Recycling – information & advice

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

It is just as important to recycle and compost over the Christmas and New Year period as it is at other times of the year. In fact, over Christmas we generate around 30% more waste than normal and a lot of this can be recycled or composted.

Please read on to find out about changes to bin collection dates, what you can recycle and where this Christmas and New Year, information on recycling Christmas trees and cards in the New Year, tips to reduce food waste during the party season and more.
  • Bin collection dates during week beginning 24 December 2018
If your normal bin collection day is on a Your collection day during week beginning 24 December 2018 will be on a:
Monday Monday
Tuesday Thursday
Wednesday Friday
Thursday Saturday
  • Bin collection dates during week beginning 31 December 2018
If your normal bin collection day is on a Your collection day during week beginning 31 December 2018 will be on a:
Monday Monday
Tuesday Wednesday
Wednesday Thursday
Thursday Friday

Please use our online postcode checker if you would like to check your dates and save or print a calendar. Just tap in your postcode, choose your property and your own calendar for both rubbish and recycling bins will appear.

Please be aware that during times of bad weather bin collections may be unavoidably affected. At these times please check the council alerts for information.
Did you know that you can recycle these things in your kerbside recycling bin?
  • Biscuit and sweet tins (metal ones only please)
    • Christmas cards - Glitter and ornament free please
  • Packaging cardboard- Please flatten or tear cardboard into smaller sections and fit what you can into your kerbside recycling bin. Please remove any plastic wrapping and polystyrene from your cardboard and place these things into your general rubbish bin. Additional cardboard that won't fit in your recycling bin can be taken to your local household waste recovery centre.
  • Christmas wrapping paper- All paper wrapping paper can be recycled in your kerbside bin. Foil wrapping or plastic coated wrap should be put in your general rubbish bin along with any ribbons and bows.
These things can be taken to all 12 household waste recovery centres for recycling:
  • Extra cardboard packaging that won't fit in your recycling bin. Please remember to remove any plastic wrap or polystyrene before recycling your card. Please put this plastic packaging into the general waste collection point.
  • Christmas trees
  • Glass bottles and jars (or another local recycling point in Northumberland)
  • Batteries
  • Old and broken electrical items
  • And much more
  • Find out more about your local household waste recovery centre. 
Opening times at household waste recovery centres over the Christmas period
  • Household waste recovery centres are open as per their usual opening hours (8am until 6pm) except for Christmas Day and New Years day when they are closed all day.
  • Please note- Five sites (Allendale, Haltwhistle, Kirkley Thorn, Wooler and North Sunderland) are always closed on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thursdays too.
  • Find out more about your local household waste recovery centre. 
  • For tasty recipes and money-saving Christmas tips try Love Food Hate Waste this Christmas.
  • Please take a look at the Food Standards Agency website for information on food safety, including cleaning, chilling, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination, over the festive period.
Alongside your kerbside recycling bin, there are also many other ways you can recycle in the county.

  • Check what you can and can’t put in your kerbside bins here.

Please use the links below to view maps/opening times of recycling centres:

Please note the following changes at the Northumberland Household Waste Recovery Centres:

  • There have been recent changes to the household waste permit scheme, including a new self-serve permit option. Find out more here.
  • In September 2015, a new pay as you throw policy for disposing of rubble, plasterboard and soil was introduced. Find out more here
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your recycling, you can find out by visiting our West Sleekburn recycling plant, near Ashington.

It’s free and you will be able to see the entire process from beginning through to when it is ready for dispatch to re-processing plants.

The organised tours are for small groups and must be booked in advance. The tours take roughly two hours and run during working hours from Monday to Friday. The tour is specifically for people over the age of 14 and it is inadvisable for those with pacemakers to attend, due to the use of powerful magnets within the plant and other hazards.

If you’re interested in coming on a tour, please forward your contact details and we can contact you to arrange a convenient time.

Call 0345 600 6400, or one of our local phone numbers to arrange.
Information on community waste and recycling organisations.

