A-Z of recycling
You find out how to recycle everything from aerosols to yoghurt pots below. You can also download the Recycling A-Z on this page.
We have powers to deal with vehicles that have been abandoned or burnt out. You can contact us on 03451 55 00 22 to report the problem or you can report it online.
Recycle empty aerosols in your can bin at your local Recycling Point. If you have a green bin at the kerbside, aerosols can also be recycled here. Please do not pierce, crush or flatten before recycling.
Clean aluminium foil, metal food trays and foil milk bottle tops can be recycled in the food and drinks can bin at your local Recycling Point or in your green bin at the kerbside if available.
Due to contamination from pet waste, it is best to place animal bedding in the landfill bin or in your home composting unit if your pet is vegetarian. Please do not place animal bedding in the garden waste bin.
Area waste strategy
See Waste strategy
Asbestos is a hazardous material that must be dealt with safely. Please contact our Recycling Helpline on 03451 55 00 22 to find out more information about safe disposal.
Fire ash should be bagged and placed in the landfill bin once cool. Please do not place any hot ashes into the bin as this could lead to a fire. Ash should not be placed in the garden waste bin as it will not aid the composting process.
See Electrical Equipment.
See Plastic Carrier Bags.
Batteries can be recycled at all Recycling Centres, at most large supermarkets and electrical outlets.
Ceramic bathroom suites can be recycled at your nearest Recycling Centre. They can also be uplifted as part of the Special Uplift service. Cast iron baths cannot be collected under the Special Uplift service.
Bicycles can be given to a bicycle charity such as Bikeworks, some Recycling Centres can take bicycles for reuse or if not, they can be recycled in the metal skip. Visit our Recycling Centres webpage for information on what each site accepts.
You can find out what services we offer by visiting our homepage at www.fifedirect.org.uk/wasteaware
You can find out your bin collection uplift dates by visiting www.fifedirect.org.uk/bincalendar
Bin liners can be used to keep your waste bin clean or can be disposed of in the landfill (household waste) bin. Bin liners cannot be placed inside any recycling bins.
Metal biscuit tins can be recycled in the food and drinks can bin at Recycling Points. Plastic or metal biscuit tins can be recycled in the green bin at the kerbside, if supplied.
Bones from meat or left over food can be put into the brown bin if you are on the new 4 bin service. They cannot be home composted.
Books in good condition can be donated to charity. If your books are not in a good enough condition to be reused then you can recycle them in your paper and cardboard bin.
See Engine Oil
Take unwanted items or bric-a-brac to local charity shops or sell them at car boot sales. Local scout or guide groups may also like to receive such items for their fund raising jumble sales.
Please do not recycle broken glass items such as ceramics or window glass. Wrap these items up in newspaper or place them inside a box and then dispose of them in the landfill bin.
Broken glass bottles and jars can still be recycled but please be careful not to injure yourself whilst placing these materials in the bottle bank.
Bubble wrap cannot be recycled but it can be reused to wrap fragile items. If you can't reuse it, put it in your landfill waste bin.
See Special uplift.
Businesses are required to have a waste collection contract and separate their waste. SEPA has a list of registered waste carriers on their website or a quick internet search will bring back a wide range of waste collection companies. Fife Council also offers a Business Waste collection service. Find out more here.
See Electrical Equipment.
Aluminium and steel cans can be recycled in the food and drinks can bin at your local Recycling Point or in your green bin at the kerbside, if supplied.
Car batteries can be recycled at one of 11 Recycling Centres within Fife.
See Paper and Cardboard.
Cards (birthday, greeting etc)
Cards can be recycled alongside all other paper and cardboard.
Carpets are difficult to recycle and are not collected locally. If you have a carpet to dispose of please arrange for a Special Uplift or take it to your nearest Recycling Centre.
See Plastic Bags.
Cardboard food and beveridge cartons
Food and beveridge cartons (soup, milk, juice etc) can be recycled alongside all other paper and cardboard. See Paper and cardboard for more information.
Old CDs can be donated to charity shops or placed in the landfill bin.
See Hazardous waste.
China plates and ornaments
If these are unbroken, you can donate them to a charity shop. If they are broken please place them in you landfill bin.
Chipboard and plasterboard
Chipboard and plasterboard cannot be recycled at present, please place them in the landfill skips at your local Recycling Centre.
Christmas cards and paper
We offer a Christmas tree collection service for a week in January. Details are published nearer the time on our homepage www.fifedirect.org.uk/wasteaware.
If your tree fits in your garden waste bin then it can also be recycled using this service or it can be taken to your local Recycling Centre.
Sometimes it is necessary to alter the services that we provide over the Christmas holidays. Our homepage – www.fifedirect.org.uk/wasteaware - will provide information on changes at the start of December each year.
