It is no secret that we (Emma and Tamara) love recycling; we’ve certainly written enough posts about it. Back in 2017, our first post here on Shades of Green was about how to recycle in Portsmouth. But in the two years since then, much has changed and the time for updating is here!
As there is currently no national standardized recycling system in the UK, access to recycling facilities varies widely depending on where you live. It’s basically a geographical luck-of-the-draw. Emma’s best friend lives in Bolton and whenever Emma visits, she’s amazed and rather jealous about what Bolton council will divert from the rubbish bin compared to Portsmouth city council. She literally lusts over Bolton’s kerbside recycling where food and drink cartons, foil and foil trays (to name but a few) are all collected, together with the usual suspects of tins, paper and card and plastic bottles.
With countries such as China and Malaysia turning away the UK’s low-quality recycling, dumping our recycling waste on other countries is no longer such an easy option. So, though important, recycling must come after reusing, repairing, and reducing. With this in mind, donating to charity and repairing is included as a recycling option on our list.
For your convenience and our sanity, we’ve structured this list of items by which room in your house they’re most likely to be found. (We’ve included office as well for those of you looking to recycle at work.) We’ve also listed it according to the most convenient place for you to recycle items, i.e. if it can be recycled at home at the kerbside, we’ve stated that.
Prepare yourself, this is one epic post!
Tip: Please ensure items are clean and free of food residue on them. Give items quick rinse and let air dry before recycling.
Terracycle Tip: Public drop-off locations for Terracycle recycling schemes do change and some schemes are time-limited, so check the maps we have included or the Terracycle website for updated locations and information.
The Updated Ultimate Guide to Recycling in Portsmouth
Room by room
Living Room: Recycle Kerbside
- Paper and Cardboard, such as
- Newspapers and magazines
- Junk mail
- Greetings cards and gift wrapping paper (no glitter or embellishments or foils or plastics)
- Telephone directories and Yellow Pages
- Small Electrical and Electronic Items (WEEE)
- If in working order, donate to charity, and if broken, attempt to repair it at the Repair Café Portsmouth.
- If definitely dead as a dodo, recycle at the kerbside. (Leave in a standard-sized supermarket carrier bag on top of your green wheelie bin/ box.)
Living Room: Leave The House
- Where: Collection Points are located inside the store of most large supermarkets, including Lidl, Tesco, Currys PC World, and Sainsbury’s. (Take a look in your supermarket next time you shop)
- All household batteries including ‘button’ batteries from watches.
- Battery packs from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and remote control units.
- Cigarette Waste
- Where: Freepost to Terracycle.
- Extinguished cigarettes
- Tobacco pouches
- Rolling paper
- Inner foil packaging
- Outer plastic packaging, and ash.
- Pre-loved books can be donated to charity or put in the Books & CD/DVD Recycling Banks across the city. Click here to find your nearest one.
- CDs and DVDs
- Pre-loved CDs and DVDs can be donated to charity shops or to the CD/DVD & Books Recycling Banks across the city. Click here to find your nearest one.
- For obsolete data CDs etc
- Where: Post to Reproplastics. Contact them first for their separation specifications.
- CD and DVD cases (with the discs removed)
- CDs and DVDs loose
- Large Electricals
- If in working order, donate and if broken, attempt to repair.
- If definitely broken
- Return to the store for disposal.
- Curry’s PC World accept electricals regardless of what shop you bought it from.
- or take to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (aka the Tip in Port Solent)
- or contact a scrap metal dealer, like this one. (Emma did no research apart from Googling ‘Free Scrap Metal Collection Portsmouth UK’)
- Return to the store for disposal.
Kitchen: Recycle Kerbside
- Paper and Card, such as:
- Takeaway menus
- Cardboard egg boxes
- Cardboard fruit and veg punnets (please break down larger boxes)
- Cardboard sleeve
- Cardboard sandwich packaging (remove plastic window)
- Cereal boxes
- Pizza boxes (any parts with food waste or lots of grease should be composted)
- Corrugated cardboard
- Plastic bottles (No lids), such as:
- Home cleaning product bottles like Cleaner and detergent bottles
- Drinks bottles
- Milk bottles
- See where you can recycle the plastic bottle lids further down this list.
- Drink Cans and Food tins (please wash), such as:
- Drink cans e.g. fizzy drinks cans, beer cans
- Food tins e.g. baked beans, fish, soup tins
- Pet food tins e.g. dog and cat food tins
- Metal sweet and biscuit tins
- Food Waste Trial
- Portsmouth City Council is launching a food waste kerbside collection trial starting this September 2019 for 6 months. Click here to see if you are one of the lucky households participating.
