Using your blue bin

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In 2022/23 Ipswich residents recycled 7,908 tonnes of waste via the blue bins.


Blue bins are emptied once a fortnight on your recycling week. You can use our online tool to find out when the bins will next be emptied in your street:

Please help us by making sure that you put your bin out for collection at the right time and in the right place. Further guidance can be found on our Where to put your bin page.

Further information about your waste collections is available in the guidance document below:

Household waste collection arrangements and guidance

What happens next

Once your blue bin has been collected the contents are taken to a sorting facility at Great Blakenham. The material is put onto a conveyor belt and sorted using magnets and machinery, as well as by hand.

Take a look at this video to learn more!

Need a different size blue bin?

Blue bins are available in two sizes: small (140 litre) and standard (240 litre).

Request a different size blue bin

If you do not have a blue bin and use clear recycling sacks and need to request a further supply you can request for household sacks.

Request recycling sacks

What you can recycle

Your blue bin is for recycling clean, dry items such as paper, cans, cardboard and rigid plastic food containers. And now you can recycle even more at home. Aerosol cans and both paperback and hardback books can also go into your blue bin. Please put all of your recyclable materials loose into the bin. Do not use bags. Empty, wash and squash plastic bottles and put the lid back on.

View our simple guide to what CAN and CAN'T go in your blue bin in Suffolk.

YES please!

  • Paper (not shredded, tissues, kitchen roll or toilet paper)
  • Newspapers, magazines or brochures
  • Books (hard and paperback)
  • Telephone directories
  • Yellow Pages
  • Junk Mail (remove plastic wrapping)
  • Envelopes
  • Catalogues
  • Wrapping paper (not foil/plastic type)
  • Greeting cards
  • Cardboard
  • Cereal boxes
  • Washing liquid/tabs containers
  • Food and drink cans/tins
  • Aluminium foil (clean, rolled in a ball)
  • Plastic* - such as plastic bottles, yoghurt pots, shampoo bottles, cleaning bottles.
  • Aerosol cans (no paint, fertilizer, weed killers or similar hazardous contents)

*If you are unsure whether a plastic item can be recycled in your blue bin do the 'scrunch test' - scrunch up the item in your hand and if it can be completely squashed, for example like cling film or plastic wrappers, it should NOT go in the blue bin. If it will not scrunch and is solid, like plastic bottles or yoghurt pots, it CAN go in.

NO thank you!

  • Glass
  • Nappies, sanitary items, pads, wipes
  • Carrier Bags, black sacks and bagged recycling/waste   
  • Crisp packets
  • Polystyrene
  • Textiles, shoes, bags (donate to charity or local textile bank)
  • Tools**
  • Shredded paper, tissues, kitchen roll or toilet paper
  • String and wire
  • Video tape cassettes and cases
  • DVDs/CDs
  • Hard plastic such as buckets, plant pots and toys
  • Coat Hangers
  • Electrical items (take small electricals to local WEEE banks)
  • Food and drinks cartons (such as Tetra Paks)
  • Metal pots, pans and trays, utensils,, knives
  • No small items such as loose, lids, cotton buds, pill packets
  • No items smaller than 4cm (they fall through the grid and are not recycled)
  • No PPE (e.g. facemasks and gloves).

** You may wish to contact Tools With A Mission, a local charity that may be able to collect your old or unwanted tools.

Some items that cannot go in your blue bin can still be recycled at the Household Waste Recycling Centres.

The Suffolk A-Z of Recycling helps you find out all the ways you can recycle.

Together we can get our recycling right!

'Think Smart, Think Blue, Recycle' campaign  - Ipswich Borough Council in collaboration with Ipswich Town Football Club

Metal Matters - Don’t delay – recycle today! Information from Suffolk Recyling on how to recycle metals. 

Useful tips

  • Crushed waste takes up less space, so rinse and crush all cans, tins and plastic bottles;
  • Use your old washing up water to clean your tins and bottles, that way you aren't using extra water

Contact Details

Waste and Recycling,
Gipping House,
7 Whittle Road,
Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate,

Telephone icon

01473 432000