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What goes in my bins?

Which bin to use

Each of your household bins is for different types of items.

Images of each of the household bins in Rochdale borough.
  • Dark green bin: rubbish bin for general waste
  • Light green bin with blue lid: cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles and jars recycling
  • Blue bin: paper and cardboard recycling
  • Brown bin: food and garden waste

Get an overview of what items you can put in each of your bins

What can go in each bin? Which bin should I use?

Across the borough thousands of residents are recycling, but not everyone is getting it quite right. Putting just one wrong item in your recycling bin can contaminate a full load, costing taxpayers money. Please do help by making sure you're getting it right - your efforts make a huge difference.

  • Find out what you can recycle in each of the bins. All non-recyclable waste will need to be placed in your dark green bin.
  • You can leave additional recycling waste for collection in an open container where the contents can be easily seen. This must be left by the side of your recycling bin on your scheduled bin collection day. 
  • Please take additional non-recyclable waste to a rubbish tip and recycling centre. We treat any waste left next to a dark green bin as fly tipping and we may have to take action.

If you put the wrong items in your bin

If you put any incorrect items in your bin:

  1. We won't be able to empty the bin.
  2. We'll leave a sticker on your bin telling you which items are wrong.
  3. We won't return to empty your bin until your next collection day.
  4. You'll need to remove the incorrect items and put them in the correct bin before your next bin collection date. Find out your next bin collection date.
  5. Find out exactly what to do with almost anything and everything.

Common questions about what you can put in your bins

There's a lot of information you might not know about what goes in your household bins.

  • Do you collect extra recycling?
    Yes, as long as you can leave your additional recycling materials beside your recycling bin, and provided they are safe and secure (for example, left in a box so we can see what it contains).  
  • Do I need to wash plastic bottles and cans before I recycle them?
    Plastic bottles and cans should be rinsed but don't need to be property scrubbed before being put in your recycling bin.
  • Can I recycle food and pizza boxes?
    Food boxes such as pizza boxes are fine to go into your blue recycling and cardboard bin as long as you've removed any leftover food.
  • Can I put plastic bags in my recycling bins?
    No. You should put plastic bags in your dark green bin or you may be able to recycle them at your local supermarket.
  • Can I recycle plastic food trays, packaging and yoghurt pots?
    No. You should put plastic food trays, packaging and yoghurt pots in your dark green bin.
  • Can I recycle plastic toys and plastic garden furniture?
    No. You should dispose of them by taking them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or you can arrange a bulky waste collection
  • Can I put plant pots and hose pipes in my brown bin?
    No. You should put plant pots and hose pipes in your dark green bin. You can't put them in your brown bin because they don't compost.
  • Can I use plastic bags in my food caddy and then transfer the bag to my brown bin?
    No. You can only use compostable bags in your caddy and brown bin. Plastic bags and biodegradable bags are oil based and can't be composted. Get FREE compostable bags
  • Can I put electronic products in my household bins?
    No. You should take electronic items to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or you might be able to give them to specialist organisations to recycle.
  • Will the council sort any items I put in the wrong bin?
    No. You will need to sort your rubbish and make sure you only put the correct items in each bin. You can see what goes in each bin in the section above.
  • How do I recycle my Christmas tree?
    You can recycle your Christmas tree at home or take it to a Christmas tree recycling point. Recycle your Christmas tree.
  • Which bin should I use for Christmas wrapping paper and cardboard?
    You can put paper and cardboard in your blue bin. This includes, wrapping paper, Christmas cards and envelopes, any cardboard packaging and juice and food cartons. Make sure you don't put foil, polystyrene or ribbon in your blue bin and flat pack any packaging to make more room. What goes in my bin?

Related pages


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Phone: Monday–Friday 8.30am–5.30pm.
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Environmental Management
Green Lane
Heywood OL10 2DY
(Postal address only)

Green Flag Award.

North West In Bloom.

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