A to Z of recycling - C


Find out how to recycle, reduce, re-use and dispose of many items in Suffolk.

Please use the search bar at the top of the page or browse the A to Z to find the item you want to dispose of.

Remember that your item might have more than one name or may be listed under the name of the material it is made of.


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Camping gas bottles are different to normal deodorant cans because they contain up to 3 times the pressure which could cause serious damage at the re-processing facility! For this reason, gas canisters must not be placed into your rubbish or recycling bin at home. 


   Household Waste Recycling Centre       You can bring gas canisters to any Suffolk Recycling Centre.


Various types of gas canisters

Empty “pierced-top” style canisters can be recycled in the metal container at the recycling Centre.

"Valve-top" style canisters (like those shown above) can go in the gas bottle cage at the Recycling Centres. Please ask site staff for assistance. 


Draining Gas Canisters: 

  • To fully drain any residual fuel, take your stove outdoors, attach the canister, and safely burn off any remaining gas.
  • Be aware that the final fraction of fuel burns at a very slow rate due to low canister pressure, and that it can take a surprising amount of time to completely empty a canister.
  • Even after the burner flame sputters out, keep the can open a while longer to ensure any final residual vapours escape.  For valve top canisters, then contact the manufacturer for further advice. 

For larger gas cylinders see "gas bottles and cylinders"


You can recycle clean cans, tins, metal bottle/jar tops, takeaway carton bases and aluminium foil:

   Kerbside recycling binin your kerbside recycling bin

Recycling bring bank in any metal recycling bank.

Household Waste Recycling Centreor in the scrap metal container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

It would be helpful if you could squash or crush your cans and roll aluminium foil up into a tennis sized ball.


If you have any car parts and components suitable for re-use, consider selling them or exchanging them on an online trading website.

You can also donate cars so the cash will go to UK charities using the Give A Car scheme


You need to dispose of car parts and components through a garage or licensed scrap dealer.


  Household Waste Recycling Centre  If you can take your child’s car seat apart to its different component parts first, then the materials can be placed in the appropriate recyclable container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.

The hard plastic base would go in rigid plastics container and metal clasps can be recycled in the metal container.

The foam and textile materials are not recyclable and will need to go in your general rubbish bin or in the non-recyclable container at the Recycling Centre. 


Non-recyclable container at a Household Waste Recycling Centre You can take whole children’s car seats to your local Suffolk Recycling Centre and place them in the non-recyclable container. Please cut the straps on it to make sure the seat cannot be re-used.

Seats from cars and other vehicle parts are not accepted at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.


Cardboard boxes are ideal for moving and often in demand. Try advertising boxes for re-use on online re-use networks such as Freecycle or Freegle.


You can recycle cardboard:Please make sure cardboard is flat, and remove tape and staples from the cardboard

   Kerbside recycling bin in your kerbside recycling bin

Household Waste Recycling Centre in the cardboard container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

Recycle as home compost 

   Home compost bin You can put cardboard into your compost bin as a particularly good way of reducing smells and increasing the effectiveness of your compost bin, since it provides air pockets. It's more effective if scrunched into handful sized bits. 


Re-use cards in crafty activities such as making gift tags, bookmarks and notebooks!


You can recycle cards (apart from glittered, foil affect or plastic sleeve & embellishments) in either:

  Kerbside recycling binin your kerbside recycling bin 

Household Waste Recycling Centrein the paper container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

Recycle as home compost 

 Home compost bin   Small scraps of card which may get lost in the recycling process can be put in some kerbside composting bins or in your home compost bin.


Do not put glittered, silver and gold type cards and wrapping paper in the kerbside recycling bin, because they can contaminate the paper product for the recycling mills.

You can put these type of cards either:

     Kerbside rubbish bin in your general rubbish bin

Non-recyclable container at a Household Waste Recycling Centrein the non-recycling container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre


Egg boxes and tubes can be used for a range of crafty activities e.g. wrap long wires/ cords in them, decorate and close off one end of them to store stationary, make up brushes, paint brushes or glue sticks in them or you can create an inexpensive bird feeder by covering them in peanut butter and rolling them in bird seed. 


Cardboard toilet and kitchen roll inner tubes

Kerbside recycling binCardboard toilet and kitchen rolls can be recycled in your Suffolk kerbside recycling bins

Household Waste Recycling Centreor in the cardboard container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

Cardboard egg boxes

Cardboard egg boxes can be put in your kerbside recycling bin. 

Home compost

  Home compost bin  If scrunched up and placed in a home compost bin they provide a good source of carbon into the compost mix and create natural air-pockets which help the composting process.


Cardboard tubes with metal bases (such as Pringles, gravy, hot chocolate) can be used for craft activities. Try searching the internet for lots of great ideas e.g. storage in the kitchen, stationary, money boxes, vases etc.


