Cost of living support

Colchester City Council is providing support for residents facing the cost of living crisis.

What to Put Out - Green Week

A handy guide so you know what to put out for recycling on Green Week


  • Food waste - what you can and can't recycle
  • Plastics and Garden - what you can and can't recycle
  • Paper and Card - What you can and can't recycle
  • Which clothes & shoes you can recycle for us to donate and which ones are not suitable

Quick links

Food waste

Where does it go?

Locked in large external caddy

Quick reference

Items that can be collected include: Items that cannot be collected include:
  • Fruit and vegetables (raw or cooked)
  • Meat, fish and shellfish (raw or cooked including bones)
  • Dairy products
  • Bread, cakes or pastries
  • Rice, pasta or beans
  • Uneaten food from plates or dishes
  • Tea bags or coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Kitchen roll used to wipe up food and drink spills
  • Any sort of packaging or plastic
  • Liquids
  • Oils and fats
  • Pet food, litter or waste
  • Coffee filter paper
  • Biodegradable face wipes
  • Lolly sticks
  • Wooden cutlery
  • Any other recycling and rubbish


Order a new caddy


Purchasing food caddy liners


We are working in partnership with venues across the borough to provide food caddy liners at a discounted rate - from just 99p per roll. 

We advise using liners for your food caddy to reduce mess and smell. However, you do not have to use liners if you do not wish to purchase them. Your food waste can be put directly into the caddy, we suggest lining the bottom first with some newspaper or kitchen roll.

Please note that if you are going to purchase liners from a stockist that is not on the list below, please look out for the 'seedling' logo on the roll Seedling logo which means that the liners are biodegradable.

Please do not line your bags with plastic bags as they are not biodregradable and cannot decompose naturally. 

Find your local stockist of food caddy liners



Where does it go?

Clear bags. Rinse, squash and pop the lids back on plastic bottles.

Quick reference

Items that can be collected include: Items that cannot be collected include:
  • Plastic bottles like:
    • Plastic milk bottles
    • Fizzy drink bottles
    • Water bottles
    • Shampoo bottles
    • Bottles from household cleaning products
    • Bleach bottles
  • Plastic pots like:
    • Yoghurt pots
    • Cream pots
    • Soup pots
    • Salad pots
  • Plastic tubs like:
    • Margarine tubs
    • Ice cream tubs 
  • Plastic trays like:
    • Meat trays
    • Fruit trays or punnets
    • Biscuit trays 
  • Blister packs like:
    • Packaging containing batteries, toys, tablets
  • Plastic plant pots
  • Worn out white garden sacks
  • Broken or unusable food recycling caddy
  • Plastic bags like:
    • Carrier bags
    • Bread bags
    • Freezer bags
    • Fruit and vegetable bags 
    • Multi-pack crisp bags
    • Salad and sandwich bags
  • Plastic film and wrapping like:
    • Plastic nets & labels (e.g. for citrus fruits)
    • Plastic film from magazines and newspapers
    • Wrapping from food products
    • Wrapping around multi-packs of cans
    • Wrapping around toilet rolls
    • Cling film
    • Plastic cereal liners 
  • Plastic film from ready meals
  • Pesticide or chemical bottles 
  • Tetra Paks 
  • Tassimo Pods
  • Hard plastics like:
    • Children's toys
    • Milk crates 
  • Polystyrene, including:
    • Polystyrene food trays (e.g. take-away boxes)
    • Expanded polystyrene packaging‚Äč (e.g. Loosefill polystyrene used for padding in packaging)
  • Bubble wrap 
  • Electronic items 
  • Plastic strapping or rope (e.g. polyrope, lock lashing straps) 
  • Aluminium Coated Plastic Pouches and Packaging 
  • Cat Food Pouches 
  • Crisp Bags 
  • Video/cassette tapes or CD/DVD cases 
  • Washing up bowls
  • Large items such as garden furniture


Order new bags

Garden waste

Where does it go?

White garden sacks

Quick reference

Items that can be collected include: Items that cannot be collected include:
  • Grass, leaves and weeds 
  • Flowers and plants 
  • Hedge clippings 
  • Prunings and twigs 
  • Hay/straw (bedding from non-meat eating animals only including small animal faeces, for example, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs) 
  • Fruit/veg prunings from garden (no kitchen waste)
  • Large branches 
  • Plastic or black bags
  • Paper (including paper used as bedding for your pet)
  • Soil, mud or rubble 
  • Plant pots 
  • Treated wood 
  • Large stones, bricks, paving slabs and soil 
  • Kitchen waste such as raw fruit and vegetable peelings 
  • Tea bags, egg shells, cardboard 
  • Animal waste or litter
  • Large branches and household timber with nails and screws inserted 
  • Nappies 
  • Waxed packaging and polythene 
  • Toxic waste and pesticides
  • Lolly sticks
  • Wooden cutlery


Order garden sacks

Paper and card

Where does it go?

Flattened in clear bags, separated into paper and card bags

Quick reference

Items that can be collected include: Items that cannot be collected include:
  • Paper
  • Plain and coloured wrapping paper
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Catalogues
  • Brochures
  • Comics
  • Junk mail
  • Yellow page/directories
  • Cereal packets
  • Tea packets
  • Cardboard boxes, flattened*
  • Food boxes (not foil backed or waxed)
  • Egg boxes
  • Brown paper (in card bag)
  • Wrapping paper (paper-based in card bag)
  • Brown envelopes
  • Washing powder boxes
  • Dishwasher tablet boxes
  • Cleaning product boxes
  • Kitchen and toilet roll
  • Greeting cards
  • Cigarette packets (with the foil removed)
  • Used tissue
  • Kitchen roll
  • Wallpaper
  • Waxed paper
  • Waxed card
  • Wrapping paper (foil or plastic)
  • PE coated paper and cardboard 
  • Cardboard contaminated with leftover food such as greasy pizza boxes
  • Tetra Paks

* Please note - large cardboard boxes can be flattened and placed next to the clear recycling bags if too big to fit in them.

Order new bags