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10 March 2016

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In this section you can find information on how to deal with asbestosbatteriesbeddingbicycles, books and building materials


Do not take asbestos of any description to Essex County Council Recycling Centres because it will not be accepted.
Disposal: Asbestos is a hazardous substance which can have health implications if not handled correctly. It is not classed as household waste.

Please note the following advice when carrying out work involving asbestos:

  • If the item containing asbestos is in good condition the best option may be to leave it.
  • Surfaces may be sealed by painting with an oil-based paint or dilute (1:10) UPV glue.
  • Avoid any action that might break up the asbestos, e.g. do not scrape or brush off lichen or moss.
  • Do not break up the panels; wet the surfaces thoroughly and dismantle with care.


If the removal of asbestos is necessary the following options are available: 

    • Use a licensed asbestos contractor (see Asbestos Removal in the Yellow Pages or contact the Health and Safety Executive on  03435 603 7632). Ask for proof of licence if you have any concerns about the competence of the contractor.
    • Dismantle the item yourself (with caution and ideally after wetting the material) and use a waste contractor/skip company to dispose of it.
    • You can request that small amounts (up to 40kg) of bonded asbestos products to be collected from your house and safely disposed of free of charge once in any council tax year (excluding Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea). For example, one small asbestos water tank or one 2.4 x 1.2m (8 x 4ft) sheet would be collected free of charge. Contact the Waste and Recycling Helpline on 0345 603 7625 for details.
    • Larger amounts can be collected by the council’s household hazardous waste contractor at the same time but there will be a charge, which must be paid prior to collection.
  • Batteries

    Reduce: Consider purchasing adaptors for your electrical items to use the mains supply power instead of disposable batteries.  

    Reuse: Rechargeable batteries have many environmental and financial benefits. Solar-powered chargers are also readily available.

    Recycle: Batteries contain hazardous materials and should be recycled. Household batteries such as hearing aid batteries, mobile phone batteries and other small removable batteries can be taken to any Essex County Council recycling centre and recycled in the blue battery container. Car batteries can also be recycled at the recycling centres but must be deposited in the car battery recycling container.


    Reuse: Consider donating good quality clean items to charity shops, refuges or animal shelters.
    Recycle: Bedding such as sheets and pillow cases can be recycled at any Essex County Council recycling centre and through kerbside collection schemes.
    Compost: Pure wool, cotton and feathers can all be composted, but avoid adding any man-made fibres including nylon or polyester into your compost bin because they will not break down.
    Disposal: Duvets, pillows and cushions should be tied into a small bundle and included in your general rubbish collection or placed in the non-recyclable container at a recycling centre. .
    For mattresses, see G-N 



    Reuse: Some local bicycle shops will repair and service your bike or even buy your bike from you. Unwanted bicycles and bike parts can be taken to bicycle charity Re-Cycle. Good quality bikes can be advertised on Freecycle or Reuse Essex.
    Recycle: Unwanted bicycles can be recycled at Essex County Council recycling centres in the scrap metal bank.  


    Our recycling centres have separate containers for hardbacks and paperbacks. Books are reused if possible or sent for paper and cardboard recycling.


    Building materials

    Construction waste is not accepted at recycling centres. Only small quantities of household DIY waste will be accepted.
    Reuse: Offer spare building materials on Freecycle or Recipro, an online exchange site specifically for building and construction materials.

    Recycle: Materials comprising of metal such as corrugated iron sheeting can be recycled in the metal container at any Essex County Council recycling centre.

    Disposal: Roofing, roofing felt and flooring that cannot be donated should be put in the non-recyclables container.