A to Z of recycling - S
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.
You can only recycle clean sawdust in your kerbside compost bin Sawdust must be from untreated wood, (unpainted or un-varnished wood) you cannot put sawdust used for animal bedding into your kerbisde compost bin.
You can recycle untreated sawdust at any Suffolk Recycling Centre in the green container.
Recycle as home compost
You can compost sawdust from untreated wood in a home composting bin.
You can recycle all shampoo and conditioner bottles.
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:
in your kerbside recycling bin
in 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
Use shredded paper as packing material to protect items of mail inside their parcel.
Soft shredded paper can be used as caged animal bedding.
It can also be used as an alternative to confetti.
Only shred what you need to shred, such as only parts of a document that contains personal or sensitive information.
Also, signing up to get electronic statements instead of paper copies is also another good way to reduce the need to shred documents.
You can recycle shredded paper in East Suffolk in the kerbside compost bin, but staples and glossy paper need to be removed before to shredding.
You can also take shredded paper to any Suffolk Recycling Centre and place it in the paper container.
Recycle as home compost
You can home compost shredded paper.
Where possible, try to get your broken electricals repaired. If you are confident, try searching for online repair tutorials.
Offer electrical items in good condition and full working order to charity shops or through an online re-use network.
Donate small electricals in working condition at any Suffolk Recycling Centre (by placing them in the re-use containers at site) where they are tested and sold either at The Benjamin Foundation Re-use Shop or by local charities Gatehouse and Ipswich Furniture Project.
If you are looking to donate computers, laptops or phones please make sure you wipe the hard drives and memory or remove memory cards first as the charities may not do this.
If electrical items are beyond repair you can:
take them to any Suffolk Recycling Centre and place in small electricals items container.
- check whether your retailer has a take back scheme.
- take items to small electrical recycling banks only if you're in Ipswich or Suffolk Coastal. Find your nearest recycling bank.
Electrical items (mains and battery powered) must not be thrown away in your rubbish bin. They contain small quantities of hazardous material as well as precious metals and should be properly recycled.
If the alarms are broken, please take them to any Suffolk Recycling Centre and place in the container for small electrical items.
You could also contact the manufacturer and ask for advice about disposing of the alarm.
Sodastream canisters cannot go to any Suffolk Recycling Centre.
Visit the Sodastream website to find out how to exchange your empty gas canister for new ones.
Retain excess soil for planting and potting, or ask your neighbours, friends or relatives if they have any use for it.
There is a charge for disposing of hardcore, rubble and soil at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.
Recycle as home compost
You can add small amounts of excess soil to your home compost bin.
Solar panels can be taken to any Suffolk Recycling Centre and placed in small electricals items container.
Some opticians collect unwanted glasses for onward donation to charity.
Ask your local charity shop if they will accept reading glasses, prescription glasses, or sunglasses.
Vision Aid is a charity which recycles old glasses to help African people gain access to eye care.
You can recycle glasses at any Suffolk Recycling Centre.
Some charities accept stamps which they will sell on to raise money.
You can recycle stamps still attached to envelopes in your kerbside recycling bin.
If your storage heaters were installed before 1974, there is a possibility that they may contain asbestos insulation. (List of models known to contain asbestos here: https://www.aic.org.uk/storage-heaters-asbestos/). Please don’t dismantle the heater if you think asbestos may be present as the asbestos insulation may have frayed and therefore it will be dangerous to do so.
If you think it may contain asbestos it cannot be taken to a Recycling Centre. The weight of these will also be too much for our hazardous waste collection, however Collins Skip hire does have an asbestos landfill and they may be able to take this (please contact them directly) or you can go to any other asbestos disposal company.
If your storage heater is newer than 1974 (& not on the above list):
The casing can go in the small electricals container at the Suffolk Recycling Centre, however if you are unsure you can ask on site.
You could ask not to have a plastic straw in your drinks at a café or restaurant. If you use straws a lot you could have your own reusable alternative e.g. ones made out of hard plastic or metal.
Plastic straws can be reused in a number of creative ways. This webpage has some great ideas:https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2015/02/23-practical-ways-reuse-disposable-straws.html
For advice on hard metal straws, see "metal"
For advice on hard plastics straws, see "Plastics (hard)"
Why not donate your old suitcase to a charity shop or Freecycle then please consider donating it depending how worn out it is.
If it is in good condition, it can also be taken to any Suffolk Recycling Centre and placed in the re-use container (ask site staff for details).
Some suitcases are made mostly from hard plastics. If this is the case then the suitcase can be recycled, at your nearest Recycling centre in the hard plastic container.
Most suitcases are made from a mix of different materials so these cannot currently be recycled in Suffolk. They should be disposed of in the non-recycling container at Recycling centres or in your refuse bin.