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What you cannot take to our centres

24 March 2016

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The following is a comprehensive list of what items you cannot take to our recycling centres. If you can't find information about an item here, it might be included in our A-Z guide on waste 


You cannot recycle commercial or construction waste, or waste that does not come directly from a domestic property to the recycling centres. If you are suspected of doing so you may have to fill in an Origin of Waste Declaration Form. Any personal information recorded on the form will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.



Ammunition, explosives and weapons 

Please contact your local police station to arrange disposal.



Our recycling centres cannot accept asbestos of any description. However, as part of Essex County Council's Household Hazardous Waste scheme, you can request for small amounts (up to 40kg) of bonded asbestos (asbestos cement) to be collected and disposed of free of charge. You can find out more by calling 0345 603 7625.
For further information on disposing of asbestos, visit the asbestos section in our A-Z guide on waste.

Dead animals 

Please contact your vet to arrange for the disposal of deceased pets and contact your local district or borough council to arrange for the collection of dead wild animals.



Soak in a bucket of water for 48 hours, they will then be safe to place in your general waste. 


Contact the manufacturer for advice on disposal. 

Gas cylinders 

Gas cylinders should be returned to the retailer or supplier so they can be reused. For further information on disposal visit the gas cylinder section in our A-Z guide on waste.

Hazardous waste   

The following types of waste may be classed as hazardous waste and therefore cannot be accepted at our recycling centres:
  • asbestos 
  • pesticides
  • chemicals and other toxic substances  
  • poisons 
If you have any waste which you think may be hazardous please contact the waste and recycling helpline on 0345 603 7625 for advice on disposal options.

Japanese knotweed 

Japanese knotweed is extremely invasive and has to be treated or disposed of responsibly. Do not put Japanese knotweed in your rubbish bin, or any green waste recycling scheme of any description, or your home compost bin. Japanese Knotweed should be removed by a licensed contractor, alternatively it can be destroyed on site by allowing it to dry out before burning.
There are strict regulations on its treatment or removal, transportation and disposal. Please refer to the Environment Agency

Landlord’s waste 

Recycling centres are for the disposal of household waste and therefore cannot accept waste from landlords clearing properties. This waste, and waste resulting from a person who is refurbishing a tenanted house, is classed as commercial waste. 


It is illegal to dispose of garden chemicals and pesticides down drains, sinks and toilets as this can harm the environment. Essex County Council has made arrangements to provide Essex residents with safe disposal routes for banned pesticide products which are no longer needed by the householder.
If the product is in liquid form, please contact the Waste and Recycling Helpline on 0345 603 7625 for further advice and information. If the product is granular or a powder, it can be taken to your local recycling centre, but please inform site staff of the type of product you are disposing of before depositing.
In recent years, several pesticide products have been withdrawn from sale. The Pesticides Safety Directorate provides information and advice on this issue and gives a full list of withdrawn products.

Petrol and diesel 

Unused petrol or diesel should be returned to a garage or used.

Syringes and medical wastes 

Please seek advice from your local GP, hospital (or whoever is providing your health care) on methods of disposal.

Trade or commercial waste   

Our recycling centres are licensed by the Environment Agency to accept only household waste. It is illegal to deposit trade waste or waste from commercial premises at these sites.
We cannot legally accept waste from a builder or gardener carrying out work to a house or garden he/she does not live in or waste produced by someone running a business from, or working from, their home address.
Advice for those looking to dispose of commercial waste, including lists of local commercial waste companies and sites, is available on our commercial waste page.