Recycling. A fundamental aspect of our everyday lives and something which must be properly implemented in order to maintain the world as we know it. Everyone by now knows what recycling is, but just how much do we know about what we can and can’t actually recycle? And are we recycling properly within our own homes?

Birmingham City Council said: “Recycling is really important in creating a cleaner, greener Birmingham and we can all play a part. We advise people to think about what they are throwing away and whether they should be recycling instead.”

Your wheelie bin for recycling has a blue lid. You should put your recycling out at the front of your property between 3:30pm the day before your collection is due, and 6:00am on the day of your collection. Recycling must be loose, NOT in plastic bags.

There are two parts to your recycling wheelie bin. Paper and cardboard go in the pod in order to keep it separate from the other materials in the main body of the bin. If you can’t fit all of the cardboard into the pod, then the council will collect a reasonable amount (no larger than the body of the bin) of neatly bundled cardboard left next to your recycling wheelie bin.

You must remember that not all cardboard is actually recyclable. Here’s a list of what you can and can’t put in your paper pod:


  • cereal boxes and thin cards
  • junk mail and envelopes
  • telephone directories
  • yellow pages
  • newspapers
  • cardboard (flattened)


  • milk, juice and tetra pack cartons
  • padded envelopes
  • soiled paper or card

The main section is for everything else, but please remember that not ALL items are able to be recycled. Below is a list of everything you can and can’t recycle in the main part of the bin. Don’t forget to rinse out all your containers before putting them into recycling.


  • plastic household and toiletry bottles (lids removed)
  • plastic drink bottles (lids removed)
  • brown, green and clear glass bottles and jars
  • clean foil and foil trays
  • aerosols
  • food and drink cans
  • metal and plastic lids
  • plastic pots, tubs and trays (no black trays)


  • food waste
  • paint or other non-food tins
  • drinking glasses
  • pyrex or ceramics
  • black food trays
  • carrier bags and black sacks
  • hard plastics
  • light bulbs and mirrors
  • plastic film or wrappers
  • polystyrene
  • batteries
  • corks

The wheelie bin for your household rubbish has a grey lid. This 180 litre wheelie bin can hold 2-3 bags. You must put all of your week’s non-recyclable household rubbish into your wheelie bin, if you have one.

If you have too much recycling for collection, then visit the Local Recycling website to find recycling banks near you. On street recycling banks are being removed across Birmingham, as they attract fly-tipping.