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Deciphering Recycling

Reduce, reuse, recycle

We're trying to be green in St Albans. We use the council's recycling facilities more than anything else that they provide (including parks, museums, play areas and arts facilities). Most of us (81%) of us are happy with local recycling facilities and we turned over 17,334 tonnes of waste at the last annual count (19% of our dry waste and 13% of our green waste). From April to September 2009 we recycled 53% of household waste; above our 50% target for 2010/11. Here's how it all works.

Kerbside recycling – houses

All houses receive a fortnightly kerbside collection of:

Recycling boxes (3 boxes from Summer 09*)

1. Paper - YES: newspapers, magazines, catalogues, yellow and white telephone directories, catalogues, junk mail. Put cardboard, window-less envelopes and shredded paper in your green bin.

2. Glass - YES: clear and coloured glass bottles and jars. NO: pyrex glass (or similar), drinking glasses, plate glass, mirrors, light bulbs, spectacles

3. Metal/Plastic - YES: cans (steel and aluminium cans, drinks cans and empty aerosols), plastic bottles and tops (all kinds, any colour). Rinse them out but but leave paper labels. NO: plastic bags, polythene, wrappings, margarine/yoghurt/ice cream tubs, plastic cups, engine oil containers, meat/microwave trays and punnets.

Containers for the collection of Tetrapak, i.e. wax coated cartons are provided at Morrisons, Waitrose, Marshalswick car park, Amenbury Lane car park (Harpenden) and Memorial Hall car park (Wheathampsted).

* If you would prefer not to have a third recycling box delivered, contact customer services (details below).

Green wheeled bin

YES:  garden waste, cooked and uncooked food waste. NO: ash, coal, flower pots, plant trays, rubble, soil, stones.

Green wheelie bins have replaced reusable bags so if you have not received your bin, call 01727 819285. A few residents who live in parts of the conservation area or have no space to store a green bin will continue to use bags.

Recycle boxes and green wheelie bins are emptied fortnightly on the same day. Black bins are emptied fortnightly on same day but alternative week to your green bin and recycling boxes. When there is a Bank Holiday in the week, your collection is a day later.

Kerbside recycling - flats

If you live in a flat and do not have recycling facilities your landlord, management company or residents association needs to ask the council for a wheeled recycling bin. If there is a hard standing for the bin, and vehicle access to it, the council can arrange for recycling bins to be provided and emptied as often as necessary, free of charge (see contact details for the council below).

Home composting

If you've got a garden, then home composting is a great way to turn your food waste into free soil improver. You can compost raw vegetable peelings, fruit, teabags, coffee grounds, egg shells, pet hair, newspaper, cardboard and shredded paper. For top tips and subsidised compost converters, visit

Recycling sites

There are 18 static sites around the district. A free leaflet containing details of the 18 sites around the district can be obtained by phoning 01727 819285. Further information on waste and recycling in Hertfordshire, including the opening times of the Household Waste Recycling Centres, can also be found on the Waste Aware website at

For help and information, visit, email [email protected] or call 01727 819285 Mon to Thu 8.45am to 5pm, Fri 8.45am to 4.30pm. Closed on Bank Holidays.

Is your trash someone else's treasure? Join St Albans Reuse and find out.