Clingfilm cannot be recycled and must be placed in the landfill bin. If you wish to cut down on the amount of cling film that you use you can consider using reusable containers.
Clinical household waste
Clinical Household waste is not collected by Fife Council. If you have clinical waste that needs to be collected separately from your household waste then you will be advised of this by the NHS. For further information please contact the NHS direct.
Clothing and textiles
Good quality clothes and textiles can be donated to others, given to charity shops or placed in a textile bank. Clothes and textiles which are ripped or torn can also be placed in a textile bank. If these materials cannot be reused then they can be shredded and used as cleaning rags.
Coffee grounds can be composted in your home compost unit and they can also be recycled in your food and garden waste bin supplied as part of the 4 bin service.
Most charities have a scheme where you can donate with unwanted foreign currency.
See Business Waste.
Commercial waste - clinical waste disposal
Fife Council does not offer a commercial clinical waste disposal service. Please contact a private commercial waste company who may be able to help you or for more information contact NHS Fife.
To find out about home composting please visit Recycle for Scotland.
Computers can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre however we would recommend that you ensure that all personal data has been erased from the computer before recycling the unit.
Confidential waste can be dealt with in several ways. If you shred your waste then you can place it into your home compost unit. Alternatively, you can place shredded paper into your paper and cardboard bin at the kerbside. It may be beneficial to place the shredded paper into an empty cereal box or wrap it in newspaper before placing it into the recycling bin.
Cooked meat can be put in your food and garden waste bin, if supplied.
Cooking oil is not collected for recycling within Fife but it can cause a problem if disposed of down the drains. Please transfer all cooking oil into a bottle with lid and then place the container into the landfill bin at home or dispose of it in the landfill skip at Recycling Centres.
There are numerous ways to donate items that are still in good condition or can be reused by someone else. Here are some of the ways:
Charity Shops – many local charity shops will take clothing, entertainment and bric a brac.
Furniture Reuse – several organisations in Fife collect furniture to be refurbished and reused. Visit our reuse page for more information.
Online swap shops – sites such as Freegle, Freecycle as well as others are available for you to donate to other people. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
Selling online – there are a number of sites online that allow a lot of items to be sold on again for reuse.
See Cardboard cartons.
Duvets and pillows
DVDs and videos
Unwanted DVDs and videos cannot be recycled but they can be donated to charity shops or given away online. See Donate above.
Cardboard egg boxes can be recycled in your paper and cardboard bin or can be composted in your home composting unit. Plastic egg boxes can only be recycled in the green plastics and can bin at the kerbside, if supplied and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas.
Egg shells can be placed in your home composting unit or in your food and garden waste bin if you are on the 4 bin service.
Rubber elastic bands can't be recycled so keep them for reuse or if broken place them in your landfill bin.
Electronic and electrical equipment can be recycled at your nearest Recycling Centre. It is normally split into 5 categories:
- Fluorescent tubes and energy efficient light bulbs
- Fridges and freezers
- Large electrical items e.g. washing machines and cookers
- Small electrical items e.g. hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, kettles
- Televisions and monitors
If the electrical equipment is still in working order please consider donating it to a local furniture charity. See Furniture Reuse for more information.
Energy efficient light bulbs
Energy efficient bulbs can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre or can be disposed of in your landfill bin. If disposing of light bulbs in your landfill bin, please place the light bulb into the packaging used to protect the replacement light bulb. Alternatively wrap the bulb up in some newspaper or bubble wrap.
Envelopes can be recycled with your Paper and cardboard. The exception are padded envelopes that cannot be recycled and would need to be disposed of in your blue landfill waste bin.
Engine oil can be recycled at one of our 11 Recycling Centres. Please do not dispose of engine oil in the drains. Brake Fluid can also be recycled in the Engine oil container.
Please do not dispose of fat down the drains. To dispose of fat please place it into a sealable container and leave to solidify. Once solid, seal the container and dispose of it in your landfill bin.
Soak fireworks thoroughly before bagging. Once soaked, fireworks can be put into your blue landfill waste bin or taken to the Recycling Centre for landfill disposal.
Fluorescent tube lights
See Electrical equipment.
See Aluminium foil
Food waste is collected alongside garden waste as part of the 4 bin recycling service.
Fridges and freezers
If the unit is still in working order you could consider donating it to a local furniture charity. See Furniture reuse below.
Fruit & vegetable peelings
Fruit and vegetable peelings can be recycled in the food and garden waste bin, if provided as part of the 4 bin service, or can be composted in a home composting unit.
Furniture and electrical items can be donated to charity. There are two main furniture charities in Fife.
You could also consider donating your furniture or electrical goods. See Donate for more information.
Garden waste can be recycled in your garden waste bin or at your local Recycling Centre.
You can also compost your garden waste at home.
You can recycle gas cylinders at one of your local Recycling Centres.
