Your waste and recycling is collected by Colchester Borough Council.  Your nearest recycling centres are Shrub End and West Mersea.

If you live in a flat, there are collections from communal bins.


In Colchester clear plastic sacks are used for paper and card, plastics and textile recycling.  Paper and card and textiles are collected  fortnightly during your 'blue' collection week.  Plastics are collected fortnightly during your ‘green’ collection week.

Paper and card recycling

Paper and card are collected together in the same clear plastic sack. Put these in your clear sack:

  • All types of paper
  • All types of cardboard

Leave these out:

  • Used tissue
  • Used kitchen roll
  • Wallpaper
  • Waxed paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Food and drink carton 

Plastics recycling

Put these in your clear sack:

  • Clothes and textiles (any quality, included ripped and worn out)
  • Shoes

Leave these out:

  • Pillows and duvets

Green recycling boxes

Collected fortnightly during your 'blue' collection week. Put these in:

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metal drinks and food cans
  • Aerosol cans
  • Foil

Leave these out:

  • Plastic bags
  • Knives
  • Broken glass

Mixed plastic recycling

Put these in your clear sack:

  • All plastic bottles and lids
  • Plastic ready meal and food containers
  • Fruit and vegetable punnets
  • Plastic carrier bags
  • Cling film and plastic film
  • Plastic flower pots

Leave these out:

  • Video/cassette tapes or CD/DVD cases
  • Plastic toys
  • Washing up bowls
  • Bubble wrap
  • Expanded polystyrene packaging
  • Polystyrene food trays
  • Large items such as garden furniture

Food waste recycling

Put your kitchen food waste in your small kitchen caddy. When this is full please transfer it into your larger outside food waste bin. Your food waste is collected every week.

Put these in your kitchen caddie:

  • Raw and cooked meat and fish including bones
  • Dairy products such as cheese and eggs (including shells)
  • Bread, toast, pizza, cakes, biscuits, croissants, pastries
  • Rice, noodles, pasta, beans, cous cous, cereal
  • Leftover food
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds

Leave these out:

  • Food packaging and plastic bags
  • Drinks, such as tea or juice
  • Oil or liquid fat
  • Coffee filter paper

Garden waste

Garden waste is collected in your white garden waste sacks fortnightly in your 'green' collection week. Put these in your white garden sacks:

  • Grass and hedge cuttings
  • Leaves
  • Small bracken and twigs
  • Shrub cuttings and small branches
  • Real Christmas trees

Leave these out:

  • Large stones, bricks, paving slabs and soil
  • Kitchen waste such as raw fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Tea bags, egg shells, cardboard
  • Animal waste or litter
  • Large branches and household timber with nails and screws inserted
  • Nappies
  • Plastic bags, waxed packaging and polythene
  • Toxic waste and pesticides

Bulky waste and special collections

Colchester Borough Council offers a paid collection service for the removal of large items from outside your home. Large items include:

  • Fridges and freezers
  • Hazardous waste
  • Electrical waste
  • Beds
  • Sofas
  • Wardrobes

Non-recyclable waste

All non-recyclable household waste can be disposed of in black bin bags. These are collected every week.

Check that rubbish can't be recycled or composted before throwing away. Don’t forget that all food waste should go in your food bin.

Leave these out of your black bin bags:

  • Garden waste
  • Builders’ waste or asbestos
  • Gas bottles or clinical waste
  • Fertiliser, pesticides, paint, motor oils or other chemicals
  • Car batteries
  • Large bulky items

Please be aware Colchester’s black bin collection is changing in June 2017.