Household Waste Recycling CentreEmpty foil lined cardboard tubes with metal ends are accepted along with cartons (e.g. Tetra Pak) at Suffolk Recycling Centres. 

Please remove foil seal and plastic lids .

Foil seals can be recycled (rolled along with other clean foil into a tennis sized ball) in household recycling bins along with plastic lids (greater than 5cm diameter).




When possible, please choose products sold in easily recyclable packaging.


There are a number of re-use options for cartons here.


Household Waste Recycling CentreDrink and food cartons (known as ‘tetrapak’) can be recycled at any Suffolk Recycling Centre  the carton should be squashed first before placing the lid back onto the carton.

If you can't get to a recycling centre to recycle these the bottle tops can be recycled if you placed these into another container e.g. milk container to recycle these



 If none of these options work for you then cartons should be placed in your rubbish bin.

We are no longer able to accept cartons in your kerbside recycling bin. This is because:
  • We are unable to remove them mechanically and it is not cost effective to remove them by hand.
  • There is a limited market for cartons as they are a ‘mixed content’ material, making them difficult to recycle.
  • If you can't get to a recycling centre to recycle these the bottle tops can be recycled if you placed these into another container e.g. milk container to recycle these

We did investigate whether it would be possible to introduce carton banks at other public locations (such as alongside bottle banks at Supermarkets and Village Halls). Unfortunately, this option was very expensive and would not have provided value for money for Suffolk taxpayers.   

When was this change introduced?

The Materials Recycling Facility (known as the MRF), where recycling collected from Suffolk households is sorted, underwent a major refurbishment during 2019. This state-of-the-art facility has the latest mechanical and optical sorting equipment with far less reliance on hand-sorting. The refurbishment was necessary because the companies that turn our recyclable items back into new products and packaging are now demanding much higher quality materials from us. This means that cartons can no longer be recycled with paper (as they previously were). As we cannot separate cartons mechanically nor cost effectively remove them by hand, we can no longer accept them in the recycling bin. It is worth noting however that cartons accounted for less than 1% of all the materials delivered to the MRF between 2015 – 2019.

Changes to carton recycling have been communicated online and via social media since 2019. Due to the increasing levels of spoiled recycling, particularly since the start of lockdown, the new (2021) campaign has been launched to remind people of what they can and can’t recycle at home. Last year the cost to remove and dispose of spoiled recycling was in excess of £1million.


If you can't get to a recyclnig centre to reccyle thrse the bottle tops can be recycled if you palced these into another continer e.g milk continer to reccyle these


   Charity or re-use shop   Some charity shops may accept music or video cassettes. 


Household Waste Recycling Centre  Cassette tape gets tangled in the recycling process, therefore only empty (pull out the magnetic tape) cassettes can be recycled in the rigid plastic container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre. The easiest way to remove tape is to unscrew the cassette and remove the reels!  

Some recycling companies will accept unwanted tapes for recycling through postal collection.


You must put cassettes with tape:

     Kerbside rubbish bin in your kerbside rubbish bin

Non-recyclable container at a Household Waste Recycling Centrein the non-recyclable container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre


You cannot recycle or compost waste from meat eating animals.

Kerbside rubbish binYou should be double-bag waste and put it in your kerbside rubbish bin. You cannot take it to any Suffolk Recycling Centres.  

There are a number of commercial dog loos available to buy - try searching online for 'dog loo'.

For advice on hard plastic chopping boards, see "Plastics (Hard)"

For advice on wood chopping boards, see "Wood"


Real Christmas trees

 Kerbside composting bin  You can recycle real Christmas trees in your kerbside compost bin

Household Waste Recycling Centre If your real tree is too large or its stem is too thick, then you may find it easier to take it to any Suffolk Recycling Centre, which accept whole Christmas trees in the garden waste container. 

Artificial Christmas trees

Household Waste Recycling Centre You can recycle artificial trees at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.

These will be accepted in either the metal or hard plastic bin depending on the main materials it is constructed from - please ask site staff if you are unsure.


When available, consider using refills rather than buying a new container. 


You can recycle all cleaning product bottles and plastic containers.

Loose bottle tops are too small to survive the pre-sorting process at the recycling facility. They won’t get recycled unless you wash and squash your empty plastics bottles and then place the top back on.

You can then recycle:

  Kerbside recycling binin your kerbside recycling bin

Household Waste Recycling Centrein the plastic bottle container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

To find more information about which plastics you can and can't recycle see our "plastic" entries


Kerbside rubbish binGenerally, non-infectious waste such as dressings or incontinence pads may be double bagged for hygiene and placed in your kerbside rubbish bin.

Contact your local district or borough council for advice about the safe collection and disposal of clinical waste generated in your home. 

