Northumberland County Council > Bins, recycling & waste > Recycling - information and ad

Recycling - information and advice

also known as: Kerbside recycling, Wheeled bin recycling.

Here you will find top tips, advice and guidance on everything from what you can recycle, where to take your rubbish and how to reduce your food waste.

From 1 September 2014 we are introducing changes to the household waste permit scheme. Find out more here

In 2011/12 Northumberland reused/recycled 41% (67,000 tonnes of waste) and sent an additional 23% (38,000 tonnes waste) to an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant to make electricity for the National Grid. A big improvement from five years ago when we reused/recycled 34% (64,000 tonnes) and less than 1% was used for energy recovery.

With your help we would like to reduce, reuse and recycle even more!

Our recycling directory

Use our recycling directory - it will show you where and how you can recycle a wide range of different materials

Where can I recycle?

As well as your kerbside recycling bin, there are many other ways you can recycle in the county.

Use your kerbside recycling bin to recycle as much as you can:

As well as using your kerbside bins for general rubbish and recycling, you can also use our:

Reduce waste and reuse more!

Recycling is good but it is not always the best option! Reducing the amount of waste is much better, and is easy.

  • Choose fruit and vegetables that have not been pre packed, and take reusable shopping bags with you.
  • Donate furniture and clothes to charity shops – have a look at our community recycling page
  • reuse plastic bottles as cloches in the garden
  • Try to avoid wasting water when rinsing items e.g. rinse out plastic milk bottles at the end of doing the dishes and rinse bubble bath bottles whilst filling the bath and using up the last of the liquid
  • Stop putting vegetable and fruit peelings in your bin and start composting
  • Use real nappies! Find out how we can get you started
  • Break the bag habit – 8billion plastic bags were issued in the UK in 2011, reuse your bags or buy a bag for life
  • Reduce the junk mail coming to your home – find out how here
  • Stop wasting food – we throw away £10billion worth of food every year in the UK – have a look at the Love Food Hate Waste page website for tips and recipes
  • Buy vouchers e.g theatre tickets for gifts instead of bulky goods

If you have any top tips you would like to share, please email them to us at

  • Materials from our household recycling bins get sorted in Northumberland
  • The general waste from Northumberland householders mostly goes to an Energy-from-Waste Plant at Teesside and not to landfill
  • 25 plastic bottles can be recycled to make one new fleece jacket
  • Recycling one glass bottle or jar saves enough energy to run a Nintendo Wii for 5 hours!
  • Recycling a single glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour, or a colour TV for 20 minutes.
  • Over the past two years, the number of carrier bags used in England has increased despite repeated Government calls for retailers to reduce the numbers they give out – use a bag for life!

Tours of West Sleekburn

Have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling? Come and find out for yourself on one of our FREE recycling plant tours!

If you come on one of our FREE tours of our West Sleekburn recycling plant (near Ashington), you will get to see the whole sorting process from when the recycling arrives at the plant, through to when it is baled up and prepared ready for dispatch to re-processing plants.

The organised tours are for small groups and must be booked in advance. The tours take about two hours and run during the working day (Monday-Friday).

Who can book a tour?

Anyone is welcome to come on a tour as long as they are over 14 years old and able to handle quite a number of open-style metal stairs (which are quite high level).

However, some powerful magnets are used in the sort process so it is not advisable for people with pacemakers to attend.

How to book:

If you are interested in coming on a tour, please pass us your request and contact details by phone – we will then be in touch to arrange a convenient time:

After the tour

All our previous visitors have found the tour extremely informative and interesting and we would welcome any feedback you can give us.

Real nappies

Real nappies are washable nappies, which can be laundered and used over and over again for your baby and subsequent babies too.

Why should I use them?

  • It can save you money - £600+ for your first baby
  • You can cover your babies' bottom with a lovely soft and fluffy alternative to a disposable nappy
  • Using real nappies can reduce your impact on the environment by up to 40% compared with disposables

    Unfortunately, we no longer run a real nappy incentive scheme. However, we do support the real nappy campaign as an environmentally friendly, economical alternative to disposable nappies.

  • For further information and advice about real nappies, please contact us here. and ask to speak to Sheila Johnson

Recycling at an event

If you are organising an event or perhaps arranging a street party, it is worth thinking in advance about how you will manage the waste created and how you can recycle as much as possible.

If it is likely to create large amounts of additional waste, please contact us to discuss what arrangements could be made to help. If you are planning to take a large amount of sorted recyclable items and general waste to your Household Waste Recovery Centre, it is also helpful to let your local depot know. Please be aware that some household vehicles require a permit to access the Household Waste Recovery Centres. Please click here for further information.

How to recycle more at an event:

Consider dividing your waste collection point into the following clearly marked containers/strong boxes at your event /party:

  • A strong collection container for glass bottles and jars to take to a bottle bank.
  • A box for empty and where possible rinsed plastic bottles and cans- Food cans must be clean. These can go into the kerbside recycling bins. Sweet and biscuit tins can also be recycled in your kerbside recycling bin.
  • A container with a lid for general waste, including food waste, crisp packets, plastic wrappers, food trays, yoghurt pots and foil etc.
  • A container with a lid for fruit and vegetable waste and saved for composting.

Litter collection

Depending on the size of your event you might like to consider doing a community litter pick after your event.

Recycle and reuse community organisations

Donating your waste to a community recycling organisation or charity is a great way to recycle and help others at the same time.

Have a look at our recycle and reuse page for more information on where you can take your waste to be reused and recycled

Funding and grants for community projects

Please click on the links below for information on:

Leaflets, posters and resources

The information in the leaflets below apply to all Northumberland residents and are available in other formats on request. Please click on the picture icons for the most up-to-date leaflet available.

Also, have a look at the following websites for further advice and tips:

Changes to phone numbers

  • Please be aware that the Northumberland County Council contact number has changed from 0845 600 6400 to 0345 600 6400
  • Please also be advised that there may be a charge for using any 08 numbers included in the leaflets below. Charges may vary depending on service providers.
Right thing right bin
A list of what to put in your recycling bin
Recycling leaflet for people with a sack collection

Have your say leaflet
Buying a compost bin

How to recycle junk mail
Recycle now fact sheet on composting
Composting at home

Hazardous household waste leaflet