- Yes to all uneaten food and plate scrapings, plastic-free tea bags, shredded paper, coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, eggshells and cut flowers.
- No to liquids or packaging of any kind. That includes industrial ‘compostable’ packaging such as Vegware.
Tip: If your road is not part of the food waste trial, see ShareWaste further down this list.
Kitchen: LEAVE THE HOUSE
Recycling Banks/ Supermarkets
- Glass Bottles and Jars (including metal lids)
- Where: Recycle at Glass Recycling Banks located across the city. Find your nearest one here
- Glass bottles of any colour e.g. wine and beer bottles
- Food jars e.g. jam jars, baby food jars
- Non-food bottles, e.g. perfume, aftershave, face creams
Tip: Did you know you can leave the metal jar lids and the screwcap lids on!
- Rigid Mixed Plastics
- Where: Rigid Mixed Plastic Recycling Banks at Sainsbury’s Farlington and Sainsbury’s Commercial Road. Sainsbury’s Superstores are the only stores we’ve spotted these mixed plastic recycling banks.
- Margarine and ice cream tubs
- Confectionary tubs
- Rigid plastic food packets
- Yoghurt pots
- Plastic lids (see below for alternatives to Sainsbury’s)
- Drinks and Food Cartons
- Where: There are currently three Cartons Recycling Banks in Portsmouth. The locations are Asda Fratton, Anchorage Park Morrisons, and Mountbatten Center carpark on Alex Way. More carton banks are hopefully on their way.
- Juice cartons
- Paper cups
- Milk cartons
- Paper coffee cups (no lids)
- Soup, tomatoes and other food cartons
- Other beverage cartons
- No to sandwich packaging, any other laminated fibre packaging, coffee cup lids.
Tip: Did you know you can leave the caps/lids of the cartons on!
- Stretchy Plastics
- Where: Plastic Bag Recycling Collection Points found in (usually) larger supermarkets in-store, including Waitrose Southsea and Commercial Road Sainsbury’s Superstore and Tesco Superstore and North Habour Tesco Superstore Extra.
- Plastic Carrier Bags (except biodegradable or compostable bags)
- Plastic bread bags,
- Plastic cereal bags and inner cereal bags,
- Plastic wrappers and ring joiners from multipacks of cans and plastic bottles
- Plastic wrappers from toilet roll, nappy pack and kitchen towel packs,
- Plastic freezer bags
- Plastic magazine and newspaper wrap (type used for home delivery only)
- Polythene that covers things like dry cleaning,
- Thin bags used for fruit and veg at supermarkets,
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – resin ID code
- No: Do not include anything claiming to be biodegradable or compostable.
Tips: Tear off sticky labels where possible. Bread bags can also be dropped off at Eco Freaks Emporium, Gosport.
Out and ABout (Kitchen)
- Plastic Bottle Lids (alternative to Sainsbury’s mixed plastics recycling banks)
- Where: Drop it at St Mary’s Church, Fratton 9am-12pm, Monday to Friday.
- Clean household foil and aluminium trays
- Takeaway containers
- Barbeque tray
Tip: Try the scrunch test - if you scrunch it up into a ball and it stays that way (like tin foil does), then it’s probably recyclable aluminium. If it bounces back open it isn't and needs to go in the rubbish bin.
- Disposable Coffee Cups
- Water Filters
- Where + What: Commercial Road Argos, Sainsbury’s and Tesco and Tesco North Harbour accept BRITA branded water filters. Robert Dyas and some Homebase stores also accept BRITA filters.
- For Aqua Optima filters, you will have to go much further out for Terracycle Drop-off locations (might be able to post at some point.)
- Baby Milk Tins
Tip: Take the plastic lids to Sainsbury’s Mixed Plastic Banks
- Biscuit or Sweet Metal Tins
- (alternative to kerbside recycling)
- Organic, Compostable Waste
- Sign up for Sharewaste, which links people with organic waste like veg peelings and no compost with people with home composters! Tamara has two compost bins and is very proud of her system and many ‘regulars’ who donate their fruit and veg peelings.
- What: This depends on the person who accepts your stuff for compost but to give you any idea – Tamara accepts:
- Raw, uncooked fruit and veg peelings (remove stickers from fruit etc)
- Uncooked eggshells (please crush)
- Used tea leaves and used coffee grounds. ( just the contents of the teabags as most teabag casings are made of plastic – unless states plastic-free/ biodegradable tea bags )
- No cooked food of any kind
- Plastic Takeaway Containers: If still fit-for-purpose, donate your clean reusable takeaway containers to The Lifehouse or Foodcycle or Portsmouth Foodbank.
