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  • Charles Scully

What Can & Can’t Be Recycled in Cornwall?

Recycling in Cornwall has been going from strength to strength with more people now recycling than ever before. However, on average 25% of waste is made up of materials that could be recycled. Spreading awareness on what you can and can’t recycle in Cornwall is a great way to ensure that we are being as environmentally friendly as possible. 


Find out more about recycling services from Cornwall Waste Care.


What Happens to Your Recycling and Waste

It is very common for people to be unaware of what happens to their waste and recycling once it is collected. This means that it comes as a surprise to most people that there are no active landfill sites for household waste in the whole of Cornwall. 


All of your yellow bag waste goes to the Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre, where it is incinerated and converted into household electricity. As for your recycling, an amazing 99% of what Cornwall recycles is reprocessed, allowing it to be used for manufacturing new products. This is made achievable by separating your household plastics from your glass, cardboard and paper. Rather than chucking it all in one bin as they do in other parts of the country.


What Can Be Recycled

As previously mentioned, we can collect recycling of a large variety. Including cardboard, plastic and metal packaging, paper, glass and textiles. Take a look at our list below to make sure you’re not throwing away something that could be recycled.


  • Cardboard - Using the orange bag, we encourage you to recycle your brown and white cardboard, coloured paper, greeting cards, brown envelopes and any non-shiny wrapping paper.

  • Plastic and Metal Packaging - Using the red bag, we can collect your plastic and metal packaging. This includes items such as drink and aerosol cans, food tins, aluminium foil as well as plastic bottles, tubs and trays. We request that you rinse these items out, and squash them so we can take as much as possible!

  • Paper - Using the blue bag, we recycle items like your newspaper, magazines, brochures, mail, white envelopes, utility bills and shredded paper. There are certain forms of paper we can’t take but please see our What Can’t Be Recycled list to learn what these are.

  • Glass and Textiles - Using the black box, we recycle your glass and textiles ranging from wine and beer bottles to towels, sheets and pillowcases. Not to forget jam jars, makeup pots, perfume bottles, wearable clothes and shoes, belts and bags. 


What Can’t Be Recycled

It is important to know what can’t be recycled to ensure that we maximise the use of our waste. Just because an item can’t be recycled doesn’t mean it cannot be useful and repurposed into something beneficial. With all of Cornwall’s waste going to CERC, that is absolutely the case. Check out our list below to see what we can turn into energy for homes across the county.


  • Black plastic

  • Plastic film, eg, cling film

  • Plastic oil or pesticide containers

  • Plastic bags, eg, carrier bags, sandwich bags, freezer bags

  • Expanded polystyrene

  • Pet food pouches

  • Film lids from pots, tubs and trays

  • Crisp/sweet packets

  • Rigid plastics, eg, toys, furniture,

  • Plastic straws

  • Plant pots


Maximise Your Recycling Potential with Cornwall Waste Care

If you want to introduce one-off or recurring waste and recycling collection services, suiting a variety of circumstances, get in touch with our team to find out more and get a quote!

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