Glass bottles and jars
Panes of glass cannot be recycled in the glass bottle and jar bins. Please take glass panes to your local Recycling Centre to dispose of the items safely.
See Garden Waste.
Hangers can be reused but if you have too many you can offer them to your local charity shop. If your hangers are broken, metal hangers can be recycled in the food and drinks can bin but plastic hangers must be placed in the landfill bin.
Fife Council do not offer a collection service for hazardous waste, and you should contact a licensed contractor, who will levy a charge for this service. Please dispose of hazardous waste responsibly and do not place any hazardous waste into drains or waste bins. Fife Council can accept up to 5 litres of Hazardous Household Waste at Ladybank Recycling Centre. If you were going to dispose of waste at Ladybank Recycling Centre, you would need to contact us beforehand and transfer the waste in suitable secure containers.
Hoover dust cannot be recycled so please place this in your landfill bin.
Houseplants can be composted in a home compost bin or in your brown garden waste bin.
Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions to dispose of household chemicals. Empty chemical containers can be recycled if given a quick rinse out.
In Fife we provide various methods for collecting household waste. Use the links below to find out more about the recycling services that we provide at the household. You can also visit our Household Waste Collections page to view the full range of services that we offer for residents.
- Four bin service - With this service you can recycle plastics, cans, food waste, garden waste, paper and cardboard at your household.
- Bulky waste uplifts
If you have bulky items that will not fit in your landfill bin then you can arrange for these to be collected with our special uplift service.
- Sack collections
We provide a sack collection if you do not have space to store bins or if we cannot access your area with a refuse collection vehicle. We collect 2 sacks per week from these households but we cannot provide recycling collections to these properties.
- Recycling in flats
Recycling facilities have been delivered to some flatted properties in Fife. This is provided following an assessment of the flats.
- Collection dates
Don't know when your bins are collected. Find your bin collection dates.
- Reduce & Reuse
Reducing and reusing waste is better than recycling it. Visit the Reduce or Reuse pages for more information.
Ice cream tubs
Ice cream tubs can be recycled in the green plastics and cans bin at the kerbside, if supplied and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas. If you do not yet have a green bin please place these containers in the landfill bin.
Many charities and organisations can make use of these cartridges. A quick internet search should show you the way.
See Cardboard cartons.
See Unwanted mail.
You do not need to remove labels from food and drinks cans, plastic bottles or glass bottles and jars.
Landfill is the term for the site where your household waste is sent too. All waste that is placed in the landfill bin is sent to one of Fifes two landfill sites at Wellwood, by Dunfermline, and Lower Melville Wood, by Ladybank.
The waste is placed into a hole in the ground and is then covered over with soil.
Laser toner cartridges
Some organisations can recycle these if you place them in the post. A quick internet search will highlight some organisations that can do this.
See Garden waste.
See Paper and Cardboard.
Normal light bulbs cannot be recycled and should be placed in your landfill bin. Energy efficient light bulbs can be recycled. See Electrical equipment for further information.
If you want to reduce the amount of mail you receive please visit the Recycle for Scotland website.
If you are part of the new 4 bin service, margarine tubs can be recycled in the green plastics and cans bin and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points.
Mattresses cannot be recycled at this current time.
Visit our Recycling Centres webpage for information on what each site accepts.
You can take your unwanted medicines back to the chemist where you bought it.
Metal tins and cans can be recycled in your green bin or in the food and drinks can bin, at your local Recycling Point. Scrap metal can be taken to a local Recycling Centre.
See Electrical equipment.
Glass milk bottles should be returned to the milkman for reuse. Plastic milk bottles can be recycled in the plastic bins at Recycling Points or in the green bin at the kerbside, if supplied and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas.
Fife Council does not recycle mobile phones but many other organisations do. A quick internet search will highlight numerous options.
See Engine oil.
Reusable nappies offer a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable nappies and reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill. You can find out more about the Fife Real Nappy Library at Go Real.
As part of the 4 bin service you can recycle all types of plastic packaging. This includes plastic bottles, tubs, food trays, polystyrene food containers and plastic food wrapping such as pasta bags. The only exception is cling film - cling film cannot be recycled and must be put in the landfill bin. Residents on the 4 bin service can place plastic packaging in the household green bin and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points.
Paint cannot be recycled but some can be reused by local charity organisations. If you need to dispose of paint, please leave the lid off and allow the paint to harden and then replace the lid. Alternatively mix the paint with sand or cat litter to solidify the paint. This can then be disposed off at your local Recycling Centre.
Paper and cardboard
Pet waste should be placed in your landfill bin. It should not be placed in any of the recycling bins as this would contaminate the load – even if your pet is vegetarian.
Photographs cannot be recycled, please dispose of unwanted photographs in your landfill bin.
Plastic bottles and packaging are widely recycled in Fife at most Recycling Points and in the green bins supplied at the kerbside.
