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Glasgow City Council

Waste and Recycling FAQs

Blue bin questions

What can I recycle in my blue bin?
Please use the blue bins to recycle card packaging, cardboard boxes, magazines, newspapers, comics, office paper, brochures, yellow pages, junk mail, envelopes, drinks cans, food tins, empty aerosols cans and plastic bottles. Please do not place any other items into the blue bins.

What should I not put into my blue bin?

Please do not put the following into your blue bin: yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, plastic cartons, plastic bags, paint tins, foil - foil can be recycled if it is clean of food and grease , Tetra-Paks, glass bottles and general waste.

Why can't I put glass into the blue bins?

Small fragments of glass can become mixed with paper. The paper would then be rejected at the paper mill. You can place your glass bottles and jars in your purple bin or at your nearest glass Recycling Points and Recycling Centre.

Why can I only recycle plastic bottles and not all types of plastic?

Plastic bottles are mainly made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). They are produced and used in large volumes and there are established end markets allowing plastic bottles to be easily recycled.

Some other non-bottle plastics such as yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and meal trays can also be made from PET and HDPE, but they may have different specifications from plastic bottles and outlets for these plastics are more challenging making it more difficult to move to the market for re-processing.

Why can't I recycle Tetra-Pak in the blue bin?

Tetra-Pak is packaging used to store liquid food and drinks (e.g. juice and milk cartons). They are made from layers of cardboard, plastic and foil. At present the Materials Reclamation Facility at Blochairn cannot separate this material from the other materials collected within the blue bin. Tetra-Pak recycling bins are located at the council's four recycling centres and are uplifted separately by our re-processing partner.

Will more material be collected in the blue bin in the future?

Yes.  Policy changes within the resource and recycling sector will significantly influence the Council's collection services and how materials are collected and processed in the future.  This will include, but not be limited to, the Deposit Return Scheme for single-use drinks containers, Charter for Household Recycling, and Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging Waste.

The Council has committed to meeting the requirements of the Charter for Household Recycling and its associated Code of Practice which will require the collection of additional material streams within the Council's blue bin service. 

What happens to my blue bin material once it has been collected?

The material collected in the blue recycling bin will be taken to the council's Materials Recovery Facility at Blochairn for sorting. After processing it will be transported to our partners where it will be recycled.

Where can I recycle other household materials I have?

Many household items not collected within the domestic bins can be recycled at your local Recycling Centres.

Brown bin questions

What can I put in my brown bin?

All compostable garden waste such as - grass cuttings, leaves, hedge trimmings, plants and garden weeds.  Plastic bin liners or carriers bags should not be placed in the brown bin because they are not compostable and can negatively impact the quality of compost produced at the re-processing facility. All garden waste has to be placed loose in your brown bin. Food waste can also be placed within the brown bin using compostable food waste liners.

What should I not place in my garden bin?

Bin liners or carriers bags should not be placed in the brown bin because they are not biodegradable. All garden waste should be placed loose in your brown bin.

Soil, rubble and stone should not be placed in your brown bin as it will make the bin too heavy for the hoist on the collection vehicles and for crews to move safely.  These materials can be recycled at your local household waste recycling centre.

Can I deposit organic garden waste at the recycling centre?

Yes, if you bring any organic garden waste in a plastic bag or sack, please deposit the contents only - not the plastic bag - into the garden waste skip/bay otherwise the skip/bay will become contaminated.

Where does my brown bin material go once it has been collected?

The material is produced into a range of composts by the Council's contracted partners for this waste stream.  The film highlights the process this material stream twill be processed into compost by our recycling partners.

Purple bin questions

What can I put in my purple bin?

The following items can be placed within the purple bin:

  • Wine Bottles
  • Beer bottles
  • Jam jars
  • Coffee jars
  • Sauce bottles

Bottle lids/caps can be kept on the bottles.  These are removed at the re-processing plant and recycled separate from the glass 

What should I not put in my purple bin?

Please do not place the following items into your purple bin:

  • Light bulbs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Plates
  • Cups
  • Pyrex glass

The glass noted above is a different composition of the glass within bottles and jars and can negatively impact the quality of the glass when it is sent to be recycled, primarily into new bottles and jars 

General questions

What is my bin collection day?

Please refer to your recycling calendar leaflet with regards to your collection day. Collection days can also be checked online.  If you do not have a leaflet, please contact the Customer Care Centre to obtain a calendar.   .

What if my bin has been damaged or gone missing?

Please contact the Customer Care Centre to report it.

My recycling bin has not been collected?

If you have checked your recycling bin is not contaminated and it has not been uplifted by 6pm on your collection day, please report this to the Customer Care Centre.

What should I do if I have excess waste from time to time?

It is council policy that we cannot take extra bags beside a bin. If you cannot keep it until the next time your bin is due to be emptied, excess waste can be taken to any one of four recycling centres across the city.

What will happen if I put items in the wrong bin?

To ensure that the contents of your blue bin can be recycled, they have to be clean and dry.

Contaminated bins can spoil an entire vehicle load so it's important the correct items go in the right bin. If your bin has the wrong items in it, a member of the collection team will leave a sticker on the bin asking you to remove them.

What if I have a large household? Can I have an extra general waste bin?

