What goes in your bin

A guide to what household rubbish you can and can't put in your grey bin and recycling bins. 

Grey bin - general waste

What you can put in:

  • food waste
  • plastic wrap and film - can be recycled at some local supermarkets
  • polystyrene packaging
  • paper with glitter and foil
  • sanitary wear, personal hygiene items and nappies
  • empty paint containers
  • animal waste
  • pet bedding including cat litter - bag it to avoid smells
  • other household waste that can't be recycled

what you can't put in:

  • batteries - these can be disposed of at most supermarkets
  • soil, rubble or 'do it yourself' waste
  • electrical items - these contain precious metals which should be recycled to help protect our environment
  • textiles
  • toys - donate to charity if they can be reused
  • carpets or furniture
  • asbestos

All these items can be taken to your local household waste recycling centre (HWRC) for reuse or recycling. Asbestos is hazardous and requires an appointment for specialist disposal.

More information

If you need to dispose of fireworks or throw away BBQ’s then please soak them in a bucket of water for 24 hours before putting them in your bin.

Please remember to remove all batteries and flammable liquids before you put any items in your bin or take them to a recycling centre. Batteries left in old toys, games controllers, TV remotes and mobile phones can cause fires at recycling and waste treatment centres. Many stores that sell batteries have containers to dispose of old ones, and there are separate areas for them to be handed in at the household waste recycling centres.

If you need to dispose of commercial waste, which is any waste produced as a result of any commercial, industrial, trade or business activity, further details can be found on our business waste pages.

If you’re already making full use of all your recycling bins and you still have too much household rubbish to fit into your grey bin, if there are 5 people or more living permanently in your home you can apply for an extra grey bin.

Brown bin - mixed recycling

What you can put in:

  • plastic bottles
  • clean kitchen foil
  • clean foil trays and lids
  • glass bottles
  • glass jars
  • food/drink cans and tins
  • biscuit/sweet tins and tubs
  • plastic pots such as yoghurt pots
  • plastic tubs and trays such as margarine tubs and sandwich meat trays
  • empty aerosols
  • aluminium tubes such as tomato puree

What you can't put in:

  • plastic food bags or film - can be recycled at some local supermarkets
  • cartons for liquids such as juice or milk
  • carrier bags
  • plastic toys
  • broken glass
  • light bulbs
  • pyrex
  • window glass
  • other metals - metal items other than cans and tins can damage the recycling equipment
  • other plastic items - we can only accept plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays

More information

Remember to rinse out food containers before you recycle, remove any film lids and squash your recycling to make more space.

Any extra plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays, tins, cans and foil trays that will not fit into your brown bin can be placed into a clear bag at the side of your bin on your collection day. For safety, please don't place glass items in a bag, these must go into your bin for collection.

If you'd like an extra brown bin, or have a small brown bin and want to replace it with a large one, you can order a bin online (delivery charge applies) or by calling 01226 773 555.

Blue bin - paper and card

What you can put in:

  • paper - plain and coloured
  • cardboard - large pieces should be collapsed or broken up so they fit in your bin
  • junk mail
  • catalogues and brochures
  • telephone directories
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • envelopes - please remove the plastic window

What you can't put in:

  • wrapping paper
  • tissue paper
  • gift bags
  • books - these could be donated to schools, charity or a book club
  • wet cardboard - this affects the quality of recycling
  • cardboard with food residue such as pizza/takeaway boxes
  • greaseproof paper
  • food waste
  • greeting cards with glitter, foil or embellishments
  • nappies
  • disposable coffee cups - these contain a layer of plastic film
  • cartons for liquids such as juice or milk
  • wet wipes

More information

Please tear cardboard into smaller pieces to stop it becoming wedged in your bin. Our crews can't put their hands inside bins to loosen large contents and you may find that your bin hasn't been fully emptied.

Please don't place wet or food-stained cardboard into your blue bin, as this may lead to large volumes of recycling being rejected at the sorting mill due to the load being contaminated.

What to do if you have extra cardboard

If your blue bin is full, on a dry day you can place extra recycling alongside your blue bin for collection. Please cut up any large cardboard boxes into smaller pieces and put them back inside one small or medium sized cardboard box. Please make sure any extra recycling will fit into your blue bin so we can refill your bin and re-empty it. Please don’t put extra cardboard out in the rain as we can't pick it up when wet. It may also leave a mess outside your home.

If you'd like an extra blue bin, or have a small blue bin and want to replace it with a large one, you can order a bin online (delivery charge applies). You can also take your recyclable waste to a household waste recycling centre.

Green bin - garden waste

What you can put in:

  • grass cuttings
  • leaves
  • weeds
  • flowers
  • plants
  • bark and wood shavings
  • hedge clippings
  • twigs

What you can't put in:

  • large pieces of wood
  • turf
  • hardcore (stones, rocks, concrete or gravel)
  • sand
  • soil
  • food waste
  • tea bags and coffee grinds

More information

Garden waste collections take place from March to November only. There are no collections in December, January and February.

General tips

We won't empty your bins unless the lids are fully closed and any bin liners have been taken off the front lip of the bin.

Please don't overfill your bin as the lifting mechanism on our wagons has a maximum weight limit of 50kg.

We'll attach a contamination tag to your bin if it contains items that can't be recycled, or contains wrong items. You'll need to remove these items and put your bin back out for emptying on your next scheduled collection day.

In exceptional circumstances we may not be able to empty your bin on it's scheduled day. Please leave the bin out as it's likely to be collected the next working day. Our website will be updated with any known streets affected by a missed collection. If your street isn't showing, please contact us to report a missed bin.

Please make sure the correct items go into the correct bins as these are sent to different processing mills. By getting it right first time this means more items can be recycled. This means we can reduce the number of vehicles needed on the roads to transport Barnsley’s items to the correct place.

If you aren't sure whether an item is recyclable or not, please use our handy A to Z guide to check. You can also contact us for any unusual items.

Visit the BDR Waste Partnership website for more details about recycling in Barnsley.