Using your recycling bins

We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the Wakefield district who recycles and sorts their household waste correctly. It really is making a difference!

Visit the Where I Live page to check your bin collection days.

Using your bins at home

Most houses in Wakefield have three household bins – one green and two brown. Sorting your waste into the correct bin is important; it helps save money which we can use for other services, and it reduces the amount of waste we have to send to landfill.

We can recycle and reuse up to 95 per cent (including from your green bin), but only if you have sorted your waste at home.

Some items, such as bulkier items like paints, electric goods and textiles do not belong in either bin - they need to be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (tip).

Let’s sort it out!

Here are some helpful tips on sorting your waste into the correct bin. Please note, this is not an complete list of items, but covers the most popular waste items.

You can also download our helpful guide to getting the most out of your recycling collection, and using your bins correctly.

Brown recycling bin

Rinsing bottles and jars is essential so they can be recycled, as is removing their lids before they go in the bin. Squashing cardboard boxes will help save space, meaning you can get more in.

Yes please

  • Plastics - only bottle shaped plastics and their lids should be put in your brown recycling bin. This includes pop bottles, detergent bottles, washing up liquid bottles. All other plastics belong in the green bin. Always empty, wash, squash and lids off!
  • Steel cans - those that hold soup, beans, dog food and so on - remember to give them a quick rinse
  • Aluminium cans
  • Paper and card - including paperback books, newspapers, magazines and envelopes
  • Glass bottles and jars - but not if they're broken
  • Aerosol cans (that are empty) - for example deodorant bottles and air fresheners

If your brown recycling bin gets full, you can use plastic bags to leave additional brown bin waste at the side of the bin. Do not put plastic bags inside your bin.

No thanks

Items that shouldn’t go in your brown recycling bin include:

  • Anything plastic that isn’t a bottle or a lid - all food packaging, carrier bags, soup or yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, fruit or vegetable punnets
  • Window pane glass, drinking glasses and Pyrex dishes
  • Shredded/ waxed/ greaseproof paper
  • Card with food on it, for example, pizza boxes
  • Juice and smoothie cartons
  • Wrapping paper or cards with foil on

Green household bin

Waste in the green bin is also recycled and reused, but only when waste is sorted correctly.


We can recycle and reuse waste items in your green bin too, so make sure you put these items in this bin.

Yes please

  • Juice cartons
  • Plastic food trays - for example take-out trays, trays that cooked and uncooked meats come in
  • Yoghurt pots and ice cream cartons
  • Food waste
  • Pet food
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic packaging
  • Nappies

Garden waste bin

We collect garden waste from round March through to November. Here is a list of what can and cannot go in that bin

Yes please

  • Flowers and plants
  • Bark, twigs and branches
  • Leaves
  • Hedge trimmings and prunings
  • Grass cuttings
  • Weeds

No thanks

  • Food, fruit or vegetables
  • Soil, turf or compost
  • Pet waste and cat litter
  • Bones and eggshells
  • Vacuum contents and hair
  • Planks of wood or large branches
  • Extra rubbish or recycling

Extra general rubbish including garden waste if left in a bag outside of your bin, will not be taken. You should take it to a Household Waste Recycling Centre. 

If you have extra general recycling, for example paper or tins, put it in a plastic bag and the bin crew will take it.

Recycling centres

Larger items, extra general rubbish and items for donation should be taken to your nearest household waste recycling centre (tip). Find out what can be taken and where.

Contact us

Customer Services

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700

0345 8 506 506