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All metal cans can be recycled time and time again; this saves natural resources and energy. You can take your cans to the can bank at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre or Recycle Point. Your local Council will collect cans in your Kerbside Recycling collection. There is no need to sort the aluminium cans from the steel ones. It doesn`t matter whether it`s a drinks can, a food can or a pet food can, but please rinse it out before putting out for collection.

Cardboard & card packaging

Card can be recycled in your Kerbside Recycling collection or taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre and some Recycle Points. Cardboard is best recycled if it is clean and dry. Putting wet/dirty food stained cardboard into your kerbside recycling box or bag may contaminate the rest of the load causing it to be rejected. Pizza boxes and other takeaway boxes can be heavily contaminated with grease and food residue and are best put into your general waste bin. They could however go into a home compost bin if you have one. Watch out for card lined with plastic or foil - If you can`t tear it, it is composite and can`t be recycled. Large cardboard sheets are useful in the garden as a weed suppressing mulch when covered with compost. Shredded cardboard also makes great animal bedding.

Cards - Greeting / Christmas

Recycle your Christmas / greeting cards in the card bank at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or some Recycle Points. All cards from any time of the year should be glitter, foil, battery and ribbon free. You could keep Christmas cards for next year and make gift tags out of them. Some charities collect used Christmas cards to raise funds for themselves.


If carpet is in good condition, local charities may take them off you for re-use, or you could pass them on through a facebook selling site or your local Freegle giveaway site. Carpets can be taken to any Household Waste Recycling Centre Try to ensure the grippers are removed.

Carrier bags

Neither of our local Councils collect soft plastics for recycling. Many supermarkets do offer a collection point instore for soft plastic packaging and wrappers. Please check with your local store. Please reuse carrier bags until you can`t use them any more. Better still, buy a cloth bag for life, they are readily available now at most supermarkets and large chain stores for a low cost. They come in a variety of styles and designs and can be used over and over again. Similarly you can buy bags online that are made from recycled material. Check out Recycle Now for more information on soft plastics.

Cassette tapes

Cassettes are now rarely accepted at recycling centres and charity shops. Place the plastic boxes and paper/card inserts into your kerbside recycling or local recycling centre. Tapes themselves should go into your general waste bin. Alternatively you could offer tapes to people on Freegle.


Catalogues can be recycled in paper banks at all Recycling Centres, and also through the kerbside recycling provided by your local council.

Cat litter

Try using cat litter made of natural materials such as wood pellets or shavings. Another way to lower the carbon footprint of your cat litter is to look for brands that come in recyclable packaging. If disposing of cat litter in your general waste bin, please tie it in a strong bin bag.


These discs are accepted at some local recycling centres but this service does vary It`s best to check with your local council. If you have CDs or DVDs you no longer need, consider the following options: Charity shops often accept CDs and DVDs for re-sale. CDs, DVDs and computer games in good condition can be sometimes be sold on internet selling sites or you could offer them for free on your local Freegle or Freecycle group. See our Charity Shop and Reuse Map


Cellophane is not recyclable and should always be put into your general waste bin. It should also not go in with carrier bags or other soft plastics in the supermarket recycling collection points.

Ceramics and pottery

Unbroken pottery and ceramics can be donated to a charity shop or passed on through a reuse group such as Freegle or Freecycle. Broken pieces could be used as part of a craft project in the house or even in the garden - there are some great ideas on the internet. If you have a lot of broken bits they may have to go in the rubble skip at the Household Waste Recycling Centre. If going in your bin perhaps wrap any sharp pieces up in newspaper.

Cesspits and septic tanks

There are a number of companies offering services related to septic tanks and cesspits in the county. Please check the internet for details.

Charity shops

Most charity shops will accept books, clothes, bric a brac, records, shoes, tapes and toys. A few will take other items. For a list of charity shops in Cumbria see our Charity Shop and Reuse Map

Chemicals - Household

Chemicals can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. If the container contents are unknown or marked with any of the following list then contact the helpline: Dangerous when wet, spontaneously combustible, organic peroxide, readily combustible or oxidising agents. Maximum quantity to take is 5 litres - please hand to site staff to put into the appropriate container.

Christmas cards

Recycle your Christmas / greeting cards in the card bank at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or some Recycle Points. All cards from any time of the year should be glitter, foil, battery and ribbon free. You could keep Christmas cards for next year and make gift tags out of them. Some charities collect used Christmas cards to raise funds for themselves.

Christmas trees

Take your Christmas tree to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre for recycling. Your Christmas tree can also be recycled via your kerbside green waste collection service if you have one available. Some charities in your local area may also offer a real Christmas Tree pick up service - you make a donation and they will take your old tree away for recycling - it`s a great way to help raise funds. Plastic / fake trees only work out as a greener carbon friendlier option if you reuse them again and again for a minimum of around 12 years. These should be disposed of in your general waste or taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre once they have reached the end of their life.

Christmas wrapping paper

The local councils in Cumbria will not accept Christmas wrapping paper for recycling. This is because at Christmas there is a lot of wrapping paper, a lot being foil based and often containing other materials such as glue, sellotape and ribbon which reduces the quality of the paper for recycling. Instead of using shop bought wrapping paper you can use old newspapers - these are just as nice when jazzed up with a nice piece of ribbon or a bow. You could also try the Japanese art of Furoshiki which sees gifts wrapped in a piece of cloth - the cloths can be kept and passed back and forth between people each year.

Clinical waste

Clinical waste is mainly produced by hospitals, doctors` surgeries and veterinary practices, but also arises from residential homes, nursing homes and private households. Examples of clinical waste include: Human or animal tissue, blood, and syringes. There are companies offering a service for commercial premises, please check online for more information.

