Help! Quarter of recycling going up in smoke

JUST Four - Back to basics to improve recycling rates

Recycling - JUST Four poster

Your red bin is exclusively for JUST Four items of recycling which must be clean.

They are: 

  • glass
  • plastic bottles
  • clean cardboard, newspapers and magazines
  • food and drink cans. 


  • We can’t recycle almost a quarter of your red bin items.
  • This is seven of the 30 lorry loads collected each week.
  • Which means around 380 tonnes, or 76 lorry loads, of your recycling has been burned in the first three months of this year.
  • This costs us, and so you, around £200 per day, £1,400 per week, £72,800 per year in extra disposal costs. 

Just one red bin with items which we cannot recycle can lead to an entire lorry load of recycling being thrown into the incinerator as waste.

These are mostly items which have recycling logos on them but which aren’t one of our JUST Four.

Items you put in your red bin which we can’t recycle include: 

  • dirty nappies
  • pizza boxes
  • plastic blinds
  • buckets and toys
  • shoes and clothes
  • food
  • Tetrapak
  • aerosols
  • plastic food packaging.

Red bins can only take the Just Four, which are clean and dry. NO LIDS.

  • Glass - all colours of glass bottles and jars.
  • Plastic bottles – anything plastic that is in a bottle shape – fizzy drinks, cleaning products and bottles used for toiletries, such as shampoo.
  • Newspapers, magazines and clean cardboard – no greasy pizza boxes or waste food.
  • Cans – fizzy drink and tinned food cans, cleaned.  

The JUST Four go into established manufacturing processes - you don’t want a dirty nappy in the cardboard used to box your internet deliveries.

We want to recycle more in the future and we will tell you when and what we would like to add to the red bin.

For where to recycle other recyclable materials and advice on how to recycle, see more on the council's website.

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