Frequently Asked Questions: Waste and Recycling

Any questions your have about our waste and recycling services may be answered in our Frequently Asked Questions below.

The Council's Waste and Recycling Service Policy can be viewed be clicking here.

If you can't find the answer to your question below, then please call the Council's Helpline on 01992 785577 (between 8.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday) or email and we will do our best to help.

How much of my rubbish can be recycled?

More than half of your rubbish can be recycled. Your waste paper and cardboard, plastic and cans, and glass can be recycled at the kerbside. You can also take these items to your nearest Recycling Point. Additionally, Recycling Points provide textile banks.

You can put your green (garden) waste in your green wheeled bin if you have signed up for the chargeable green waste collection service. To sign up for the green waste collection service click here and for further information on the service click here. If you do not wish to sign up you can try composting at home. This can provide you with free, high quality compost for your garden. To find out more about discounted home composters please click here. Alternatively, take green waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre in either Turnford and Hoddesdon.

Food waste is collected and recycled on a weekly basis by using your 23 litre brown kerbside caddy.

Please use the Council's A-Z Recycling Guide for further information on what you can recycle and where.

I can't fit all of my recycling in my kerbside boxes. What should I do?

You may collect an additional two kerbside boxes from the Council's One Stop Shops for free. Alternatively, please take your recycling to one of the Council's Recycling Points. You can recycle paper and cardboard, plastics and cans, glass, and textiles at a Recycling Point. Please do not dispose of household waste or bulky items at the local Recycling Points. These can be taken to a Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Turnford or Hoddesdon.

Can I buy a second black wheeled bin to dispose of my waste?

No. There is a maximum of one black wheeled bin for non-recyclable waste allocated to each property. Residents can however obtain two additional 55 litre kerbside recycling boxes, free of charge, from any of the Council's One Stop Shops or the Council's Offices. You can recycle ALL of your food waste in the 23 litre brown kerbside caddy which is collected weekly.

Households with six or more occupants, or where a household member has a medical condition resulting in extra non-recyclable waste, can apply for a larger black wheeled bin.

I'm struggling to fit my non-recyclable waste in my black wheeled bin. What should I do?

Have you tried the following?

  • Put all of your plastic containers, including soft drinks and milk bottles, shampoo and cosmetics bottles, empty household cleaner bottles and pots, tubs and trays in your kerbside box.
  • Put all of your paper and cardboard, including newspapers and magazines, junk mail and envelopes, catalogues, brochures and directories, writing paper and all types of cardboard in your kerbside box.
  • Put all of your cans and tins, including drinks cans, food tins and aerosol cans in your kerbside box.
  • Put all of your glass bottles and jars in your kerbside box.
  • Put all of your food waste in your brown kerbside caddy. You can use ANY plastic bag to line your kitchen caddy to avoid smells.
  • Did you know you can take surplus rubbish, free of charge, to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres? The HWRCs are located in Turnford and Hoddesdon.

How do I sign up for the green waste collection service?

To sign up for the green waste collection service click hereFor the latest sign up information, please visit the green waste page or contact the Helpline on 01992 785577.

Is it legal for the Council to charge for the collection of green waste?

Yes. The Council has a statutory duty to collect residual waste (including food waste). Under the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012 (Schedule 1;(4)), garden waste is classified under Schedule 2 as a type of waste for which a charge can be made for collection.

Why doesn't the Council turn the collected green waste into compost and sell it?

This is not a practical or affordable solution. The Council does not have the infrastructure to process the quantity of green waste collected in the Borough.

Can I have more than one green wheeled bin?

Yes. Residents can have more than one green wheeled bin collected. The subscription for green waste collections paid via Direct Debit costs £34 per bin per year or £39 per bin per year if paid by any other payment method. For example, if you wish to have two green wheeled bins collected and choose to pay via Direct Debit, the subscription payment will cost 2 x £34 =£68 (for the period until 31 March 2018). The current subscription period runs from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2018. Subscriptions taken out after 1 April will still expire on 31 March 2018 regardless of when they were taken out.  

