plastic bag for recycling

Harlow offers residents numerous options when it comes to waste disposal and recycling. The council has weekly rubbish collection and the Waste and Recycling Centre is easily accessible. If neither of these options meets your needs, there is always the option of skip hire in Harlow.

In this article, we will detail all the options available for the residents of Harlow for waste and recycling.

General Household Waste Collection

Harlow Council provides a black bin or purple bin bags for every property in the area. Residents in Harlow can use it for most items that are not currently recycled by the council. The black bin collection is every two weeks. If your black bin lid is not closed you run the risk of it not being collected

Items for the black bin in Harlow include (which may be thought to be recycled):

  • Packaging that cannot be recycled for example polystyrene
  • Any plastics not marked with 1 or 2 symbols 
  • Cartons – juice and drinks
  • Wallpaper
  • Nappies and incontinence waste – the council offers separate nappies and incontinence waste collection

Items that should not be put in the black bin include:

For a full list of items accepted visit the council website.

Recycling Collection

Household recycling takes place in Harlow every two weeks. Residents need to clean and dry their recycling before placing the items in a council-provided box or bin. If you have too much recycling the items need to be placed in clear or white plastic bags for them to be collected.

Items that are accepted in the bins, boxes, white or clear plastic sacks include:

  • Mixed paper – newspapers, magazines, paperback books, leaflets, brochures, greeting cards (no glitter), wrapping paper (no glitter or foil-like wrapping)
  • Cardboard – egg boxes, toilet and kitchen rolls
  • Aerosols – deodorant, cleaning products, hair products
  • Foil – food containers, take away trays
  • Metal cans – drink cans, food cans, biscuit tins
  • Plastics – types 1 and 2, you can find the number in the recycle triangle
  • Mixed glass – bottles and jars

Any items listed in the general household waste section will not be collected.

Remember to thoroughly clean and rinse all food containers before recycling.

For a full list of items accepted visit the council website.

Green Waste

The Harlow Council offers two green waste options: a yearly subscription or prepaid compostable bags. It is not for construction waste, soil, rubble or turf so if waste operatives discover these in your bin they may not be collected. 

The green bin costs £54 per year if you sign up in April. If you sign up in later months the cost is reduced.

You can dispose of these items in your green bin: 

  • Grass cuttings
  • Hedge cuttings, prunings, leaves, bark
  • Flowers, weeds
  • Branches – not over 1m long or 15cm in diameter, so that they fit in the bin or bag and are not too heavy to lift

You can line your bin with a compostable bag, but residents need to ensure it is compostable otherwise your waste may not be collected. 

For a full list of items accepted visit the council website.

Food Caddy

Every house in Harlow gets a small and a large food caddy. These are collected every week and you should use compostable liners if possible. 

You can dispose of these items in your food caddy:

  • Fish
  • Meat and bones
  • Bread, pastries, pasta and rice
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Plate scrapings
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Shellfish and egg shells

You are not allowed to put these items in your food caddy:

  • Plastic bags and other plastics – even if they are biodegradable
  • Glass
  • Can and tins
  • Oyster shells
  • Pet food
  • Liquids
  • Garden waste
  • Coffee cups

For more information visit the council’s website.

Special Collections

Harlow Council offer a range of special waste collections for residents of the town. These include:

  • Bulky Waste – either as a donation to ECCO charity or a paid collection by the council.
  • Clinical Waste – for those with medical issues and their waste may pose a threat of infection for humans.
  • Nappies and Incontinence Waste – if your general household waste is too full with nappies or incontinence waste the council will collect the additional waste.
  • Textile Waste – booked with the bulky waste service for textile items.
  • Battery Waste – collected with the non-recycling waste if separated in a box or bag clearly labelled ‘batteries’ on the side.

For more information visit the council’s website.

Harlow Recycling Centre

The closest major recycling centre to Harlow is the Harlow Recycling Centre. Here is the address for the centre: 

Temple Bank
CM20 2DY

You may be asked to produce identification with a council tax bill or your driving licence to prove you are a local resident.

Vehicle and Site Regulations

There are several restrictions that visitors to the recycling centre need to be aware of.

Light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes are permitted on this site with a valid booking, however site staff may request to examine your waste to ensure it is household waste.

Types of Waste Not Accepted

Harlow Recycling Centre does not accept certain types of DIY waste, including soil, hardcore, plasterboard, tiles, bathroom and kitchen units, and doors.

The following items cannot be brought to any ECC recycling centre. Separate arrangements must be made for the collection or disposal of these items:

  • Asbestos
  • Business waste
  • Chemical waste
  • Clinical waste
  • Dead animals
  • Fireworks, ammunition, and explosives
  • Fuel
  • Gas cylinders
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Ragwort

For more information and contact details for the recycling centre, refer to their website.

Skip Hire in Harlow

For a simpler waste disposal solution without navigating the complexities of recycling centres and council regulations, consider hiring a skip in Harlow.

When tackling DIY projects or home renovations like installing a new kitchen or bathroom, booking a skip can be a hassle-free choice. Skips come in various sizes, accommodating most items except hazardous materials such as asbestos. Check out our FAQ section for more details on restrictions.

Whether it’s for your home or business, reach out to us for skip rental services. We offer a range of sizes suitable for any project and can guide what’s permissible for disposal. Our services extend to Epping, Woodford, Loughton and neighbouring areas.

From council-run recycling centres to private waste disposal services, residents of Harlow have access to multiple avenues for responsible waste management. By utilising these resources and adhering to guidelines, you play a part in fostering a cleaner, more sustainable environment for your community.

Feel free to contact our team at 01277 350775 to discuss your needs further.

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