Guide to Recycling in North Somerset

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Guide to Recycling in North Somerset

North Somerset Council provides rubbish and recycling collection services in its area of jurisdiction, operates Household Recycling Centres at Backwell, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare, and numerous recycling banks.

Recycling Collections

Households in North Somerset are supplied with a wheelie bin for non-recyclable rubbish, two green recycling boxes in which to deposit permitted items for collection for recycling; two caddies for food waste; and they may purchase regulation green bags for garden waste collection. The Council also provides a bulky waste collection service.

Click here to find out which day bins, boxes and bags will be emptied at your address.

Residents should put their containers out on the kerb for collection by 7am on the designated day. Collections are made on bank holidays too, but there may be some changes over the Christmas and New Year period, so it is wise to consult the collection calendar.

Recycling boxes: 

Green recycling boxes are emptied weekly. Only regulation boxes can be collected and emptied into the collection vehicle. There is no limit to the number of boxes that are collected, but households are generally provided with two boxes as the norm. Excess recycling can be put in carrier bags and placed alongside the boxes on collection day.

Replacement boxes are issued on request if you report them missing or damaged.

Residents are requested to rinse out and sort items (use carrier bags if necessary, but do not tie them up).

What to put in the recycling boxes:Green_box_for_glass_web_1

(For a full run-down on what to do with all manner of waste items see the A-Z of Recycling in North Somerset).

  • aerosols
  • batteries (not car batteries)
  • cardboard (including corrugated, printed and tubes)
  • cartons (including Tetrapaks)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • metal including aluminium foil, food/drink cans, lids and tin trays
  • mobile phones
  • paper, including wrapping paper and catalogues
  • plastic (no black plastic at all)
  • spectacles
  • textiles including shoes (tied in pairs)

PLASTIC: Hard plastics, such as plumbing pipes, buckets, DVD cases and garden furniture, cannot be collected. Black plastic will not be collected because it is not compatable with sorting machinery at the recycling plant.

Other items which should not be put in recycling boxes are electrical conduit, refuse sacks, crisp packets, sweet wrappers, drinking straws and polystyrene.

Food Waste collection:

Food waste is collected weekly. Every household is given two food caddies (with lockable lids): a small one used for storing food waste in the kitchen, and a larger one which is put out on the kerb on collection day.

You can line the food waste caddy with newspaper, kitchen roll, brown paper bags, compostable bags or black carrier bags.

What can be put in the food caddy?

  • cooked and raw food including bones
  • dairy products
  • vegetables and fruits including peelings
  • egg shells
  • pet food
  • paper towels and tissues
  • tea bags and coffee grounds

Food waste is turned into electricity at an anaerobic digestion plant in Weston-super-Mare.

Garden Waste collection:


Green garden waste in branded regulation green bags is collected by North Somerset Council from properties fortnightly, except during the winter months of December, January and February when collections are monthly.

Bags must be left on the kerbside by 7am on the designated collection day.

Find out your collection dates.

Green garden waste must be put into regulation green bags which are either supplied by the Council or can be bought from an approved retailer for £2.50. There is no limit to the number of bags that may be put out for collection as long as they do not weigh more than 20kg and are filled with the correct materials.

To find out where/how to obtain more or replacement green garden waste bags contact the Council Connect team.

What can be put in the green garden waste bag:

  • grass cuttings and prunings
  • flowers, leaves, plants and weeds
  • fruit and vegetables grown in your garden
  • hedge and conifer clippings
  • twigs and tree branches of a maximum 10cm diameter

Bulky Waste Collection Service:

The Council will collect bulky waste items such as furniture and appliances from residential property for a fee – alternatively residents can transport items to the recycling centres themelves, call in a private waste disposal service (find one listed on or contact local charities to see if they can donate the goods.

To arrange a bulky waste collection contact the Council’s Streets & Open Spaces Team.

Collection crews will not come into the property so items must be left outside for collection. No fixtures, fittings or construction waste will be collected.

Household Recycling Centres:

Black Rock Quarry, Portishead

North Somerset Council has three Household Recycling Centres situated at Backwell, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare.

These sites are marked on an interactive map of the area on the Council’s website which allows users to find out what can be recycled at each facility.

Actual addresses of the sites are:

  • Backwell, Coles Quarry, Church Town, Backwell BS48 3JF.
  • Portishead, Black Rock Quarry, Valley Road, Portishead BS20 8JY.
  • Weston-super-Mare, Aisecome Way, Weston-super-Mare BS22 8NA.

