your community. Many schools operate school uniform schemes as well.
Sources of advice
- Recycle Now is a great source of recycling advice (opens in new tab) for local recycling and for hard to recycle items. It will help you find a local recycling solution for almost any item.
- Do you have a question on recycling or an item you would like advice on recycling? Contact us and we will advise you. Contact us;