Reusable goods and furniture

You can donate furniture and electrical items to local schemes or charities.
Check which organisations are looking for donations of certain items.
Salvation Army Harvestfield Furniture Project
  • Units 2 & 3, Windmill Way East, Ramparts Business Park, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1UP (a few units along from the council household waste recovery centre)
  • Tel: 01289 332875
  • Open 9-4 Every day except Sunday
St Oswald’s Hospice North East
  • St Oswald’s operates a collection service for good quality furniture or electrical goods that you would like to donate for resale in their charity shops. Please visit the St Oswald’s Hospice website
  • Or call 0191 246 8123 for more details and to arrange a collection.
British Heart Foundation
  • Book a free furniture and electrical collection by visiting the British Heart Foundation webpage. Someone from the BHF will give you a call to confirm your booking and check that they can accept your items.
  • The British Heart Foundation can also collect donations of good quality clothing, accessories, shoes, books, CDs, DVDs and bric-a-brac at the same time, if you’re having a clear out
Hexham Furniture Project
  • Please phone 01434 607509 to find out more about the items that can be collected or dropped off at the centre. (Items must comply with Fire Safety Regs 1988)


  • WATBike and Recyke y’bike are community projects which accept donated bikes.
  • Trained mechanics and volunteers fix them up to sell to the public to raise funds for running the projects.
  • Some bikes are sent to projects in Africa to support schools and community health programmes.
Find out if there is a collection point close to you at-  
Swap shops
The following are national swap shop websites that provide household furniture, garden goods etc. The following national organisations may offer to collect unwanted items or give advice on how to reuse and recycle:  
Northumberland County Council support a number of national recycling events. Save these dates in your diary and look out for more information through the links below.

Useful links

Help in understanding what can and cannot be recycled and top tips for reducing waste and reusing things.

Recycling is a great way to help the environment, but it is much better to reduce the amount of waste you produce. It’s really easy, and we have a few top tips to help you along the way.
  • Love your clothes- take a look at this great website for inspiration
  • Reuse plastic bags when shopping, or buy a bag for life - Some Supermarkets have collection points for single use carrier bags, why not check next time you are shopping?
  • Donate clothes and furniture to charity – have a look in our community recycling section above.
  • Reduce food waste - visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.
  • Reduce your use of single use plastics- e.g. say no to plastic straws, plastic cotton buds,  disposable coffee cups and polystyrene take away boxes.
  • Take a reusable coffee cup next time you go to a coffee shop.
  • Recycle your cooking oil at your local household waste recovery centre (ask the attendant for details)
  • Rinse kitchen plastic bottles and cans at the end of your washing up to avoid wasting water.
  • Northumberland County Council are one of many council's to bring in a ban on the release of balloons and sky lanterns.
  • Support the Marine Conservation Society's Don't Let Go Campaign for balloons and sky lanterns.
  • Convert to real nappies and save money, as well as the environment.
Tips about cloth/real nappies:
  • Northumberland County Council no longer have any incentives for cloth nappies and wipes.
  • However, there are sometimes starter packs, and money help schemes for new parents via private companies. (please see link belows).
  • Here are some specific tips learnt from Northumberland Mums from past real nappy projects-
  • It is worth buying trials and starter packs or hiring small quantities until you decided which style of nappy fits the size and shape of your baby. Leaking can be a bit of an issue for some styles if you have 'thinner legged babies'.
  • Some hospitals use cloth nappies too, which was a reassurance that there is nothing wrong with buying second hand real nappies and giving them as hot a wash as they can stand before use to sterilise them. There are bargains to be had. Sometimes the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) have table top sales where nappies are in abundance. And there are some amazing bargains on Ebay.
If you have any more tips you’d like to share, please let us know.
  • Materials from your household recycling bin are sorted in Northumberland.
  • The majority of general waste from household bins goes to an energy-from-waste plant in 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 game console for five hours.
  • Recycling a single glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100-watt lightbulb for almost an hour.
Also, take a look at the following websites for further advice and tips:
Here we provide help with keeping your event environmentally-friendly.

If you are organising an event, it is worth thinking in advance about how the waste generated will be managed and recycled. If it is a large scale event, please contact us to discuss arrangements that could be made to help.

You can order recycling containers for your event that divide recyclable and general waste items in clearly marked ways. For a quote or to find out more contact us. You could also consider a litter picking event, depending on event scale, afterwards. For more information on organising a community litter pick up please click here.

Balloon releases have devastating affects on wildlife