Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content

You are currently in: A-Z guide on waste


10 March 2016

The page you are viewing has been moved to a new location

You will be redirected automatically in   second(s)

Alternatively click the following link to visit the page now:

In this section you can find information on how to deal with garden waste, gas cylinders, gypsum, hardcorelight bulbs, mattresses, medicine, metals and metal goods, mobile phones and nappies

Garden waste

Compost: Home compost your garden waste such as grass cuttings, dead flowers and end of year annuals, weeds (not pernicious ones), twigs, cuttings (hedge, shrub, tree and hardwood plants), hay, fungi and leaves. Layer the more moist (green) materials with the drier (brown) materials to get the best mixture for speedy decomposition.
You can either make your own compost bin or purchase one through the Essex Home Compost Initiative.
Recycle: Green garden waste may be collected through your kerbside recycling collection, although there may be a charge for this service. Check with your local council.
Alternatively, garden waste can be taken to any Essex County Council recycling centre and placed in the green waste containers.
You can buy compost/soil improver at recycling centres. Ask site staff for details.
Disposal: Do not put diseased plants in your compost bin because the disease could spread to other plants through the compost. Do not compost aggressive weeds such as couch grass, bindweed or creeping buttercup because they will keep growing.
Diseased plants and aggressive weeds should be burnt (if allowed in your area) or put in your normal rubbish bin. Refrain from burning materials unless absolutely necessary, always compost or recycle if possible.

Gas cylinders

Reuse: Gas cylinders are not accepted at recycling centres. They should be returned to the retailer or supplier so they can be reused.
  • CylinderCare provides a free nationwide service for the collection and recovery of most makes of UK LPG bottles and gas cylinders. Call Waste care on 0800 091 0000 and ask for CylinderCare
  • Flogas cylinders, call 0800 574 574
  • For other gas cylinders seek advice from the LP Gas Association

If a cylinder is leaking badly and you are concerned, contact the manufacturer or the Fire Brigade.

For aerosols, see cans on page C-D



Disposal: Gypsum and plasterboard cannot be mixed with other waste. You can take plasterboard sheets, broken plasterboard and painted/wall papered plasterboard to Essex County Council Recycling Centres. Bins for these materials are available at all of our recycling centres, except the following smaller sites.

  • Burnham on Crouch - nearest bin is at Maldon (Park Drive), or South Woodham Ferrers (Ferrers Road)
  • Dovercourt - nearest bin is at Kirby le Soken (Malting Lane) Lawford - nearest bin is at Kirby le Soken (Maltings Lane), or Clacton (Rush Green Road), or Colchester (Shrub End)
  • Mersea Island - nearest bin is at Colchester (Shrub End)
  • Mountnessing - nearest bin is at Brentwood (Coxtie Green Road), or Chelmsford (Drovers Way, North Springfield)



Recycle: Essex County Council recycling centres will accept up to three wheelbarrow loads of hardcore (one car boot load, with the seats up - combined total of hardcore including bricks, rubble and soil) per household in any 28-day period.
The hardcore should be placed in the soil and hardcore recycling container.
Hardcore is classed as construction waste. It is not household waste. Essex County Council does not have to accept this type of waste at its recycling centres but does so as a service to residents. 
Disposal: A more convenient way to dispose of soil, hardcore and other large quantities of DIY waste is to use a local skip or bulk bag hire service in your local directory.
Trade and commercial hardcore waste will not be accepted at recycling centres. You will need to make your own arrangements for disposal.




Recycle: Approximately 73 million inhalers are used in the UK every year. You can recycle your old inhalers by donating them to a participating pharmacy, which can be located here.

Light bulbs

Reduce: Buy low-energy bulbs; they use less electricity and need replacing less often, and unlike old-style bulbs they are fully recyclable. Free and independent home energy advice can be obtained by phoning the Energy Saving Trust advice line on 0800 512 012.

Recycle: Low-energy light bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain mercury and are classed as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Please recycle at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Do not place any bulbs in glass recycling banks because the metal filaments contaminate the recycling process.
Disposal: Old-style bulbs cannot be recycled, wrap them in newspaper and put in your rubbish bin / bag.


Reuse: Items in good condition with fire safety labels can be donated to larger charity shops or furniture reuse schemes such as Reuse Essex.

Disposal: Contact your local District or Borough Council to arrange a bulky waste collection, alternatively please place in the non-recyclable container at your local recycling centre.


Recycle: Empty glass and plastic medicine bottles can be recycled. Recycle them at any Essex County Council recycling centre. Please do not rinse bottles beforehand because this can cause the residue to contaminate the watercourse.
Disposal: Unused and out-of-date medicine should be returned to pharmacies for safe disposal.
For plastics, see page O-Q

Metals and metal goods

Reuse: Saucepans, shelves and furniture in good condition can be donated to charity shops or reuse schemes such as Reuse Essex. Spare parts, building materials or pipes can also have a value, try listing your items on Freecycle or Recipro.

Recycle: Unwanted metal items unfit for reuse can be taken to any Essex County Council recycling centre and placed in the metal container for recycling. You may be able to sell certain metals at a scrap metal merchant. 
For appliances, see page E-F 

Mobile phones

Always remember to remove the SIM card and restore the factory settings on the phone for data protection purposes.
Reuse: Many phones can be sold online in exchange for cash, vouchers or donations to charity. Some companies will pay for broken phones, which are then used for spare parts. Local charity shops and libraries may also collect mobile phones. 
Recycle: Mobile phones are classed as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and can be disposed of at any  Essex County Council recycling centre along with chargers, batteries and adaptors.  


Reuse: Reusable cloth nappies can be washed at home or through a nappy laundering service. Even with laundering costs taken into account, you can save up to £1000 by using cloth nappies. Costs can be further reduced by selling your nappies second hand or by using them on a second child. Cloth nappies will prevent 5000 nappies per child going to landfill. Essex County Council offers a £30 refund for residents who buy cloth nappies.
Recycle: Any clean cloth nappy can be put in textile recycling banks or left for kerbside textile recycling collections. The nappies are sorted at the textile reprocessors and usable ones are sent for reuse in developing countries. Unusable nappies are processed into industrial rags or stuffing.
Disposal: There is no sustainable method to deal with disposable nappies and they are buried in landfill sites. Although baby waste can be flushed down the toilet, nappies must not be flushed. A disposable nappy should be tied up securely in a plastic bag and disposed of in a rubbish bin. Biodegradable nappy sacks can be bought in supermarkets.