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Textiles, small electrical items and batteries

You can recycle textiles, paired shoes, small electrical items and batteries every week in your own plastic bags, by leaving them out with your food waste caddy.

All you need to do is:

  1. Place each type of item in a separate plastic carrier bag (no larger than 35 x 40cm and not in black bin bags).
  2. Put batteries in a separate, sealable/tied up small bag eg a sandwich bag.
  3. Tie each bag.
  4. Leave the bags at the front of your property boundary next to your food waste caddy on your usual recycling/waste collection day by 6 am.

What you can recycle every week

Textiles (clean and dry)

  • Bags.
  • Bedding (sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers).
  • Belts.
  • Clothing.
  • Curtains.
  • Cushion covers.
  • Fabric cut offs.
  • Gloves.
  • Hats.
  • Old or worn textiles.
  • Throws.
  • Towels and tea towels.
  • Shoes and boots (paired).

You can also take your bagged clothes, shoes, accessories and home textiles (no duvets or pillows please) to some of our recycling banks.

Small electrical items

All small electrical items that fit in plastic carrier bags including:

  • Irons, kettles, toasters, other small kitchen appliances and power tools.
  • Hairdryers, hair clippers, hair straighteners, smoke detectors and thermostats.
  • Laptops, cables (including computer leads) and computer parts.
  • Radios, alarms, CD/MP3 players, clocks, calculators and torches.
  • Mobile phones, remote controls, cameras and chargers.
  • Small electronic toys.


  • Hearing aid batteries.
  • Household batteries (A,AA, AAA, C and D).
  • Laptop batteries.
  • Mobile phone batteries.
  • Watch batteries.

What you can't recycle using this service

  • Balls of wool.
  • Car batteries.
  • Carpets/rugs.
  • Coat hangers.
  • Computer monitors.
  • Duvets and pillows.
  • Electric blankets.
  • Fire damaged textiles or clothing.
  • Fluorescent tubes.
  • Laminators.
  • Large electrical appliances – washing machines, dishwashers etc.
  • Light bulbs.
  • Microwaves.
  • Printers.
  • Safety helmets.
  • Single shoes.
  • String.
  • TVs.

Some of these can be recycled locally at a community recycling centre.

What happens to the clothes, shoes and textiles I put out for recycling?

These are collected and passed on to our clothing and textile contractor who sorts it into different grades. Wearable items will be re-sold through markets within the developing world, as long as they are clean and dry. Even worn or old clothing can be recycled by making them into rags for industrial use.


What happens to the batteries I leave out for recycling?

After collection, a specialist contractor sorts the batteries into different types. Each type is sent off for recycling separately. The batteries are turned into a variety of products, including more batteries, as well as being used in the steel industry.

What happens to small electrical items I leave out for recycling?

Once collected, your small electrical items are taken to a recycling centre where they are manually sorted to remove any batteries. Items are shredded to reduce volume and are mechanically separated into their component parts. These are reused in new products. For example, steel extracted from a games console could be made into new computer casing or a car part.

Why can’t I recycle large items of bedding eg duvets?

Unfortunately duvets and pillows can't be recycled with other home textiles and should be placed in your general waste bin or taken to a community recycling centre. However, if the items are clean and in good condition, charity shops may take them.

Why can’t I put my textiles, small electrical items and batteries in a black bin bag?

They may then be mistaken for general rubbish that can’t be recycled.

I live in a flat – will you be collecting these items from flats and if so what are the collection arrangements?

For logistical reasons the service is not currently available to flats with communal bin store areas. However, we have a comprehensive network of recycling banks across the district where textiles can be recycled. Small electrical items and batteries can be taken to a community recycling centre.

Can I carry on giving my unwanted clothes and other items to charity?

Of course, our collection service simply offers an alternative way to recycle them. If you use charity collection bags posted through your door, please make sure these are genuine collections by checking on our website

Why can’t you take larger electrical items?

We can only take small electrical items that will fit in the storage cage on our vehicles so items need to fit into plastic carrier bags (35 x 40 cm or approximately 14 x 16 inches).

The containers on the vehicles cannot be any larger or they would interfere with the safe operation of the vehicle.

If it’s wet, can I still place these items out for collection?

It’s important that the clothes, textiles and shoes are dry so please don’t put these out for collection on wet or snowy days. Other items can be left out if safely secured in plastic carrier bags.

I am/know someone who is visually impaired/has a physical or other disability – how can I/they use the service?

Anyone registered to receive an assisted recycling collection will also have their textiles, small electrical items, and batteries collected from the same point.