The opening hours for the Recycling Centres are as follows:


Summer (1 April-30 September)

Winter (1 October-31 March)

Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday
Backwell 8am-6pm 8am-4.30pm 9am-4pm 8am-4.30pm 8am-4.30pm 9am-4pm

Summer (1 March-30 September)

Winter (1 October-28 February)

Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday
Portishead 8am-6pm 8am-6pm 8am-6pm 8am-4.30pm 8am-4.30pm 8am-4.30pm
Weston-super-Mare 8am-6pm 8am-6pm 8am-6pm 8am-4.30pm 8am-4.30pm 8am-4.30pm
  • Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – all centres are closed.
  • Bank holidays – Weston-super-Mare and Portishead are open 8am – 4.30pm. Backwell is closed.

The recycling centres aClick to find out about permits for vansccept all the materials accepted for collection in recycling boxes, as well as waste electrical and electronic equipment, including cameras and mobile phones.

Commercial waste is NOT accepted, but residents can take large quantities of waste in a van or trailer under the van permit scheme.


There are definitive restrictions on what materials are not accepted or accepted in restricted quantities only:

  • no boats in whole or part
  • no clinical waste
  • no commercial or trade waste (unless payment is made at the weighbridge in Weston-super-Mare)
  • no commercial vehicle tyres for vans, tractors or lorries
  • no end of life vehicles, caravans or trailers in whole or part
  • no explosives or ammunition
  • no fire works and signal flares
  • no loose or un-bagged soil or rubble
  • no very large items of waste electrical equipment such as computer servers and air conditioning units
  • Only two sheets per visit or per week of cement bonded asbestos and plasterboard, whichever is less. This must be double wrapped in thick polythene sheeting and fully sealed with strong tape, or in thick plastic sacks in small pieces
  • Five car tyres per year
  • Fire extinguisher: one domestic size per visit or per week, whichever is less
  • Propane or butane gas 15KG bottles: one per visit or per week, whichever is less
  • Soil, rubble, hardcore, small DIY waste (but not building renovation projects) is permitted up to six standard size refuse bags (not weighing more than 25kgs), which you can lift, per visit or per week, whichever is less


Know your symbols

General Recycle and Re-use symbols

Download these symbols as a pdf.

You’re sure to recognise some of these common recycling symbols, but do you know the meaning of them all?


Aluminium recycling logo_ALUMINIUM_This symbol indicates that the product is made from recyclable aluminium.

Compostable Logo_COMPOSTABLE_This is a Europe wide symbol confirming the product is industrially compostable. Take to your RC.

European Eco label_EUROPEAN ECOLABEL_A European symbol that shows the product has been produced in an environmentally friendly manner.

Glass recycling logo_GLASS_Please put this recyclable glass container in a bottle bank.

Green Dot recycling logo_GREEN DOT_In participating countries this means the manufacturer is funding a recycling program for products with this label. The UK isn’t a participating country.

Metal recycling logo_METALS_Please put recyclable metals into the skip at the RC.

Mobius loop logo_MOBIUS LOOP_This indicates whether the product can be recycled.

Mobius loop logo with percentage_MOBIUS LOOP WITH PERCENTAGE_This indicates how much of the product is made from recycled materials.

Paper recycling logo_PAPER_Products bearing this logo have already been recycled. The product must contain at least 50% waste paper or board not generated as mill waste. The figure shown is how much recycled material is used.

Tidyman logo_TIDY MAN_Implies that you should dispose of the product carefully, do not litter.


WEEE Directive logo_WEEE DIRECTIVE_Shows that a product can be recycled separately from other household waste under the WEEE directive.

Wood recycling logo_WOOD_This logo identifies products containing wood from well managed forests.


Plastic recycling symbols

These symbols identify the type of plastic used in identify the type of plastic used in a packaging.


Recycle PETEPolyethylene Terepthalate found in Soft drink bottles & Cooking oil bottles – recycled into Pillow stuffing & Carpets.




Recycling HDPEHigh Density Polyethylene found in Milk bottles, Shampoo bottles & Yogurt containers – recycled into Playground equipment & bottles.



Recycling PVCPVC found in Water bottles & Detergent bottles – recycled into Floor tiles, Bubble wrap & Traffic cones.



Recycling LDPELow Density Polyethylene found in Grocery bags, Dry cleaning bags & Frozen food bags – recycled into Compost liners & Rubbish bin liners.



PlasticRecyclingPPPolypropylene found in Ketchup bottles, Syrup bottles, Lunch boxes & Dairy food containers – recycled into Pipes, Pegs, Battery cases & Trays.



Recycling polystyrenePolystyrene found in Foam cups & plates, Food trays & packaging – recycled into Egg cartons, Coat hangers & Stationery trays.



Recycling other plasticAll other plastics and multi-materials found in Safety glasses & Car lights – recycled into Outdoor signs & Car parts