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Brown Bin

Last Modified October 23, 2023

Your brown bin is for mixed recycling. It is collected every fortnight on the same day as your green bin. 

Important information

Loose, not bagged - if you are using a bag to carry your recyclables to the bin please empty the items into the recycling bin first, then dispose of the bag in the general waste bin or reuse it.

Clean and empty - make sure your recyclables are empty and give them a quick rinse. If they are too dirty they may not be collected e.g. grease covered foil or plastic trays/pots with food in. 

What to put in


  • Glass bottles (any colour) e.g. wine, beer, spirit
  • Glass jars e.g. sauces, jam, baby food
  • Other glass bottles e.g. perfume, aftershave, face/body cream


  • Plastic cleaner and detergent bottles e.g. bathroom cleaners, washing up liquid, bleach
  • Toiletries and other plastic bathroom bottles e.g. shampoo, shower gel
  • Plastic drinks bottles e.g. juice, squash, milk
  • Plastic pots e.g. yoghurt, soup
  • Plastic tubs e.g. margarine, ice cream
  • Plastic trays/punnets e.g. meat trays, take-away trays, fruit/veg trays, including black plastic)
  • Chocolate and biscuit tubs and trays


  • Drinks cans
  • Food tins
  • Metal lids and tops
  • Biscuit/chocolate tins (including lids)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Aluminium foil
  • Foil trays e.g. take-away trays


  • Drinks cartons e.g. juices and milk
  • Food cartons e.g. soup

Cardboard and paper

  • Cardboard boxes e.g. cereal boxes, delivery boxes
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Plain greetings cards (no foil or glitter)
  • Cardboard egg boxes
  • Cardboard sleeves e.g. ready meal sleeves
  • Cardboard tubes e.g. from inside toilet rolls and kitchen roll
  • Brown packaging paper and brown envelopes
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • White paper e.g. printer paper and letters
  • Brochures, catalogues and directories
  • Junk mail including leaflets and flyers
  • Envelopes (including windows)
  • Shredded paper - please wrap this in a newspaper or envelope.

Items to keep out


  • Glass cookware e.g. Pyrex dishes
  • Drinking glasses
  • Vases
  • Ceramics
  • Mirrors
  • Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Window glass


  • Plastic bags
  • Crisp packets, sweet wrappers, soft plastics and film
  • Film lids from plastic pots and trays
  • Laminated plastic food/drink pouches e.g. baby food pouches, cat food pouches or coffee pouches
  • Rigid plastics e.g. toys, Tupperware, pipes and hangers
  • Medicine pill packets e.g. blister packs
  • Toothpaste tubes
  • Polystyrene e.g. cups and packaging materials
  • Plastic straws and cutlery


  • Gas cylinders, e.g. soda stream or helium cylinders
  • Paint and solvent tins (full or empty)
  • General kitchen ware e.g. cutlery, pots and pans
  • Electrical items such as kettles, irons, pipes, white goods
  • Batteries


  • Pringles/Twiglet style tubes
  • Single use coffee cups

Cardboard and paper

  • Greetings cards with foil or glitter decoration
  • Paper towels and tissues
  • Gift bags
  • Wrapping paper
  • Wallpaper
  • Padded envelopes e.g. Jiffy bags
  • Sandwich boxes
  • Used pizza boxes
  • Disposable nappies
  • Cotton wool/make up pads
  • Wet wipes

Compostable plastic

Whilst we recognise the benefit of reducing single use plastic some of the 'compostable' alternatives are not suited to the technologies used in Hertfordshire. For more information please see: Biodegradable Plastic - what you need to know.

What happens to my recycling?

Find out more about the journey of your recyclables from kerbside to end destination. Visit WasteAware and read some of the most frequently asked questions.

Flats recycling

Most flats have some form of recycling. It is important to only put the correct items in your recycling bin otherwise we will be unable to collect it. Please note: you may need to cut up larger pieces of cardboard to make it fit in the recycling bins supplied to flats. Alternatively you can take any oversized/bulky items to a  Recycling Centre. See Recycling in Flats for more detail


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