Recycling and waste containers

Harlow residents in flats

Most Harlow flats have communal bins for recycling, non-recycling and food waste. Everything that can be recycled in the scheme for houses can be recycled in communal bins.

Recycling and non-recycling wheelie bins

Harlow residents in houses (low rise properties)

Please ensure your recycling, non-recycling and food waste bins are put out at the agreed point of collection on the relevant day by 7am and are easily accessible. Most residents will have been provided with wheelie bins:

  • Please ensure lids on wheelie bins are closed and not heavy or overloaded when put out for collection.
  • No extra non-recycling will be collected, we will only empty what is in the non-recycling wheelie bin with the lid shut
  • Extra recycling in untied sacks that aren’t black or purple will be collected if next to your full recycling wheelie bin.
  • Only wheelie bins provided by Harlow Council will be emptied, as these are a particular size to fit our collection vehicles

Recycling blue box and non-recycling purple sackBlue box and purple sacks

Where residents don't have the space to have wheelie bins or in other agreed circumstances the Council provides blue boxes for recycling and purple sacks for non-recycling:

  • Only the purple sacks provided by Harlow Council will be collected for non-recycling
  • Extra recycling in untied sacks that aren’t black or purple will be collected if next to your full recycling box
  • Please ensure that your purple sacks and blue box are not heavy or overloaded when put out for collection

Food caddy (indoors)Food caddy

Most residents in Harlow can recycle their food waste. More information on food waste

  • Do not contaminate your food waste with plastic bags (even if they are biodegradable), glass, can and tins, oyster shells, pet food, liquids or garden waste. Use compostable liners or newspaper.

Replacement or new bins

If you move home please leave the bins for recycling, refuse and food waste at the old property. If you have recently moved into your property and do not have any bins, if they are damaged or you require additional bins, please report to us using the Recycling and Waste bin request form.

Assisted collections

If you have genuine difficulty moving your bins to the agreed collection point (usually the boundary) of your property for collection day please contact an Advisor at Contact Harlow to request an application form to be included on the assisted collections list.

Advisory hangers - contamination

Yellow and red advisory hangersTo help you with Harlow Council's collection system we use an advisory hangers, which means if you haven’t used the system correctly, we will first notify you with a yellow hanger and then with a red hanger if it continues.

  • If you live in a house (low rise property) and you put out the wrong bins for collection or they are not put out by 7am on your collection day, they will not be collected.
  • If a bin is overfilled, or heavy, we will not be able to empty it.
  • If the wrong items are in the wrong bins this is classed as contamination and we will not collect it. Detailed lists of what can be put in each bin can be found on Food waste, Recycling and Non-recycling pages.