Harrogate’s local recycling rules 

27 April, 2022

Harrogate’s local recycling rules 

Recycling rules are a lot like raising teenagers – confusing, stressful, and a bit overwhelming. But we’re here to change that! We’ve laid out what you can and can’t recycle, as well as some general bin rules that may have been lost in translation. With this handy guide, you’ll be a recycling genius in no time.  

According to Harrogate Borough Council: 

Here’s what you CAN put into your recycling containers:  

Black boxes: 

  • • Glass bottles and jars of any colour 
  • • Plastic bottles, shampoo and cleaning product bottles with lids/trigger spray nozzles on 
  • • Plastic yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, light coloured and clear plastic food trays 
  • • Food tins/drinks cans (aluminium or steel) 
  • • Tin foil, foil trays and foil dishes 
  • • Cardboard food and drinks cartons 
  • • Empty aerosol containers such as air fresheners, deodorant cans, shaving foam 

Blue bags: 

  • • Newspapers, magazines and brochures 
  • • Shredded paper, junk mail, office paper any colour and envelopes including windows.  
  • • Wrapping paper 
  • • Telephone directories and catalogues 
  • • Clean paper bags 
  • • Clean card such as cereal boxes, food packaging (frozen food/ ready meals), greetings cards and egg boxes 
  • • Brown cardboard and corrugated cardboard packaging (flattened and cut down to fit in the bag) 

Black bin with brown lid: 

  • • Hedge cuttings 
  • • Twigs and small branches 
  • • Grass cuttings 
  • • Leaves 
  • • Cut flowers 
  • • Prunings 
  • • Plants 
  • • Christmas trees (which can also be taken to the household waste recycling centres) 

Here’s what CANNOT go into your recycling containers:  

Black boxes: 

  • Batteries 
  • Dark plastic food trays 
  • Broken glass 
  • Glasses or spectacles 
  • Light bulbs 
  • Paint cans 
  • Pyrex or cookware 
  • Other metals 
  • Ceramics 

Blue bags: 

  • Plastic wrapping or bubble wrap inside cardboard boxes 
  • Cardboard with food on 
  • Pizza/fast food takeaway boxes 
  • Wrapping paper with glitter or made of foil 
  • Plastic bags 
  • String 

Black bin with brown lid

  • Garden waste in plastic bags or sacks including compostable and biodegradable bags 
  • Food and kitchen waste 
  • Pet litter 
  • Bricks/rubble 
  • Plant pots 
  • Plastic (this can be recycled in your black boxes except for dark plastics) 
  • Soil, turf, compost 
  • Large branches 
  • Paper, cardboard (these can be recycled using your blue bags) 
  • Cans, glass (recycle these in your black boxes) 
  • Windfall fruit 
  • Japanese knotweed 

 As well, your council has a few extra notes to keep in mind when sorting out your waste.   

Remember to wash and squash your recycling! As well, be sure to flatten your cardboard and cut them down to fit in the blue bag. We recommend flattening and squashing your recycling after a stressful day at work.

Your council uses black boxes and blue bags to ensure your recycling is the best quality possible. So please ensure that the right materials go in the right containers to avoid contamination. Contaminated recycling costs more to dispose of, and the recycled material ends up being lower quality. That’s why your council uses boxes and bags! This allows the crews to easily check what’s in the box and whether the recycling is contaminated or not. 

Please try and put heavier materials like glass bottles and jars at the top, and lighter materials at the bottom. To help secure your black boxes, place your full blue bags on top. This will help especially on windy days – no more flying boxes! 

Plastic bags in your garden bin are a big no – even if they’re compostable and biodegradable. So, place your garden waste directly in the bin (or the reusable garden waste sacks). It’ll then be recycled and turned into compost! As well, please remember, garden waste collection is a subscription service. 

For more of Harrogate’s recycling details, just follow the link here

Where does it all go? 

Depending on what your recycling is made from, it is taken to different places around the UK and processed into different items. 

Paper and card 

Your paper and card is taken to a waste transfer station in Harrogate. There, it is sorted (but not into Hogwarts houses!) and your cardboard is taken to Manchester where it’s recycled back into cardboard packaging. Your paper is taken to a paper mill at UPM, Shotton, and recycled back into paper. Did you know, every tonne of recycled paper saves 17 trees? How cool is that? 

Mixed recycling 

Your mixed recycling is transferred to Yorwaste’s waste management sites at Harewood Whin or Seamer Carr. 

Glass, cans, and plastics are sorted, bulked up, and moved to a material recycling facility for final processing.  

Steel is taken to Ward Brothers, Teesside, where it gets melted down and reused to make products like fridges, and car doors – now that’s recycling at it’s finest. 

Aluminium is taken to Warrington where it’s melted down and reused to make lightweight components for the car industry. 

Glass is taken to a processor in Sheffield where it’s crushed, melted, and turned back into bottles and jars. Fun fact! Glass is infinitely recyclable, so the bottle you drink out of today, could be made from a glass bottle you used eons ago.  

Plastics are sent to the Roydon Group in Manchester, where it’s granulated and turned into packaging for the food and drink industry. Or it’s made into fleece jackets! Now, where can we get one? 

Food and drink cartons are taken to Halifac where it’s mixed with water, pulped, dried, and rolled into new items. 

Garden waste 

Your garden waste is taken directly to Allium Organics in Rufford. There, it is turned into compost and available to buy from household waste recycling centres or used in agriculture. It’s the perfect way to make your gardens beautiful and lush! 

If you’d like to learn more about where your recycling goes, just follow the link here. 

We hope this helps uncomplicate your local recycling rules and makes it easier to sort through your paper and tins. We know recycling isn’t the answer to the waste crisis, but it’s a step in the right direction. Happy recycling! 

*This information is up to date as of 07 April 2022.