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See separate entries under Paper, Plastics and Card. Reduce packaging use wherever possible i.e. consider buying loose products or products with minimal, reusable or recyclable packaging.

Packed lunches

Try not to over package packed lunches. Use refillable food and drink containers, and try not to include individually wrapped sweets and snacks to cut down on packaging waste`

Paint (Water based) / Paint tins/cans

Unopened paint can be taken back to the place of purchase for a refund as long as you have the receipt. Opened tins of household water based paint can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre for disposal. If you can`t use it all up or find a good home for your paint you will need to harden it before disposal. You can buy a paint hardener, or add sawdust, sand or soil to the tin and leave the lid off until the paint becomes solid and dry. Please then pierce the dried paint before taking it to a Household Waste Recycling Centre to make sure it`s fully hardened. Empty metal paint tins can be recycled at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. Plastic paint tins are not currently recyclable but will safely be disposed of.

Paint stripper & solvent based paint

Solvent based paint, paint thinner and white spirit should be disposed of as hazardous waste . It can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre, but separate it from other waste before you arrive, and hand it to one of the site attendants when you get to the centre.

Paper - packaging/wrapping/newspapers/office/magazines/catalogues/directories/envelopes/shredded

Can be recycled using the paper banks at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre or Recycling Point or using your kerbside recycling scheme if one is available. Most types of paper can be included in your recycling bin, this also means shredded paper but also magazines and catalogues, newspapers, envelopes and mail. Shredded paper should be wrapped in newspaper, put inside a plain envelope or paper bag to stop it from blowing away when your kerbside container is emptied.

If it can be scrunched - and stays scrunched - then it`s likely to be OK for the recycling. If it doesn`t stay scrunched then it should go in the household waste. Does it tear easily? As long as it is not reinforced with foil or plastic you can recycle it.

Christmas wrapping paper - in common with many other councils across the country, the councils in Cumbria do not want Christmas wrapping paper in the recycling. This is because it often contains a lot of sellotape, ribbons and other non-recyclable material such as foil which contaminates the rest of the paper recycling. . Please check your local kerbside collection arrangements though first.

Pesticides - garden chemicals

For advice on disposing of any chemicals, please call 0300 373 3730 if you live in the Cumberland Council area or 0300 373 3300 if you live in the Westmorland & Furness Council area

Pet food pouches

Pet food pouches may be accepted at locations such as supermarkets which offer soft-plastics recycling. Please check with your local store first though.


Household Waste Recycling Centres will accept a small 5 litre container. Please call 0300 373 3730 if you live in the Cumberland Council area or 0300 373 3300 if you live in the Westmorland & Furness Council area for details.

Photographs/photographic paper

Photographs and negatives go in your general household waste bin - please do not put in with paper recycling.


Pillows and duvets are not recyclable; however some animal charities may be able to use them for bedding. Otherwise, they should be put in the general waste. If in good clean order you could offer them free on your local Freegle or Freecycle group.

Pizza boxes

See cardboard

Plant pots

Plant pots are made of a particular type of hard plastic. There is nowhere locally to send plant pots where they can be economically made into new products. For this reason they are not accepted for recycling. Some garden centres will take back previously used plant pots for re-use . Alternatively please include them in the general waste bin.

Plastics - bottles/food trays/black/coloured/yoghurt pots/butter tubs etc

Most household plastics can be recycled in your kerbside collection or taken to a plastic bank at a recycling point where you can recycle items such as plastic bottles from drinks, shampoo etc, yoghurt pots, food trays and tubs, and lids. Empty and rinse well, remove cardboard packaging, but labels can be left on. Please check with your local council to see if they accept black plastics, as some don`t. Plastic toys should not be recycled through your kerbside collection. - If no longer wanted, consider donating them to community groups, charities etc rather than throwing away.

You don`t need to check the `code` on the product - you can recycle most household plastics (but not plant pots or toys), plant pots can be offered on groups such as Freegle or there are some local garden centres which will take back used pots.

Plastics - hard plastics

Hard Plastics such as plastic toys, CD cases and Tupperware - Hard plastic items that are in good condition could be sold or donated for reuse or to charity. We cannot recycle hard plastic in Cumbria so if the item is not reusable, it can be disposed of in your general waste bin.

Plastics -soft plastics - bread bags/food bags/carrier bags/cling film etc

Plastic film is not collected for recycling through your kerbside scheme; some types of plastic films can be recycled at carrier bag collection points at the larger stores of most major supermarkets. Collection points generally accept all plastic bags, (except biodegradable or compostable bags), bread bags, breakfast cereal liners, shrink wrap, ring joiners from multipacks of water and cans, frozen food bags, dry cleaning bags/bags covering new clothing, magazine & newspaper wrappers, and bubble wrap. Cling film is not recyclable and should be placed in your general waste bin.

Polystyrene/ foam blocks & chips

Reuse where possible eg for packaging, beanbags or as crocks in the bottom of plant pots - a lot lighter than using stones! Otherwise dispose of in your general household waste bin.

Pottery & ceramics

Charity shops may be interested in certain items. Pottery is non-recyclable waste and any broken bits should be disposed of in your general household waste bin. Please wrap sharp broken pieces in newspaper as they could injure the people collecting the waste.


Some types of glass do not melt at the same temperature as bottles and jars. If they enter the glass recycling process it can result in new containers being rejected. These include Glass cookware, e.g. Pyrex, microwave plates, Ceramics, e.g. crockery and earthenware, Glass Vases, nail varnish bottles, mirrors and light bulbs. These items should be recycled separately - check with your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

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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