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

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.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. What you must recycle from home

Find out more for a poster that shows what items can be recycled at home.

Recyclable item Details
Paper and cardboard All paper, cardboard, catalogues, directories and Yellow Pages. (we do not recycle shredded paper)
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 drink cans and food tins (please rinse and empty)
Plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays 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 green recycling wheelie bin or shared recycling bin.

You must also recycle your food waste. Visit our food waste page to find out what to recycle and where to buy replacement liners.

See our A to Z of what to do with your waste

2. What cannot be recycled from home

The following items must not be put in your green recycling wheelie 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. Alternately, 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.
Plastic film Film is often contaminated with dirt and grease and can clog up the machinery at the materials recovery facility.
Foil or paper yoghurt pot lids Foil and paper yoghurt pot lids 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.
Aerosols Due to a number of explosions in the Material Recycling Facility (MRF), aerosols are no longer accepted for recycling. Please click here for more information.

Find out more for a poster that shows what items can be recycled at home.

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

See our A to Z of what to do with your waste

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 green wheelie bin.

In January 2017 we introduced green wheelie bins for recycling. Around 10,000 households were not suitable for the new bins and will remain on the clear recycling sack service. We will continue to deliver clear recycling sacks to these properties three times a year. If you have run out of bags please call the streetcare call centre on 020 7926 9000.

Green bins and 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 are 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.

Collection days may be changed around Christmas day and New Year's day. Collection days are not normally changed around other public or bank holidays. Details of any changes will be posted on the Bank holiday bin collections page.

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

Using your green wheelie bin

Place all of your clean recycling loose into your green recycling bin. Please do not place your recycling into carrier bags, clear recycling sacks or black sacks. On your collection day, present your bin out on the pavement for collection by 6am along with your rubbish and food waste bins. Once your bins have been emptied, please return them to your property before 8am the following day.

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 your recycling in your green recycling bin
  • for inside storage - store loose in a cardboard box or other container and rinse materials to avoid any odour.

Find out more for a poster that shows what items can be recycled at home.

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.

Please do not put sacks or general waste into the shared recycling bins. It can result in the entire contents having to be disposed of as waste rather than recycling. As well as good recycling going to waste, it costs us six times as much to dispose of and can delay the collection of your bin.

If you do not use a shared recycling bin we will deliver clear recycling sacks to you free of charge.

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.

Find out more for a poster that shows what items can be recycled at home.

5. Reuse and recycling centres

There are two main reuse and recycling centres, located in Lambeth and Wandsworth. 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.
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.