For advice on plastic coat hanger, see "Plastic (Hard)"

For advice on wooden coat hanger, see "Wood"

For advice on metal coat hanger, see "Metals"


Why not buy yourself a reusable coffee cup instead? There are lots of different styles and sizes on offer.

Some businesses may even offer money off if you bring your own cup.


Why not ask your local Costa or Starbucks if you can recycle your coffee cup in their store as some will be able to take back coffee cups (even from other stores) for recycling!

MacDonald’s coffee cups can be recycled in any MacDonald’s outlet in their own recycling bin


You can recycle the cardboard sleeve and plastic lid:

    Kerbside recycling bin in your kerbside recycling bin

Household Waste Recycling Centrein the cardboard and plastic containers at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

Recycle as home compost

    Home compost bin  If the cup has a compostable symbol on it, you can compost it at home in your garden.


You cannot recycle non-compostable coffee cups due to the mix of materials in them.

You will need to put them in your kerbside rubbish bin or in the non-recyclable container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.


Household Waste Recycling Centre You can recycle Tassimo & L'OR coffee pods only (including all Tassimo & L'OR plastic packaging) at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.


Generally you cannot recycle coffee pods because of the mixture of materials they contain, so if they are not Tassimo or L'OR coffee pods put them: 

     Kerbside rubbish binin your kerbside rubbish bin

Non-recyclable container at a Household Waste Recycling Centrein the non-recyclable container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre

For advice on hard plastic colanders, see "Plastic (Hard)"

For advice on metal colanders, see "Metal"


Home compost binHome composting is a great way to help reduce your waste at home - over 30% of household waste can be composted when combined with organic waste from the garden.

There are currently offers for a range of different types of home composting systems - including some which deal with cooked food waste. See the latest offers on compost bins.

Home compost

Many everyday household items are now packaged in compostable materials made from natural plant starches, such as corn-starch, which can be used as an alternative to plastic polymers.

Home compost bin  These include types of food packaging (e.g. some brands of sandwich packets) and food and waste bags. Although giving the appearance of plastics packaging, items labelled with this leaf symbol will break down eventually in a home compost bin

Please note: Due to operational restrictions at large-scale composting facilities compostable packaging cannot be accepted in kerbside composting collection bins.


Household Waste Recycling Centre You can recycle used cooking oil at any Suffolk Recycling Centre


Consider using scrunched up newspaper, plain dry popped corn or breaking down old polystyrene packaging for posting fragile items rather than buying new packaging.

Recycle as home compost 

Home compost bin  These 'peanut' or 'Wotsit' shaped materials are used to package many fragile items and can be made from compostable natural corn-starch. These look virtually identical to polystyrene packing peanuts but can easily identified by making them wet - the corn-starch variety will begin to dissolve whereas the polystyrene will remain the same.

Corn-starch versions can be home composted - either dissolve in water and add the 'slurry', or bury in the compost pile to dissolve naturally. 

Kerbside rubbish bin  Please note - the polystyrene versions unfortunately cannot be recycled. Please place these in a bag and dispose of in your kerbside rubbish bin or at any Suffolk Recycling Centre, in the non-recyclable container.

Kerbside rubbish binPlease place these in your kerbside rubbish bin. Further advice on disposal of COVID tests are found on Home Disposal PDF

Terracycle recycling scheme

Walkers and Terracycle have partnered together to create a crisp recycling scheme so you can drop off any used crisps packets at public drop off points. Popcorn bags, crisp tubes, pretzel bags and meat snack bags are not accepted.

Find more information and your nearest drop off point.

Crisp packets are now also accepted in the Co-op's soft plastic recycling scheme. Find out more here


Crisp packets are made from mix of plastic and metal materials which can't easily be recycled. Please place them:

Kerbside rubbish bin     in your general rubbish bin

Non-recyclable container at a Household Waste Recycling Centrein the non-recyclable container at any Suffolk Recycling Centre


  Charity or re-use shop   Offer items in good condition to charity shops or through an online re-use network.

Sell through a car boot sale, jumble sale, or online market. Offer unwanted items to friends, neighbours or relatives. 

You can also take old or unwanted gently used items to any Suffolk Recycling Centre  and to put them in the orange re-use containers at site. These items can then be used to support local charities. (Check which items are accepted)


Household Waste Recycling Centre  If they are chipped, broken, or otherwise beyond re-use, please take them to any Suffolk Recycling Centre and place in the bin for hardcore and rubble. There is no charge for disposing of these materials. 

For advice on crockery cups, see "Crockery" entry above

For advice on hard plastic cups, see "Plastic (Hard)"

Glass cups: If these aren't suitable for re-use they will need to be put in your kerbside rubbish bin as they cannot be recycled.

For advice on hard plastic cutlery, see "Plastic (Hard)"

For advice on metal cutlery, see "Metal"