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A-Z of waste and materials

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When this content has been published

Published on 19 September 2016

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Re-use jars where possible, eg. for preserving food or as containers for small items such as pins or screws. Jars can be recycled along with other glass in your green recycling box (rinsed with no lids, please). They can also be taken to your local recycling centre and glass bottle recycling banks.

Junk mail

Recycle wherever possible, at home it can go into your reusable sack for paper (please remove any plastic wrapping, but plastic windows can be left in). Junk mail can also be taken to any paper bank or local recycling centre.

Alternatively, find out how you can stop receiving junk mail on Recycle Devon's webpage Junk Mail Getting you Down?.


Kitchen waste

Food waste that is put into landfill breaks down anaerobically and produces methane, a powerful gas contributing to climate change. All your food waste including cooked and uncooked scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit and veg peelings, bread, pasta, cereals, egg shells, dairy products, bones, plate scrapings, meat and fish should be placed into your food waste container. This is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant in Somerset where it is converted into electricity. Food waste cannot be taken to the recycling centre.


Light bulbs 

There are three main kinds household light bulb; old-style filament bulbs, energy-saving bulbs (CFLs), and LEDs. None of these can be recycled alongside glass, but can be brought to either a recycling centre or to the light bulb bank in Methodist Church car park, Bovey Tracey. Some energy-saving light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, so these should be recycled wherever possible. LED bulbs last longest, have the smallest environmental impact, and don't contain dangerous chemicals.


Medicine bottles

Any unused medicines should be returned to your local chemist or pharmacy. Do not pass them on to other people. Empty glass and plastic bottles can go in your green and black recycling boxes for collection, plastic lids and tops can be placed in your black recycling box.

Medicines (old)

Chemicals, eg. old medicines and other household chemicals can be disposed of at your local recycling centre. They must be in a securely labelled container to be placed in the hazardous waste store. There is a limit 5 of litres. Alternatively you can return them to your local chemist or pharmacy.


Empty aerosol cans, drinks cans, and food tins should be put in your black recycling box. Many metals can be re-used by the scrap metal industry. Either contact a local scrap merchant or take to your local recycling centre.

Milk bottles

If you buy your milk in plastic bottles from supermarkets, you can recycle them by placing them in your black recycling box (please remove lids, rinse and squash). Plastic milk bottles can also be recycled at one of many plastic bottle banks located around the district. Otherwise, try and buy your milk in returnable glass bottles and make sure that you return them to the 'milk man'. On average the glass milk bottles used by the milkmen are reused 24 times. This saves energy and resources each time they are returned to the milkman. Please do not take reusable glass milk bottles to a 'bottle bank', ensure they are returned to the milkman or dairy. 

Mobile phones

We can collect mobile phones and chargers as part of the kerbside collection scheme in your green recycling box (please place these out on a dry day together in a plastic bag). Alternatively, mobile phones and their associated accessories can be recycled at one of many take back schemes.