Your bins

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Waste and recycling is something that affects all of us and we want to make it easier for residents to understand what goes in what bin and what happens to it.

On the following web pages, we have lots of information about bin collections, what you can recycle (and what you can’t), where your nearest bottle banks are and where you can take bigger items to your local household recycling centre.

What do you want to do?

Your bin collection service

Ipswich Borough Council, like all its partner councils in Suffolk, operates a three-bin system.

  • BLUE for dry recyclable products such as cardboard, plastics and cans
  • BLACK for general rubbish such as crisp packets, used nappies, food waste and items like Tetrapak
  • BROWN for grass clippings, leaves, dead flowers/plants (garden grown, potted or bought) and windfall fruit but not kitchen waste

Ipswich Borough Council is the only council in Suffolk not to impose a charge for brown bin collections.

Collection days and changes

Knowing when your bin is collected is something we all want to remember, which is why we have an easy tool to help you find your bin collection day - simply pop in your street name and you can find out what day our crews come round and whether it is a blue bin week or a black bin week.

Check your collection day

We also have information about bin collection changes during Christmas and New Year, so you don’t miss them! 

Check Christmas collection dates

Request a replacement black, blue or brown bin

If you have a lost or damanged bin, please report this to us online.

Report a lost bin

Report a damaged bin

We will arrange for a replacement and where necessary provide you with sacks to use in the meantime.


Recycling can be quite daunting, so we want to make it easy to follow with our DO’s and DON’T’s.

We all want to help our environment and cut waste, so it is important to get it right. Putting things that can’t be recycled in your blue bin can cause something called contamination, so it means it will have to be incinerated and not recycled.

While we all learn about how to recycle all the right things it is worth remembering that the four biggest “culprits” which can turn up in our blue bins and prevent us from being much more environmentally friendly are:

  • Nappies
  • Food
  • Glass
  • Tetrapaks

If residents sorted this out it would go a long way to making us greener. These items can lead to whole bin loads being contaminated and not suitable for recycling. 

Find out what CAN and CAN'T go in your blue bin

And for the record, glass should be taken to one of the dozens of bottle banks provided across the town or to a household recycling centre (Portman Road or Foxhall are nearest). Food waste and nappies should go into your black bin.

Suffolk Refill Directory

Shops and businesses all over Suffolk are offering refill services for household cleaning products and dried foods such as rice, oats and chocolate in a bid to reduce waste.

Find a refill shop using the online directory

Where does my waste go?

One myth is that general rubbish is just put into landfill. This used to happen, but we’ve come a long way since then. General waste from your black bin is taken to a special incinerator outside Ipswich where it helps to produce electricity.

However, making energy this way is not cheap and it is much better to cut the amount of waste you produce. It is surprising how much food we waste, for example. We have included information about this which will help you become more food savvy.

Another question we are often asked is “Why can we put windfall apples from our garden into brown bins and not fruit and vegetables from our kitchen?”

It’s a good point but it’s all to do with national legislation which cover the possible spread of viruses in the food. It’s a complicated subject and while we don’t make these rules we do have to follow them!