Cling film

Cling film is not recyclable and should be placed in the general waste bin. Plastic carrier bags, bread bags and frozen food bags can all be recycled - check out Recycle Now page to find out more about soft plastics. There are plenty of other options to use instead of clingfilm - if you have existing plastic boxes with lids you can reuse them again and again, pop a saucer or plate over the top of a bowl with food left in it and then pop it in the fridge. If you are having a packed lunch, use a lunch box or bag - many have compartments to keep foods separated. If you need something that does the job just like clingfilm you could invest in some re-usable waxed cloth wraps.

Clothing & other textiles

Clothes in good condition can be taken to charity shops see our Charity Shop and Reuse Map. Some Household Waste Recycling Centres and Recycling Points provide clothes banks where people can deposit their unwanted usable clothes, sheets etc. Check with your local charity shop if they will accept unwearable clothes / rags. Before throwing away, consider alternative uses for clothing such as cutting up for cleaning cloths. Charity shops may accept a wide range of other textiles including clean bedding and bedding sets, towels and curtains. They generally will not accept used duvets and pillows. Check with the individual shop before donating. Many high street retailers now offer clothing donation banks in-store. These are sometimes called `bring back schemes`. This means that next time you pop out to the shops, you can drop off a bag of your old clothes.

Clothes hangers

Clothes or coat hangers can be made from various materials - wood, metal or plastic. If you don`t need them they can often be donated to charity shops who will use them again or some retailers who will recycle them. Please do not put them in with your recycling.

Coffee grounds and filter papers

Recycle these in your home composting bin, Please do not put in your garden waste bin.

Coffee and other drinks pods

The single-use pods used in many coffee machines are not usually accepted in your recycling collections from home. However, some types/brands of coffee pods (and other difficult-to-recycle items) are collected by Terracycle Buying a simple jar of coffee is a greener way of having your favourite drink and also better for the environment as the glass is easy to recycle.

Commercial /Trade waste

Any property that is commercially rated must pay for the removal of their waste by a licensed waste carrier. Ask your local Council if they collect commercial waste or you will need a private waste disposal/recycling company to collect it or take it to a private waste disposal/recycling facility yourself. Please check online for details.

Composting / Compost bins

Composting is an excellent way to recycle garden and kitchen waste. You can make your own compost to make your garden flourish. A home compost bin is an easy, low-cost way to dispose of organic waste. You can buy a compost bin through www.getcomposting.com Have a look at the composting pages on our website at www.recycleforcumbria.org for further information.

Compost bins can also be purchased from garden centres and DIY stores at standard prices.

Compostable cups / bags / food trays

Compostable and biodegradable bags are not designed to be recycled and will in future be labelled `Do not recycle`. If they enter the recycling system compostable and biodegradable bags can potentially cause quality issues in the recycled material. Please note any compostable packaging is more than likely to be designed to compost down in a commercial composter rather than a home compost bin. Your home compost bin is not likely to reach the temperature needed to break down these items.

Computers & computer monitors

Computers can usually be recycled at Household Waste Recycling Centres. Make sure that you permanently delete all files and programs on your computer`s hard-drive and remove your personal data to reduce the risk of it being used by someone else. Donating your unwanted computer equipment to a charity is a great way to help others. For some charities it is important that the equipment is in good working order. Check online to find charities that will take unwanted computers still in working order.


Dismantled conservatories are NOT accepted at Household Waste Recycling Centres. Try advertising on Freegle or Freecycle if you just want to give it away, or on your local Facebook selling page. You may have to hire a skip to dispose of an old conservatory. For guidance please telephone 0300 373 3730 if you live in the Cumberland Council area or, 0300 373 3300 if you live in the Westmorland and Furness Council area.


If the cooker is still working, contact your local Furniture Reuse Organisation to see if they will accept it for reuse. A simple repair could give an item a new lease of life and save you money too. Check whether it might be easy and cheap for an expert to make the repair for you or search online for guides to making simple repairs. A lot of stores are now operating a take back scheme for your old electricals - check out the recycling locator on the recycle your electricals website. Alternatively you can take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or check to see if your local Council offers a household recycling collection for bulky electricals.

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil and fat shouldn`t be poured down sinks as it can cause blockages. Put it in a sealed container and place in the general waste bin.

Cotton buds

Cotton buds are not recyclable, even those with paper stems, and should be put in the general waste bin. Never flush them down the toilet as they can block systems and pollute the environment. Plastic stemmed cotton buds were banned in England from April 2020, along with plastic straws and drinks stirrers.

Cotton wool

Cotton wool is not recyclable and should be placed in your rubbish bin. Do not try to flush away cotton wool as it can expand when placed in water and can cause blockages.

Crisp packets

Crisp packets are a combination of materials which makes them difficult to recycle - usually plastic and foil sealed together. Crisp packets are not currently recyclable in home recycling collections, however some supermarkets and other stores will accept them in their in-store soft plastics recycling points. Please check in store first to make sure they are accepted.

Crisp tubes eg Pringles

Crisp tubes are usually a combination of materials, card, metal , plastic which makes them hard to recycle. You can`t put them in your kerbside recycling or recycling banks. Why not use them at home for storing other items? Pencils, tools or even spaghetti?

Crockery and cutlery

Crockery and cutlery cannot be recycled so please donate items that are still in a good, usable condition to charities or charity shops.


Charity shops may accept a wide range of textiles including curtains, clean bedding and bedding sets and towels. See our Charity Shop and Reuse Map for a charity shop near to you.

If you have a question about resources or recycling please call one of the following numbers
Cumberland Council: 0300 373 3730
Westmorland & Furness Council: 0300 373 3300
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