If you sign up for more green wheeled bins to be collected than you currently have, i.e. you signed up for two green wheeled bins to be collected but currently only have one green wheeled bin, you will need to buy an additional green wheeled bin from the Council. This is in addition to the subscription payment made for the green waste collection service.

I do not produce much green waste. What other options are available to me?

Residents who do not produce much green waste may wish to:

  • compost at home; or

  • take green waste to one of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) located in Turnford and Hoddesdon, free of charge.

Discount composters are available to purchase via Get Composting from £17.98. Further information on composting at home is available online or by calling 0844 571 4444.

Alternatively, residents may wish to share a green wheeled bin with their neighbour. These arrangements are acceptable, but please note that this is an arrangement between residents and only one household can take responsibility for this and make payment. The Council will not get involved with this arrangement or any disputes arising from it.

When is my collection day?

Please check your collection calendar to find out your collection day.

Refuse and recycling is collected on a fortnightly basis in your black wheeled bin and kerbside boxes. Green waste is collected in your green wheeled bin on alternate weeks to the refuse and recycling collections. Food waste is collected on a weekly basis in your brown kerbside caddy.

Where is my nearest Recycling Point or Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)?

Please click here to find your nearest Recycling Point. You can recycle paper and cardboard, plastics and cans, glass, and textiles at the Recycling Points.

HWRCs are operated by Hertfordshire County Council and are located in Turnford and Hoddesdon. Please check opening times before going to the HWRCs as opening times vary. You can recycle a variety of items at the HWRCs, including wood, engine oil, fridges, TVs, tyres, fluorescent lighting tubes, toner/printer ink cartridges, metals and mobile phones. Surplus household waste that you cannot recycle can also be taken the HWRCs to be disposed of.

Where should I put my wheeled bins, kerbside boxes and brown kerbside caddy for collection?

Please put your wheeled bins, kerbside boxes and brown kerbside caddy on the boundary of your property no later than 7am on the day of collection.

Which plastics can be recycled?

All of your plastic food, drink and household product containers including, soft drinks and milk bottles, shampoo and cosmetic bottles, empty household cleaner bottles, yoghurt and cream pots, margarine tubs, and meat trays can be recycled in your kerbside box. Please give items a quick rinse and make sure they are empty of any liquid and food. The Council's A-Z Recycling Guide has more information on what you can recycle and where.

Can broken glass be put in my kerbside box?

There is no reason why a broken glass bottle or jar cannot be recycled, as bottles get smashed when dropped into public glass banks. However, for safety reasons please do not put broken glass bottles and jars into the kerbside box as this will be left on the edge of your property for collection, and may be a risk to pedestrians and collection crews. Please wrap the broken glass in paper and place it into your refuse bin or take the glass to your nearest Recycling Point and put it into the glass bank.

Do I need to wash out my glass, plastics and cans before putting them out for recycling?

Please rinse your plastic bottles and containers, food and drinks cans, and glass bottles and jars before they are you put them into your kerbside box. This will help to avoid unpleasant smells in your kerbside box when storing your recycling before collections. It is not necessary to remove labels from glass recycling, but please remove any corks or lids.

Can Pyrex, greenhouse glass, drinks glasses and light bulbs be recycled?

Pyrex, greenhouse glass, drinks glasses and light bulbs cannot be recycled. They are made from glass with a different melting point and chemical composition and therefore contaminate the glass containers. If included, they produce weak points in the new glass containers produced, which would make them unsafe to use. You can take these items to a HWRC to dispose of them safely. Please use the Council's A-Z Recycling Guide for further information on what you can recycle and where.

How do I recycle shredded paper?

Shredded paper can go in your kerbside box with your paper and cardboard, and should be wrapped or covered in paper to prevent it flying about.

What happens to materials collected for recycling?