- Coffee Pods:
Tip: Did you know that Portsmouth Foodbank welcomes donations of toiletries, Tupperware, tin openers etc for people in need - not just food.
Terracycle Drop Off Locations (Kitchen)
- Ella’s Kitchen Baby Food Pouches and Snack Wrappers
- Where: About four Terracycle public drop-off locations in Portsmouth and Eco Freaks Emporium in Gosport. See map for details. Alternatively, youcan sign up as a private collector and post the items for free.
- Ella’s Kitchen brand of baby food pouches
- Ella’s Kitchen brand baby food pouch caps (remember these can also go into Sainsbury’s Mixed Plastics Recycling or be taken to Lush)
- Ella’s Kitchen brand Snack packets
- Pringles Tubes and Lids
- Where: There are a few Terracycle Pringles public drop-off locations depending on where you live in Portsmouth, including Solent Infant School. Zoom in on the map for details. Or sign up as a private collector and post the items for free.
- Any size of Pringles brand tubes
- Plastic lid and seal of Pringles brand can
- Crisp Packets
Tips: Flatten the crisp packets and do not fold them into triangles. And try Two Farmers Crisps which come in home compostable bags! #notanad
- Popcorn, Nut and Pretzel Packets
- Biscuit and Snack Packaging
- Sweet Packets and Plastic Confectionery Packaging
- Where: Solent Infant School in Drayton. Eco Freaks Emporium in Gosport. (Both SIS and EFE also take several other items if you just want to make one big trip with everything.)
- Plastic chocolate and sweets pouches and bags
- Individual chocolate bar wrappers
- Chocolate and sweets multipack outer plastic packaging
- Plastic chocolate block wrappers
Tip: Breakfast, granola and energy bar wrappers are not accepted. See here for more details on what is/isn't accepted.
- Home Cleaning Products Packaging
- Where: Several locations in North Portsmouth. See map for details.
- What: all brands and sizes of –
- Plastic bottle caps and plastic trigger heads for home cleaning products
- Flexible wipe packaging (used for home cleaning products)
- Pumps and caps for home cleaning products
And for the truly dedicated, here are some kitchen items that do not currently have drop-off locations in Portsmouth but can be taken further afield to Fareham, Gosport Denmead etc.
Further afield Terracycle drop off locations
- L’OR and Kenco Coffee Packaging
- Where: Drop off at these locations in Fareham or Gosport.
- Any size of Tassimo Flow Wrap packaging
- Kenco Eco-Refill Coffee Packs
- L’OR Coffee Capsules
- Kenco Eco-Refill Coffee Packs
- Kenco brand Coffee Jar Lids
Tip: Alternatively, for an easy life, drop the coffee jar lids at Sainsbury’s Mixed Plastic Banks
- Cleaning Products Packaging
- Where: Either in Eco Freaks Emporium, Gosport Fareham and Denmead. Zoom in on map for details.
- What: any brand of –
- Outer plastic sleeve for dishwasher cleaners:
- Foil inside dishwasher protector
- Flexible plastic dishwasher sale bags
- Outer packaging for dishwasher cleaner and fresheners
- Fragrance Twin Pack plastic sleeves
- Flexible stain remover packaging
- Flexible cleaning wipe packaging
- Flexible cleaning product refill packaging
- Flexible dishwasher tablet packaging
- Pet Food Packaging
- Where: Either in Gosport or Horndean. Zoom in on map for details.
- All wet pet food plastic pouches
- All pet treat flexible plastic packaging and pouches
- All dry pet food flexible plastic packaging
bathroom: Recycle Kerbside
- Paper and Card, such as
- Toilet roll tubes
- Toothpaste cardboard cartons
- Plastic Bottles, such as
- Plastic shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, etc bottles
Tip: Rinse them out first- use leftover bathwater or do so in the shower.
Bathroom: LEAVE THE HOUSE
Terracycle Drop Off Locations (BATHROOM)
- Oral Care Items
- Where: Several locations mostly south of Portsmouth including Victoria Dental Practice, north of the city it’s Solent Infant School. See map for details. Or head to Gosport’s Eco Freaks Emporium.
- What: All brands of –
- Plastic toothbrushes (rinsed)
- Electric or battery-operated toothbrush heads (rinsed)
- Toothbrush outer packaging
- Toothbrush tubes and caps (empty as far as possible)
- Razors and Blades
- Where: Sign up here for a Freepost envelope.
