There are no changes to collection days over the Easter Bank Holiday. Please put your waste out on your normal collection day.

We provide a weekly recycling collection service for all kerbside properties and estates in Lambeth.

You can also bring your unwanted goods to a reuse and recycling centre, a local recycling point, or use one of the reuse and recycling schemes.

1. What you must recycle from home

Recyclable item Details
Paper and cardboard All paper, cardboard, catalogues, directories and Yellow Pages.
Food and drink cartons All food and drink cartons, including Tetra Pak (please rinse and flatten all boxes).
Glass bottles and jars All glass bottles and jars (please rinse). No broken glass please.
Cans and tins All drinks and food cans and aerosols (please rinse tins and ensure aerosols are empty).
Some plastics Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays including margarine tubs, yoghurt pots and any other types of plastic food containers (please rinse and remove film).

We need every resident in Lambeth to play their part by recycling as much of their waste as possible. All Lambeth residents must recycle their rubbish. You must put everything that can be recycled into your clear recycling sack or shared recycling bin.

2. What cannot be recycled from home

The following items must not be put in your clear recycling sack or green recycling bin.

Waste item Why can't we recycle it?
Shredded paper Becomes tangled in the sorting machinery at the materials recovery facility. Please only shred personal information. Shredded paper can be used as pet bedding or placed into compost bins. Otherwise place it into your refuse bin from where it will be used to generate electricity.
Plastic bags These can cause problems at the materials recovery facility (MRF), as they become tangled in the sorting machinery. The orange sacks we deliver are very thin and are designed to be torn open and removed in the bag-splitter at the first stage of the sorting process.
Plastic film Film is often contaminated with dirt and grease and can clog up the machinery at the materials recovery facility.
Small plastic lids Due to their size, they fall through the sorting machinery and may contaminate other materials.
Foil, bottle tops or yoghurt pot lids Bottle tops and foil cause problems by falling through the machinery during the sorting process at the materials recovery facility. This can result in the contamination of other materials.
Food-soiled boxes Greasy paper cannot be successfully recycled.
Polystyrene As it passes through the sorting machinery it smashes into thousands of separate beads and causes a litter problem as well as clogging up equipment.
Pyrex or window glass At present all glass is recycled as aggregate, but our aim is to recycle it back into new bottles and jars as this is more carbon friendly. Pyrex and window glass are not suitable for this purpose as they only melt at much higher temperatures.
Light bulbs Energy efficient light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury which will build up at the materials recovery facility as they smash. You can recycle them safely at our Reuse and Recycling Centres.
Electrical items The plant is not designed to handle electrical items and they can damage machinery. When cables get caught in the equipment they can cause an emergency shutdown.
Chemical containers or batteries These are classed as hazardous waste and can pose a risk to human health and the environment. They need to be disposed of separately see Get rid of hazardous waste. See also reuse and recycling centres.
Paint Spilt paint will contaminate paper waste.
Soil or rubble Cannot be separated from other recyclables at the materials recovery facility and so it contaminates the other materials. Rubble can cause expensive damage to the machinery.
Textiles Clothing and textiles end up getting covered in food residues from packaging which makes them unusable. See Reuse and recycling centres and On-street recycling banks.

Find out what to do with items that can't be recycled from home: Lambeth recycling map

3. Recycling from kerbside properties

If your rubbish is collected from outside your property in a wheeled bin or black sack, your recycling will be collected in a clear sack.

We deliver rolls of 40 sacks to you free of charge three times a year. If you have run out of bags go to order more clear recycling sacks.

Clear recycling bags will be collected from the pavement outside the boundary of your property. You should put your recycling out by 6am on your collection day. The exception to this is homes in a timed collection area.

Please make sure your recycling does not obstruct the footpath and that it is not put out before 8pm on the night before your collection.

If you are physically unable to put out your recycling and do not have anyone who can help you, we can arrange an assisted collection.

If you need an assisted collection please call
020 7926 9000

When is my recycling collected?

We collect recycling from street properties on the same day as we do your rubbish - Recycling and rubbish collection days by street. Please be aware that your collection day may have changed.

Collection days may be changed around Christmas day and New Year's day. Details of any changes will be posted on this site. Collection days are not changed around other public or bank holidays.

See our advice on storing your recycling between collection days. You can also take your recycling to one of our recycling banks.

Storing your recycling between collection days

Store your recycling in the most convenient location for you - either inside the house or in the back garden if you have one. Please try to keep your recycling dry if possible. All households are different and any of the following solutions could apply to you:

  • for outside storage - place the orange sack in a container with a lid to keep it dry
  • for inside storage - store loose in a cardboard box or other container and rinse materials to avoid any odour. Put these in the sack before your collection and place outside
  • buy a recycling bin from either Natural Collection, Straight Initiatives or from your local hardware or DIY shop.

Natural Collection - call 08703 313 333
or visit the Natural Collection website

Straight Initiatives - call 0113 245 2244
or visit the Straight Initiatives website

4. Recycling on estates

Most residents who live on a housing estate have their recycling collected from shared green recycling bins near the entrance of each block or by the bin store.

You may want to use a reusable bag to store and take your waste to the shared recycling bins. If you store your recycling in carrier bags or black sacks please empty your recycling from these into the shared bins as they cannot be recycled.

If you do not use a shared recycling bin we will deliver clear recycling sacks to you free of charge. To order recycling bags go to order more clear recycling sacks.

If we collect clear sacks from you, you must put them on the pavement outside your property for collection by 6am on your collection day. Please make sure they do not obstruct the footpath and do not put them out before 8pm on the night before your collection.

5. Reuse and recycling centres

There are three main reuse and recycling centres (also known as "tips"), located in Lambeth, Wandsworth and Southwark. Lambeth residents can use any of these to recycle or dispose of household waste:

Lambeth Reuse and Recycling Centre
Vale Street
West Norwood
SE27 9PA.
Recycling and reuse only.

Southwark Reuse and Recycling Centre
45 Devon Street (off Old Kent Road)
SE15 1AL
Recycling reuse and general rubbish.

Smugglers Way
SW18 1JS
Recycling, reuse and general rubbish.

Domestic industrial waste (Smugglers Way)

From Monday 1 April 2013, all domestic industrial waste delivered by residents to Smugglers Way in a van will be charged for. Industrial waste includes DIY type waste such as tiles, flooring, kitchen units, bathroom suites and rubble.

For full details and charges, please visit the Western Riverside Waste Authority website.

6. Local recycling banks

For details of what can be recycled where, please see our recycling map.