Recycling symbol

Recycling list

Items you can recycle or dispose of in Blackburn and Darwen and the best way to dispose of them.

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Food waste

Each family on average throws away over £400.00 a year of good food. For tips on saving money, and making tasty recipes from your leftovers visit charity website, Love Food Hate Waste.

Reuse or donate unwanted items

Much of what we throw away is items that are still usable but that we don't want anymore.

Items like unwanted children's toys and clothes can be given away to family, friends or local charities.

Furniture, clothing and bric-a-brac

Most furniture is replaced because we fancy a change and not because it is broken, so why not donate what you are replacing to someone else or a charity?

Examples include:

Other ways you can make money from things you don’t need any more​ are having a car boot sale or selling your unwanted items online.

What happens to recyclables after you put them in your grey bin

The Council have a contract to collect, sort and send for processing recyclables placed in grey recycling bins with Darwen based waste management company Biffa.

Recyclables (glass, cans, plastic etc) are first separated into types at a Biffa Materials Recycling facility, or MRF.

Biffa then supplies a number of contractors with these materials. They ensure legal compliance including providing photographs and supporting documentation where required for those materials that are transported abroad. Biffa only use foreign re-processors who operate under their own Government issued operator licences.

Recycables are then processed into new products or packaging both in the UK or abroad in accordance with the UK's strict rules governing shipping waste and recyclables abroad. Recyclable materials are traded as global commodities which means the percentage of our recyclables which are processed abroad, varies from month to month. Many plastic recycling plants in the UK have closed down so more materials are being exported.

  • Currently above 55% of our recyclables are processed within the UK.
  • Most of our recyclables such as glass and metal cans are sent to re-processors within the UK.
  • All milk bottles (HDPE) are in fact sent to a Biffa location in Redcar that cleans and repackages the bottle for use in the manufacture of other milk bottles.
  • The majority of paper sorted from B&D is retained within the UK reprocessing market.