- What: Gillette is running a recycling scheme until June 2020 via Terracycle for all brands of razors, blades and disposable razors and their packaging.
- Plastic Air Fresheners
- Where: A few locations north of Portsmouth. See map for details.
- What: all brands and sizes of-
- Plastic air fresheners and air freshener cartridges
- Plastic air freshener packaging
BEDROOM: Recycle Kerbside
- Aerosols, such as
- Deodorant aerosol containers
- No lids
Tip: Take the plastic aerosol lids to Sainsbury's mixed plastic banks.
- Metal Tins, such as
- Shoe polish tins
- Deodorant tins
Bedroom: Leave The House
Out and ABout (BEDROOM)
- Where: Glass Recycling Banks can be found across the city. To find your nearest one, go to Portsmouth’s City Council Recycling Locator here.
- Glass jars and bottles such as body cream and face cream jars. Remember, you can leave the metal lids on.
- What + Where: Donate jewellery including costume jewellery, odd earings, broken pieces, and watches to Portsmouth Green Party. Of course, other organisations and charities also collect for these types of recycling schemes.
- Contact Lenses, including Packaging
- Where: We have spotted contact lens recycling bins in-store at Boots in Commercial Road, Portsmouth and the Boots Meridian Centre, Havant. When you get your next eye-test, check if your local opticians in participating in this Terracycle scheme.
- What: any brand of-
- Soft, disposable contact lenses (daily, 2-weekly, monthly)
- Contact lens blister packs & foils waste packaging
- L’Occitane Beauty, Hair and Skincare Packaging
- Where: Instore collection bin at L’Occitane en Provence, Gunwharf Quays
- Refill pouches
- Flexible Plastic Tubes
- Rigid plastic tubes/tubs such as lip balm tubes and deodorant sticks
- Caps and closures
- Pumps, trigger heads and dispensers such as for soap, body lotion etc
- Travel size packaging
- Metal cases
- Aluminium packaging
- No: Aerosols Glass Bottles, Glass Tubs, Glass Moisturiser Jars
Tips: Recycle aerosols kerbside minus the lid, the aerosol lid can go to Sainsbury's Mixed Plastics Recycling Banks, the glass tubs and jars to the Glass Recycling Banks all around town.
- Clothing and Accessories
- Household Linens
- Hats, scarves
- Try repairing it at the monthly Repair Café Portsmouth at Buckland United Reformed Church.
- New to Good Condition?
- *Prioritise* donating to charity shops and shelters if items are in good, reuseable condition.
- In Good to Bad Condition?
- Textile Recycling Banks
- Where: There are many across the city, check here for your nearest one.
- What: Any materials (clothes, shoes & bags and household linen) no matter how old or worn (Please ensure items are clean and place them in a bag).
- Textile Recycling Banks
- Not Fit for Use?
- Where: Charity Shops and Textile Recycling Banks
- What: Rags, materials and textiles not fit for use – including old towels, bedding, clothes, etc
- Tip: Put in a separate bag and label it rags, so staff don’t waste time going through it.
- New to Good Condition?
- Swap for Rewards:
- Where: Most M&S stores, including M&S Outlets, and at Oxfam stores offer a ‘Shwop Drop’ box, usually by the tills. Nearest M&S Outlet is in Gunwharf and Oxfam Shop is in Southsea.
- What: They accept any item of clothing (even if it’s damaged) from any retailer, including shoes, handbags, jewellery, belts, hats, scarves and bras. You can also Shwop soft furnishings (bed linen, towels, cushions, curtains, throws, aprons, tablecloths and napkins)
- Where: +What: H&M accept unwanted clothes by any brand, in any condition, at any of their stores. Nearest H&M is in Commercial Road, Portsmouth.
- Others reward schemes exist. Google is your friend.
- As well as the options above, you can also donate your preloved bras to specific bra-focused organisations and charities that redistribute and recycle them.
- Tamara particularly likes Against Breast Cancer and Bravissimo, having used both in the past. Freepost your bras to Bravissimo to this address: FREEPOST RLYT-YCYR-YGUH, Bravissimo, 1st Floor, Imperial Court, Holly Walk, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4YB.
- Towels, Bedding, and Other Large Soft Materials
- If it’s not good enough to be sold in a charity shop, but too good for rags, donate to your local animal shelter.
- Donate to charity shops or homeless shelters, if in good condition and fit for use.
