Recycling in West Sussex

Recycling in West Sussex

The following information was accurate at the time of publishing for West Sussex. We will endevour to keep this updated as soon as any changes come into effect.

Some essential information about recycling at home.

Includes details for what you can, and cannot recycle and, other info to help make recycling more efficient at home in West Sussex.

When you see what items cannot be recycled easily it will highlight why switching to more eco-friendly products is beneficial to the environment and our future.

Placing items in your bin that cannot be recycled can interrupt the recycling stream. This can cause increased processing costs and energy use. Worse still, contaminating recycling can cause entire loads to be directed to landfill or end up being burnt for energy.

Items accepted in your recycling bin

Image courtesy of who provide in-depth information regarding recycling in West Sussex

Image courtesy of who provide in-depth information regarding recycling in West Sussex

The following information explains the materials above in more detail.


Clean Means: Free of leftover food and drink
Dry Means: Dry... Keep your recycling dry once in the bin
Loose Means: Do not bag up your recycling


Cartons are made from paperboard with a plastic or wax like covering. They often have a foil lining. Cartons are used for many types of products such as juices, chopped vegetables and smoothies.

Clean cartons can be put in your recycling bin.

Carton lids/tops cannot be recycled and should not be placed in your recycle bin.

Aluminium Foil

Only true aluminium foil can be recycled. The scrunch test will help identify aluminium foil that can be placed in your recycle bin.

If it springs back open after being scrunched then it is not true foil and cannot be recycled. Examples of items that are not recyclable are: Crisp packets, food pouches & chocolate bar wrappers.

Clean aluminium foil can be put in your recycling bin.

Dirty foil or any foil that springs open after being scrunched cannot be recycled as it contains plastic. It is difficult to recycle aluminium foil that is mixed with plastic.

Glass Bottles & Jars

Not all glass can be recycled at home in your recycle bin. Drink glasses, Pyrex dishes and other glass products have different chemical properties. Only Glass bottles and Jars can be recycled at home.

Metal lids from glass bottles and jars can be recycled but they must be loose in order to be sorted correctly. Ensure these are removed before placing in your recycle bin.

Clean glass bottles and jars can be put in your recycling bin including the metal lids if removed.

Unfortunately glass milk bottles or jars used for candles cannot be recycled from home.

Plastic Bottles & Containers

This includes pots, tubs and trays.

There are many types of plastic and a lot of it cannot be recycled. Such a shame.

Clean plastic bottles & containers can be put in your recycling bin.

CAN BE RECYCLED: Milk & drink bottles. Bathroom bottles. Laundry bottles & tubs. Washing up liquid bottles. Yoghurt, cream & soup pots. Ice cream & margarine tubs. Cosmetic pots & tubs. Food & ready meal trays, Fruit & vegetable punnets. Plastic container lids (larger than the size of a jam jar lid).

CANNOT BE RECYCLED: Plastic film. Plastic bags/sacks. Expanded polystyrene. Plastic toys. Plant pots and seed trays. Plastic furniture. Coat hangers. Coffee pods. Plastic bottle tops (smaller than the size of a jam jar lid). Toothpaste Tubes - Make the switch to our PlanetWood Dentin™ Toothpaste Tablets - They're 100% Natural & Certified.

We should all be making a conscious decision to reduce the amount of single use plastics that we use. Better still to stop using it altogether.

Paper & Cardboard

Most paper, card and cardboard items can be recycled at home. You cannot recycle paper towels or paper that has been shredded.

Magazines and catalogs can all be recycled, as long as the plastic film they may be delivered in are removed first. Pesky plastic!

Clean, dry paper & card can be put in your recycling bin.

Only paper based wrapping paper can be recycled - think scrunch test.

Metal Cans & Aerosols

All food, drink and pet food cans can be put in your recycling bin. This includes biscuit & sweet tins and also metal lids such as jam jar tops.

Aerosols such as deodorant and hair sprays cans be recycled. DO NOT pierce them as there is a risk of injury.

Clean metal cans and aerosols can be put in your recycling bin.

Only metal tins, cans, aerosols & lids can be recycled at home. Do not place other metal items into your recycle bin (accept aluminium foil as described above).

Always check with your local council if your are in doubt about what can or cannot be recycled at home.

What happens to my recycled at home items?

Recycling from all homes across West Sussex is delivered to the Ford MRF.

The Ford MRF is run by Viridor. Take a look at the video below to find out more about the Ford MRF and how recycling is sorted into the separate materials.

Transfer stations are used where the recycling is put together onto larger trucks before it is transported to the MRF. This reduces the number of vehicles that are on the road.

Once delivered in Ford the mixed recycling is mechanically sorted and separated into individual material types and when complete it is then transported back out for manufacturing into new goods and products.

High-tech technology is employed at the MRF to sort and separate recycling into quality products ready for reprocessing.

To help the MRF perform to its full potential, it is very important that only the correct items are put in your recycle bin. Where the wrong items are put in recycling bins at home, they pose a risk to the MRF and could ruin the recycle stream. Re-processors can only recycle materials that are clean and dry.