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Reduce, Reuse, Recycling and composting

Recycling tips

Extra recycling

If you have extra recycling that won’t fit in your boxes or bags you should contact your council to order extra boxes and bags and while these are being delivered put each kind of material separately in a clear bag, so a bag of paper, a bag of cans etc, or pop it in a plastic box and we will take the extra recycling away.

Pizza boxes

Things like takeaway pizza boxes and greasy fish and chip papers can’t be recycled because of the grease on them so please put these in your black or grey bin. If you buy pizza that you cook yourself the boxes from these can still be recycled.


Many people think that envelopes can’t be recycled due to the adhesives used in them or the windows they contain, this isn’t true. Envelopes should be included in your kerbside paper recycling collection, there is no need to remove windows or adhesives.

Washing and squashing

If your household produces a lot of recycling it is important that you wash and squash things like plastic bottles, clean foil trays and drinks cans so that they take up less space. If you squash plastic bottles remember to pop the lid back on so that it stays squashed. Remember that cans have sharp edges so if squashing them on the ground it is best to do this while wearing sturdy shoes.

Cardboard boxes

Online shopping is often easier but can come with a lot of cardboard packaging. This can take up a lot of space so we need to make sure we flatten boxes and cut big pieces down to allow us all to fit the most possible recycling into or bins and boxes. If you have extra cardboard flatten or cut it down to size and bundle it up to put out with your recycling ready for collection.

Cardboard cereal boxes, food packaging and cardboard punnets can all be recycled but make sure you squash them to save space.

Plastic bottles

If you are able to recycle plastic bottles at the kerbside or if you take them to a Household Waste Recycling Centre please remember you can include all plastic bottles. This includes bathroom product bottles like shampoo and bubble bath, cleaning product bottles such as bleach and anti-bacterial spray as well as pop and milk bottles. All bottles should be rinsed out, if you squash the bottles putting the lid back on will keep them squashed, if not, put the lids loose in with your recycling.


Polystyrene blocks often come in unusual shapes and take up a lot of space, make sure you break these up so that they don’t take up unnecessary space in the bin and if you plan on making a trip to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or tip they are light, clean and easier to transport than some other kinds of waste.

Small electrical items

If you get a new hairdryer, pair of straighteners or other small electrical item, if the old one still works it could be given to a charity shop that accepts electrical items.  If they no longer work please don’t put them in your black or grey bin, these should be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre or tip.

Reuse Shop

All of the Household Waste Recycling Centres across Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham accept items for reuse such as bikes, working toys and furniture, so if you have good quality items that you are taking to the tip please make sure that you keep them clean and dry and make staff aware that they may be OK for reuse.


We have all been there, you are given a gift that although perfectly nice just isn’t for you, but would be perfect for somebody you know. Why not re-gift it rather than throwing it away. If you don’t know anyone yourself why not donate it to a charity shop.

Old bikes

If you’ve bought the kids a new bike, or treated yourself, the old bike could be perfect for someone else. If you don’t have a willing cyclist to donate it to you could take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre who will pass it on to Cycle Penistone who recondition, service and resell bikes.


Nearly a fifth of all the food we buy in the UK ends up in our bins. Why not visit to use their handy portion guide and recipes. If you do cook too much food, most foods freeze really well and will make a great meal when you are in a hurry or fancy a night off. Don’t worry if there is only enough for one, these meals still come in handy. Why not let every family member pick their favourite frozen dish and have a family pot luck night. Don’t forget, if you have a roast you can use those tasty bones to make a great stock or warming soup.

Pie trays

Did you know that those little foil trays from mince pies, miniature tarts and even clean foil savoury pie cases can go in your recycling too?


We all try to avoid packaging where we can but still require variety and choice and this can be a tricky balancing act. Buying fruit and veg loose can avoid extra packaging but often limits us to mid-range products (i.e. not value, premium or organic). If you really want to avoid plastic why not sit a basket inside your trolley to put your loose fruit and veg in to make it easier at the till or purchase a set of reusable veg bags.


Reducing your waste is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. 

If you would like top tips on reducing food waste visit There is more advice on reducing waste at


Reusing your household items is great for the environment and can be good for your pocket too. Visit to find out more.


Each council differs in terms of what you can or cannot recycle at home. You can take items that you can't recycle at home to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, or start home composting.

Household Waste Recycling Centres 

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), sometimes called tips or dump it sites, are places where residents can take household waste for recycling or disposal.

Many of these sites take a wide range of materials from those that you can dispose of through kerbside collections such as cardboard and garden waste to more unusual items for recycling such as electrical items, batteries and furniture. To find out where you can dispose of a specific material use the recycling locator above.

Find out more about bins, rubbish and recycling in your area




Home composting

Home composting can be a great alternative or addition to kerbside composting schemes and in one year can save greenhouse gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle makes in a year.

Get tips and advice about home composting