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Waste and recycling

The earth has limited resources, so we need to do our best to save them. Find out what actions we are taking to reduce waste and recycle more.

Remember to follow the waste hierarchy – reduce, reuse, recycle.  


Nearly everything we buy has some form of packaging, but there are some simple ways to buy products with very little or no packaging at all. There are many local businesses in and around Colchester that give you options to source products with zero waste. Zero waste near me provides you with the location of many of these. Why not take part in the Colchester Plastic Pledge to cut down on your single-use plastics? 

The Council is taking continued action to reduce the amount of single-use plastics used within its buildings and for its services.


To reduce plastic waste, the Council has been supporting the Refill movement. Within Colchester, there are five water fountains available for you to refill your water bottles, including in the Castle Park and on the High Street. Many cafés in Colchester are part of the Refill scheme and you can go in them to fill up your water bottle for free!

There are many other ways to reuse items you have. For example, you can refill shampoo bottles and other products at many eco shops in and around Colchester – look at en-form for a list of eco shops, some of which offer refills.


The Council offers a household recycling collection service – check out bins and recycling for details about what the council collects for recycling and when the collections are. Currently, the Council has a good recycling rate of 55%. Thank you to all residents for your co-operation to achieve this.  

There are many materials that the Council cannot collect because it would be too costly to do so. However, Terracycle is an organisation that recycles a vast variety of products that the Council does not collect. There are drop-off points in and around Colchester that collect these materials before being sent to Terracycle for recycling. 

There are also other things that can be recycled. Check out the recycling directory on the en-form website for a list of recyclable materials and where they should be taken to be recycled.

Corporate Indicator Set for waste and recycling

The Council has a set of corporate indicators which summarise its overall performance. These include recycling and waste and are reported to councillors twice a year as shown.

Page last reviewed: 4 March 2020


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