- If not able to reuse, you could take some time stripping it down into individual parts, giving the material to rag bags and the metal to scrap metal collectors.
- Or you can take it to the tip.
- Sex Toys
Tip: As electric/battery-operated sex toys are electrical items, they can be recycled kerbside. Leave in a standard-sized supermarket carrier bag on top of your green wheelie bin/ box.
Terracycle Drop Off Locations (Bedroom)
- Personal Care Items
- Where: Several public drop-off locations in Portsmouth depending on your address, as well at Eco Freaks Emporium, Gosport. See map for details.
- What: all brands of-
- Roll-on deodorants:
- Flexible plastic wipe packaging, i.e. baby wipe packets or makeup remover wipe packets
- Flexible plastic tubes and plastic pots from beauty products
- Lids, trigger heads and pumps from beauty products
- Hair colourant kits (except rigid plastic bottles and cardboard packaging)
- Single-use face mask packaging
Office and study: KERBSIDE
- Paper, such as
- Window envelopes
- Greeting cards (no glitter or embellishments)
Office and study: Leave The House
- Printer Ink Cartridges
- Donate to Portsmouth Green Party or another cause dear to your heart.
- Elastic Bands
- Take useable elastic bands to your nearest local library or small community operation
- Writing Instruments
- Shredded Paper
- Where: Stubbington Ark RSPCA Animal Shelter
Tip: Remember, shredded paper cannot go in the kerbside recycling but it can go in a home composter as well as the new kerbside food waste collection trial.
- Packaging from Packages
- Where: Join Packshare and donate your packaging materials to small businesses. The closest location accepting materials (at the time of writing) is on Hayling Island.
- Cardboard boxes
- Bubble wrap
- Air pockets
- Packing peanuts
- Jiffy bags
- Poster tubes
- Brown paper
- Tissue paper
- Vinyl mailer 7″ and 12″
- Corrugated cardboard
- Shredded cardboard
- Plastic bags
Garage / Shed
gARAGE AND shed: Leave The House
- Energy-efficient Light Bulbs:
- Robert Dyas and Curry’s PC World stores should accept them for recycling. There is a Robert Dyas on Palmerston Road, Southsea and a Curry’s PC World at Ocean Retail Park, Copnor.
- Community Cycle Hub will refurbish donated bikes or recycle them. They have three locations – two in Portsmouth and one in Gosport.
- Reuse: Reuse it. Donate to friends/family/local community project if you won’t use it again.
Tip: Did you know paint can't be recycled or taken to landfill sites in a liquid state?
- Non-electrical Tools
- Donate to charity shops, local community projects, or Workaid.
- Unusable ones might be able to be collected by scrap metal collectors.
Garden/ Windowsill/ Balcony
Garden/ Windowsill/ balcony: Leave The House
- Plant Pots and Trays
- Donate useable items to community gardens such as Southsea Green and Landport Community Garden.
- A friend of Shades of Green, Emma, alerted us that plastic plant pots can be recycled at B&Q. Let us know if you try!
- Further afield in Havant, you can take all shapes, sizes and colours of plastic plant post and trays to Dobbies Garden Centre. Give them a quick wash first and ensure it is plastic and not polystyrene.
- Compostable Garden Waste
- Where: As mentioned in the Kitchen section, Sharewaste links those with organic waste and no compost with neighbours with home composters.
- What: This depends on the Sharewaste neighbour but they might accept –
- Dry leaves,
- Wood ashes
- Withered flowers
- Wood shavings
- Grass clippings
- Where: The Garden Waste Club, a paid kerbside collection is available in Portsmouth through Biffa.
- Leaves, grass cuttings, hedge and tree cuttings etc
- Any woody material under 10cm (4 inches) in diameter
- No vegetable peelings, animal waste such as droppings etc or animal bedding
- Holiday Inflatables
- Where: Isle of Wight based Wyatt & Jack turn inflatables, destined for the bin, into cool bags. Post smaller items and they refund your postage. They can collect large items from you using a courier service. See here for address details.
- What: punctured and beyond repair –
- Punctured paddling pools,
- Bouncy castles,
- Inflatable unicorns etc.
- Water wings/ armbands
- Beach balls
- Old windbreaks
- Rubber dinghies
- All sorts of other beach paraphernalia, inflatables and water toys
- Air beds
Well, that was a major read. Congrats if you made it to the end. Let us know any questions you have in the comments below or via email.
We’re especially interested to hear from people who want to share other recycling locations, other products to be recycled, and if you’re a local business able to take any products (i.e. paint, wood, etc) for reuse.