Recycling collections - new arrangements

There are some changes affecting your rubbish and recycling collection service from the end of June 2019.

Biffa will be taking over the collection rounds (previously from Kier) for Hastings, Rother and Wealden Councils, and Eastbourne and Lewes Councils will carry out collections via an in-house service.

Glass bottles and jars should now be placed in your main recycling wheelie bin mixed with the rest of your recycling, and cartons (Tetra Paks) are no longer accepted for recycling but should be placed in your black bag rubbish bin and used to make electricity at the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility.

Once the recycling has been collected by the Borough and District Councils contractors, it is sorted at Viridor’s Crayford Materials Recycling Facility in Kent ready for reprocessing. The arrangement is via a 7 year contract between the County Council and Viridor worth £20 million dealing with around 50,000 tonnes of mixed recycling each year.

The County Council continues to work with its other contractor Veolia to process black bag waste at the Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility; process Brighton & Hove’s recycling at the Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility in Brighton; produce compost from garden waste at the Woodlands facility in Whitesmith; and operate a network of Household Waste Recycling Sites and Waste Transfer Stations across East Sussex.

What can I put in my recycling wheelie bin under these new arrangements?

To make the service more convenient and easier, you should now place glass bottles and jars straight into your main recycling wheelie bin. The following materials are accepted:

  • Glass bottles and jars (rinsed)
  • Paper including newspapers; magazines; catalogues; telephone directories; Yellow Pages; envelopes (with or without windows); junk mail; office paper; greeting cards; wrapping papers (not metallic/foil); books
  • Shredded paper (in clear bags)
  • Cardboard (flattened) including food and non food packaging card; non-waxed cardboard
  • Food tins and drink cans (rinsed)
  • Aluminium foil/trays (clean)
  • Aerosol cans (empty) excluding paint, fertilizer or weed killer cans/sprays
  • Plastic bottles (rinsed and squashed with lids put back on)
  • Plastic pots, tubs and trays including yoghurt pots; ice cream tubs; margarine containers; food trays
  • Plastic bags and sacks (not black ones)
  • Plastic film including magazine wrappers; tops of food trays
  • Plastic packaging including those that contained batteries or toys for example

Residents are asked to keep their recycling clean, dry and loose please.

What can't I put in my recycling wheelie bin?

Textiles; food waste; refuse; black plastic bags and sacks; wood; nappies and other sanitary waste; food/drink/Tetra Pak cartons; batteries; garden waste; polystyrene; bubble wrap; hard plastics (e.g. toys and plant pots); CDs/DVDs and their cases; foil-lined plastic pouches and bags (e.g. crisp packets); toothpaste tubes; medical blister packs; cling-film; Pyrex/ovenproof glassware; drinking glasses; crockery; window panes; mirrors; light bulbs; tyres; scrap metal; wet paper and card; sand and building materials; electrical equipment; toxic/hazardous chemical bottles/cans/aerosols; oil/pesticide containers.

Why are food and drink cartons (Tetra Pak) no longer accepted for recycling?

Although food and drinks cartons (Tetra Pak) have been accepted for recycling in the past, you can no longer put cartons (Tetra Pak) into your recycling wheelie bin. They should instead be placed in your black bag rubbish bin and will be used to make electricity at the Energy Recovery Facility in Newhaven.

The recycling industry has recently tightened up its quality standards and so we need to reduce the level of contamination to help produce higher quality recycling materials – or we risk whole recycling loads being rejected. At the recycling plant in Crayford in Kent where the mixed recycling from East Sussex householders is taken to, cartons are now classed as a separate material to paper and cardboard and need to be treated as such. The plant does not have the sorting methods available to separate cartons from the rest of the mixed recycling ready for onward processing, so any cartons that are delivered there will end up contaminating the paper and cardboard. So we are asking residents not to put cartons into their mixed recycling collection anymore.

Even in parts of the country where cartons are collected separately for recycling, it is often costly and inefficient to recycle them. In general, cartons are comprised of 6 layers of material (including 2 types of plastic) which all need to be separated for reprocessing. The paperboard fibres are recycled into pulp and used to make household products such as paper towels and toilet paper but usually the remaining plastic and aluminium compound residue (called PolyAl) has to be incinerated at energy recovery facilities.

Are there any plans to accept cartons from East Sussex households for recycling?

East Sussex County Council working with its contractor Veolia are considering if cartons can be accepted from residents for recycling in dedicated containers at the local household waste recycling sites. We are also working with the Borough and District Councils to consider if cartons can be accepted from residents for recycling at their local bring sites.

Both options depend on finding sustainable onward movement of material. For example, there is currently just one facility in the UK (Sonoco/ACE UK near Halifax in Yorkshire) that is specifically designed to process post-consumer cartons for recycling.

What should I do with my recycling box previously used for glass?

As glass bottles and jars should now be placed in the main recycling wheelie bin with the other recycling, there is no longer a need for the separate recycling box previously used for just glass.

Residents can keep the box and use it around the home, garage or garden (see here for some ideas).

Unwanted recycling boxes will not be collected by the Borough or District Councils contractors, instead residents can take any to their local Household Waste Recycling Site.

Residents should not place unwanted recycling boxes in the recycling wheelie bin as it could contaminate recycling loads, neither should any be placed in the black bag rubbish bin.

How can I find out more about my rubbish and rubbish collection service?

You will need to contact your local Borough or District Council depending on where you live: