Recycling in Ealing

Wonder what goes in what bin to recycle in Ealing, ActforEaling has the answers.

If you’ve ever been frustrated about recycling, you are not alone. Many of us struggle to understand the confusing symbols on packaging. Who hasn’t held up a plastic wrapper asking ‘can it be recycled’?

Act For Ealing’s has been part of the Acton Market Reduce and Recycle Hub and brought out recycling challenge to help with these issues.

So what goes where?

Blue wheelie bins

Blue wheelie bins are for items that can be recycled.

Put all your:

  • Cardboard and thin card (if dry)
  • Paper, envelopes and junk mail
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Firm plastics such as bottles, pots and tubs
  • Metal tins and cans
  • Aerosols cans
  • Aluminium foil (if clean) into about a tennis ball in size
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Food and drinks cartons such as Tetra Pak

Textiles and batteries (bagged in a CLEAR plastic bag) can be left on top of the blue wheelie bin on recycling day. Alternatively, for the doorstep collection of textiles, you can call TRAID Collection – free to Ealing residents.

Do not include:

  • DIY, garden and food waste
  • Carrier bags
  • Flimsy plastics such as bread bags
  • Crisp bags and sweet wrappers
  • Crockery, pyrex and glassware such as glasses and vases
  • Polystyrene
  • Nappies

Tip: Items should be LOOSE inside your bin.

Black wheelie bins

Black wheelie bins are for items that cannot currently be recycled. The less you put in here, the less that gets incinerated.

In your black bin put:

  • Tissues and paper towels
  • Cling film
  • Cotton buds
  • Sanitary towels
  • Nappies and wet wipes
  • Polystyrene
  • Wet paper or card

Do not include:

  • DIY, garden and food waste
  • Recyclable plastics
  • Paper
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Metal tins and cans, aerosols and clean foil

NOTE: If you cannot access a soft plastics collection point, you could also dispose of flimsy wrappers such as plastic bags, crisp packets – in the black wheelie, but do remember that it will be incinerated, so it is not the best solution.

Tip: Items should be in a black refuse bag inside your bin.

Food waste bins

Line your food waste bin with newspaper or a compostable bag to stop food sticking to the bin and reduce smells.

Put in your green food waste bin:

  • Teabags and coffee grounds
  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Leftover food
  • Dairy, fish and egg shells
  • Meat and bones
  • Bread and pastries

What happens to our waste?

Ealing collects your rubbish, usually in a black sack or a wheeled bin. They then deliver what they have collected to one of the two rail transfer stations; one is located in South Ruislip, the other is in Brentford. To find out more go to the West London Waste Authority

What else can I get collected?

For large household items, such as beds, sofas, fridges and televisions, a bulky items collection can be requested (charges apply). Find out more at


Soft plastics collection point

Soft plastics, also known as low-density polyethylene (LDPE), are more challenging to recycle. A number of specialist collection points do exist and many supermarkets offer collection points. For example Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Tesco are now offering soft plastic drop-offs. At Morrisons, plastic bags can be deposited. Ealing Council, in collaboration with Terracycle, has a facility at Greenford Recycling Centre.

Other recycling

Kerbside collection gathers up a significant amount of recyclables, but not everything you want to discard. Local Recycling Centres have containers for small electrical items, textiles, DIY waste, batteries, light bulbs, ink cartridges, oil and paint.  

Phew! It’s a lot to remember, but well worth getting to grips with. If everyone disposes of waste responsibly, it will make our borough a brighter, greener place.

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