All material collected for recycling is transported to a site to be processed and made into a new product.

  • Food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in Colney Heath, Hertfordshire, where it is used to create electricity to power homes in the county and to make a nutrient rich liquid fertiliser which can be used in farming.

  • Papers and magazines are taken in bulk to a paper mill, where they are made into fresh newsprint.

  • Glass is made into new bottles and jars to store specific products.

  • Cans and tins are taken to a scrap metal merchant that separates aluminium cans from steel using a magnet. The separated cans are then crushed and baled and sent to steel and aluminium reprocessors to be made into new metal products.

  • Green waste is sent to a composting facility at Ridge, Potters Bar where the material is shredded, treated and turned into compost.

Why do recycling services differ between Councils?

A co-mingled recycling collection service is currently expensive and the Council wants to provide value for money services. Broxbourne has the lowest council tax out of all borough/district councils in England/Wales. Other councils choose to spend more money on services and have a higher council tax. A co-mingled recycling service is more expensive because disposal costs would be higher and overall income from the Council's recycling sales would decrease.

I have lost/damaged my bins, kerbside boxes, food waste caddy, or attachments/nets. What should I do?

Please contact the Helpline on 01992 785577 (between 8.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday) or email Please collect replacement kerbside boxes, lids and nets from one of the Council's One Stop Shops.

Can I use bin bags in my black wheeled bin?

Yes. You can use bin bags or bin liners to contain your waste in your black wheeled bin. However, please be sure to put all your waste in your bin and ensure that the lid is closed. We will not collect bags of waste left on top of or alongside the black wheeled bin.

My black/green wheeled bin, kerbside box or food waste caddy has not been emptied. What should I do?

If one or more of your recycling containers has been stickered please follow the instructions on the sticker and present your recycling containers for collection on your next collection day.

Otherwise, you can report a missed collection after 4pm on your collection day and anytime the next working day by logging a report or contacting the Council's Helpline on 01992 7885577. We will return within two working days of receiving the missed collection report. Please leave your wheeled bins, kerbside boxes and kerbside caddy at the boundary of your property for collection.

I am old/disabled and cannot physically move my bin(s), kerbside boxes or food caddy. What should I do?

The Council offers an assisted collection to people who struggle in this way. Please email or contact the Council's Helpline on 01992 785577 for further information receiving an assisted collection.

How do I avoid unpleasant issues when recycling food waste?

Maggots can nearly always be avoided if the guidance below is followed:

  • Food waste is now collected weekly in the brown kerbside caddy, remember to put it out every week.

  • Contain food waste as soon as possible, either in your kitchen caddy or a sealed tub.

  • Put food waste in ANY soft plastic bag i.e. carrier bags, fruit bags or bread bags (EXCEPT BLACK SACKS) or wrap it tightly in newspaper.

  • Empty kitchen caddies and containers into the brown kerbside caddy regularly.

  • Keep the kerbside caddy lid closed. The caddy lid locks automatically when you close the lid.

  • Keep the brown kerbside caddy out of direct sunlight in hot weather to avoid heating up the waste and increasing the chance of bad smells.

Flies can only lay eggs, which later hatch into maggots, if they have the chance to land on unwrapped/uncontained food. By following the guidance above, the opportunity for flies to lay eggs on the food waste is decreased significantly, which should mean maggots can be avoided.

In the unlikely event of maggots getting into your brown kerbside caddy, most of them will go when the caddy is emptied. If some are left behind, maggots and fly eggs can be killed by using boiling water, and a cleaning product with a fragrance will help to deter flies from your caddy.

I have a child/children and produce lots of nappies, what should I do?

Nappies can be put in the black wheeled bin and should be double bagged (in a carrier bag or nappy sack) to contain odours.

The Borough of Broxbourne participates in Hertfordshire Waste Partnership's Real Nappy Scheme which gives residents the opportunity to be reimbursed up to £50 for purchasing real nappies and related products.