Households that have a large number of occupants, or have an occupant(s) who generate large volumes of medical waste, can apply for an assessment to receive a larger bin, subject to them using the existing recycling facilities to the fullest extent. Please contact the Customer Care Centre to arrange for an assessment.

My bin was not emptied on its designated day, what do I do?

If you presented your bin on the correct day and date before 7am and it has not been emptied, by 6pm of that day, please utilise the online form, MyGlasgow app or contact the Customer Care Centre (0141 287 9700). Arrangements will be made for your bin to be emptied as soon as possible. Please also check to make sure your bin has not had a sticker placed on it highlighting that it is contaminated with items that should not have been placed in the bin.

I forgot to put my bin out on time? Do I need to wait until the next scheduled uplift?

Yes, unfortunately it is not possible to make separate arrangements in this case. If possible, take some of your waste to one of the council's recycling centres, or wait until your next collection day or perhaps, with permission, try to use a neighbour or relative's bin.

How many bins can I have?

The council will provide, as standard, the following recycling bins for all properties who receive a kerbside collection:

  • One blue 240 litre recycling bin for comingled collection of paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and food and drink cans
  • One brown 240 litre recycling bin for the collection of organic garden waste and food waste
  • One purple 140 litre recycling bin for the collection of glass bottles and jars

If you do not have any of these recycling bins and would like one, please contact the Customer Care Centre.

Should replacement or additional 240 litre bins green wheelie bins (for general waste) be required, a charge will apply.

Flats, tenements and multi-storey properties will have bins for general waste and bins for recycling paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and food and drink cans.  The type and size of bin within these property types will differ due to access requirements and available space. These property types are not provided a glass or garden waste service

There is a sticker on my recycling bin which says that it is contaminated? What should I do?

You need to remove the contaminated material from the bin and put it in the correct bin. Once you have removed the contaminated material, your bin will be emptied on the next scheduled day for that bin.

My bin has been broken or stolen. Do I need to buy a bin? How long until it is delivered? Will bags be lifted in the interim period?

If the loss or damage is not the result of the cleansing and waste service operations, a replacement bin will have to be purchased. Bins will be delivered as soon as possible after the request has been placed. Whilst waiting for a bin you should try to take any waste to the council's recycling centres or perhaps, with permission, try to use a neighbour or relative's bin.

Food Waste questions

Can I put my food waste directly into the brown bin rather than using liners?

Yes. Although it is advisable to use the liners to minimise spillages.

Will the brown bins collections continue all year round?

Yes.  The brown bins were previously collected March-November with a real Christmas tree collection in January.  With the new service, the brown bins will be collected every fortnight throughout the whole year.

I don't have a brown bin due to lack of garden space or have decked/paved over my garden area. How do I participate?

If you have no space for a brown bin, options are being assessed to provide communal collection points e.g. terraced houses.

If you have space to position a brown bin, but do not have a garden, a brown bin will be provided, if requested, to enable participation in the food waste collection service.

I have a large family/garden and my brown bin is full every 2 weeks with garden waste.  Can I get another brown bin? 

Residents can apply for an assessment to be undertaken to determine whether an additional brown bin will be provided.  Please arrange an assessment by contacting the Customer Care Centre on 0141 287 9700.

My brown bin is lost / has been stolen. Can I get a replacement?

Yes, replacement brown bins will be provided free of charge.

My brown bin is stickered as contaminated / too heavy.  How do I sort it?

Please refer to your recycling instructional leaflet which highlights materials that are accepted within the brown binHouseholders will have to remove any material that is not accepted within the brown bin service.

If my brown bin is full can I put food waste in the green bin?

Yes.  But any food waste placed within the green bin will be sent to landfill and not composted.

My brown bin has been knocked over and the contents spilled onto the street.  Who is going to clean it?

If the council is responsible for spilling the contents of the bin, this will be cleared by council staff.  The householder will be responsible for clearing spillages due to any other circumstance.

Will my kitchen waste caddy smell and attract flies and vermin?

It shouldn't, provided that basic housekeeping rules are followed:

  • Food waste should be put inside the supplied liners and the lid of the food waste caddy should always be kept closed.
  • Empty the contents of your kitchen food caddy regularly into your external bin. Keep the lid closed on your external bin.

  • If your food waste caddy becomes dirty, we would advise that you swill it out with disinfectant or bicarbonate of soda after it has been emptied.

I don't like the thought of storing waste food in my kitchen; won't it be unhygienic or smelly?

You will be supplied with a small kitchen caddy which is great for scraping plates and popping out-of-date food items into, although if you do have large or smelly food items it's probably best to put these directly into the external bin. We recommend the kitchen caddy is emptied every few days to prevent problems. Storing the food in the small kitchen caddy will not be very different from putting your food waste into your normal kitchen bin.

Can I use plastic bags to line my caddy?

No. A free supply of compostable liners will be provided when your food caddies are delivered.

Will additional liners be provided when I run out?

No. A free supply of compostable liners will be provided when your food caddies are delivered. Additional food waste liners can be purchased from various retail outlets.

I require more food waste liners. Where can I get them?

A year's supply of liners was provided when the foods waste collection service started. If you require additional liners for your caddy, these can be purchased from various retail outlets.



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