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What to put in recycling box

What to put in recycling boxes

Find out what can be disposed of in a recycling box, below.


Spray cans can be put in a recycling box. See examples below:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Deodorants
  • Air fresheners
  • Anti-freeze cans

Cans and tins

Cans and tins can be put in a recycling box. See examples below::

  • Aluminium cans 
  • Steel tins
  • Drink cans
  • Food tins
  • Biscuit and sweet tins

Card and cardboard

Cardboard must fit in the recycling box. Any oversized cardboard boxes should be cut down into pieces small enough to fit into the recycling box. Card must be dry.

You can dispose of most kinds of card, including card food packaging. See examples below:

  • Card cereal boxes
  • Corrugated card
  • Egg boxes
  • Kitchen and toilet roll tubes
  • Flattened delivery boxes
  • Greetings cards
  • Empty pizza boxes


You can put all kinds of paper as long as it's not foil based. Paper must be dry.

Examples include:    

  • Catalogues
  • Flyers and leaflets
  • Envelopes including windowed evelopes
  • Newspaper and magazines
  • Shredded paper - this needs to be in an envelope
  • Printer paper 
  • Wrapping paper - not foil based 

Card and paper must be dry

Due to global economic changes, recycling plants are no longer accepting wet paper and card. Batches sent from Wokingham Borough have been rejected for being too damp – meaning they have ended up not being recycled.

We are reacting quickly to this challenge and are looking at the best options, but nothing can be delivered immediately. In the meantime, try to protect your paper and card recycling, if you can.

Ways that will help keep your card and paper dry, when it’s wet outside, include: 

  • Covering your recycling box with something waterproof
  • Keeping your recycling inside, if you have space
  • Keeping your recycling in your garage or shed
  • Stacking your black boxes with the paper-filled one at the bottom or 
  • Putting your black boxes out on the morning of collection, rather than the night before 

Tetrapak cartons

You can put tetrapak cartons in your recycling box, for example:

  • Fruit juice cartons
  • Milk cartons
  • Soup cartons


You can put foil and foil trays in your recycling box. 


Most plastics can be put in your recycling box. Plastic bottles should be crushed and the bottle tops put back on. Examples include:

  • Bottled drinks
  • Plastic milk bottles
  • Toiletries
  • Detergent
  • Yoghurt pots
  • Snack and soup pots
  • Cosmetic pots
  • Plastic tubs and trays
  • Fruit and veg punnets/trays
  • Meat packaging
  • Butter and margarine tubs 

What can't be disposed of in recycling box

For a printable / pictorial guide see  what can I recycle (PDF document).

Why we don't recycle black plastic

The majority of black packaging is coloured using carbon black or dark pigments. These are not recognised by the optical sorting systems used in plastic recycling, including at Re3’s Materials Recycling Facility.

Work is being done in the recycling industry to use more detectable black colourants. But at the moment we can't recycle black plastic.

Greenredeem rewards for recycling

Greenredeem is a scheme that rewards you for recycling, You can earn points for your recycling. These can be redeemed for various rewards. To find out more and register visit the  Greenredeem website.

re3cyclopedia app - find out what you can recycle

Use the  re3cyclopedia app to find out what you can recycle and where.

Other recycling options 

What happens to your waste when it is collected

Watch the video, below, to find out what happens to your waste.

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