Plastic bags are collected by most supermarkets for recycling and can be disposed of there. As of 20 October 2014 a carrier bag charge will be introduced in Scotland. Save money and help the environment by reusing your old carrier bags or use
Polystyrene can be placed in the green bin provided as part of the 4 bin recycling service and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas.
If you have a green bin at the kerbside, polythene wrappers can be recycled in here and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas. If you do not have a green bin polythene wrappers must be placed in the landfill bin.
Fife Council does not collect printer cartridges for recycling but many companies do. A quick internet search will show you some of these companies.
Pyrex glass cannot be recycled in the glass bottle bank bins. Please place any Pyrex into the landfill bin.
See Electrical Equipment.
Razor blades should not be recycled due to the danger they would pose when processed. Please wrap these in a tissue or newspaper and place them into your landfill bin.
Recycling - general information
Recycling - bags and containers
We provide recycling bins both at the household and at various locations around Fife.
For information on recycling at the household, please visit our Household Waste Collection pages. For recycling other materials that cannot be collected at the kerbside please visit our Recycling page.
You can find out further information on all the services we offer by visiting our homepage at www.fifedirect.org.uk/wasteaware
Soil, brick, stone and rubble can be recycled in various containers at your nearest Recycling Centre. Please do not place rubble in the landfill bin as this will cause damage to the vehicle.
See Plastic bags.
Scrap metal can be recycled at one of Fifes 11 Recycling Centres.
Please wrap shredded paper up in newspaper or place it inside a cereal box to reduce the likelihood of this spilling onto the street.
Paired shoes can be recycled at the textile banks located at Recycling Points throughout Fife.
Please do not place soil into your garden waste bin at the kerbside as it can make the bin too heavy to lift and has no benefit to the composting process. Soil can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre.
We offer a Special Uplift service to collect bulky waste from the household. For further information please visit our Special Uplift webpage.
Spectacles & sunglasses
Old glasses can be donated to charity or given in to some opticians where they will be reused or recycled. Visit the Vision Aid website for more details.
Many charities collect stamps for a charitable cause. You can also leave the stamp on your envelope when you recycle it.
Staples can be left on your papers and magazines when recycling them as they are removed during the recycling process.
Takeaway food containers
It is often best to reuse plastic takeaway food containers but they can be recycled in the green bin if you are part of the new 4 bin recycling service and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas.
Tea bags can be composted in the home compost bin or they can be recycled in the food and garden waste bin supplied as part of the 4 bin recycling service.
Some charity shops may wish to sell unwanted telephones but they can also be recycled at Recycling Centres. See Electrical Equipment for more information.
Telephone directories can be recycled along with paper and cardboard. See Paper and cardboard.
Tetra Pak carton’s or other similar brands (for example Elopak and SIG Combibloc) can be recycled alongside all other paper and cardboard. See Paper and cardboard for more information.
Tiles can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre.
Timber and wood
Timber and wood can be recycled at your local Recycling Centre.
The cardboard tube out of toilet paper can be recycled. See Paper and cardboard
Toys & games
Toys and games cannot be recycled but they can be donated to younger children in the family, charity shops and even some doctor’s surgeries and hospitals.
Tyres can be recycled at Recycling Centres and they must not be sent to landfill by law. Most tyre companies will dispose of your old tyre when replacing it but there may be a small charge for this.
See Electrical equipment.
Unwanted mail can be unwelcome to some residents. Visit the Recycle for Scotland website to stop unwanted mail.
Fruit and vegetable peeling can be composted at home – See Composting for more information.
As part of the 4 bin recycling service, fruit and vegetable peelings can be placed in the food and garden waste bin if you are part of the service.
Videos and DVDs
DVDs and videos can be given to local charity shops or maybe your local school could make use of them.
Wallpaper cannot be recycled as it is often a mixture of paper, plastic and glue. Please place used wallpaper into your landfill bin.
Fife Council, along with all other local authorities in Scotland are committed to the Scottish Governments Zero Waste Strategy.
See Electrical equipment.
Wrapping paper often comes in two forms, a paper and plasticised version. If the wrapping paper tears easily it can be recycled along with all other paper and cardboard. If the wrapping paper is more difficult to tear, it is likely that this is plasticised and must be placed in the landfill bin.
You can still recycle the paper wrapping if it has sticky tape attached.
Yellow pages can be recycled along with all other paper and cardboard.
Yoghurt pots can be recycled in the green bin, if supplied, as part of the 4 bin service and in plastic recycling bins at Recycling Points in new 4 bin service areas.
We collect a wide range of materials for recycling and have one of the highest recycling rates in Scotland. We want to continually improve on this figure and have set out our plans in our Zero Waste Plan. You can also look at the Scottish Governments Zero Waste Plan for more information.
Tel: 03451 55 00 22 Contact Recycling Helpline (lines open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.) online