Find out how to reduce, re-use or recycle various types of waste and unwanted items locally.

See also Richmond and Twickenham Friends of the Earth's guide to sustainable living, and the South London Partnership's Zero Waste Map.

Recycling, reuse and waste reduction A-Z
Item Details
Aerosol cans (empty)
Air freshener and home care products 

Air freshener and home care waste can be recycled at The Refill Larder, High St, Teddington TW11 9JB

Aluminium foil
Beach plastics TerraCycle partners with clean-up organisations to keep beaches free of rigid plastics. Check out the Beach Plastic Recycling Network on Facebook.
Bicycles Donate to the Bike Project at Hampton Methodist Church
Cartons (e.g. Tetra Paks)
Cigarette waste TerraCycle and JTI have partnered to create the Cigarette Waste Programme. All the waste collected through this free programme will be made into a variety of useful plastic products such as plastic lumber and boards that can be used for items ranging from construction holding, signage and table tops. Any remaining tobacco or paper will be composted, nothing will go to landfill.

Find your nearest Traid textile bank, request a free Traid doorstep collection or find out more about textile recycling charity Traid.


You can donate unwanted computers to charities and good causes for re-use via:

Alternatively, take them to The Re-use and Recycling Centre at Townmead Road, Kew (If we cannot send them for re-use their components will be recycled where possible). 

Contact lenses These can now be recycled at local branches of Boots and other participating opticians. Find participating opticians. Get full details.
Cooking oil Recycle at Townmead Road Household Waste and Recycling centre
Drinks cans
Electricals (all sizes)
Electricals (small)
Engine oil Recycle at Townmead Road Household Waste and Recycling centre
Food tins (clean)
Food and drinks cartons (clean and dry)
Food waste
  • Food recycling caddy (Houses, maisonettes and trial area purpose built flats)
  • This portion planner provides guidance on how much food you need for each person for each meal. It's simple to use and calculates the typical serving sizes for you.
Garden waste
Glass bottles and jars
Light bulbs
  • Old style (incandescent) light bulbs and halogen bulbs: Cannot be recycled easily and should be wrapped and disposed of with general rubbish
  • Fluorescent bulbs: Townmead Road

Re-usable (or 'real') cloth nappies are kinder to the environment than single-use disposable ones so long as you do not wash/tumble dry them at high temperature. Real nappies are also cheaper than disposables in the long run, especially if you buy them second hand and use them for more than one baby.

A baby goes through four to ten nappy changes daily, totalling approximately 1kg of disposable nappy waste every day. Across West London, babies produce at least 5,700 tonnes of waste resulting in overflowing of rubbish and recycling bins and up to £700,000 in disposal costs every year.

If you're a Richmond resident, you can borrow a washable nappy pack at no charge from West London Waste Authority for three weeks to try out a wide range of washable nappies. Each pack contains everything you need to see whether washable nappies are right for you and for your little one(s).

If you're interested in borrowing a nappy pack and making a positive environmental impact, please visit the West London Nappies website for further information and to apply.

Get information and advice on buying new real nappies, second hand real nappies and real nappy laundry services from Real Nappies for London.

Early potty training can reduce nappy waste.

Pet food pouches These can be recycled at selected stores of major supermarkets. Find one of these near you 
Plastic bags and films

Larger stores of major supermarkets accept:

All plastic bags, except biodegradable or compostable bags; bread bags; breakfast cereal liners; bubble wrap; delivery bags; dry cleaning bags; frozen food bags; magazine and newspaper wrappers; multi-pack wrapping; plastic marked as low-density polyethylene (LDPE) - resin ID code 4; toilet roll wrapping.

Selected stores of major supermarkets also accept:

Baby, pet food, detergent and cleaning pouches; biscuits and chocolate wrapping; cheese, fish and meat wrapping; cling film; crisp and sweet bags; plastic film lids; salad, pasta and rice bags.

Enter your postcode to find your nearest soft plastic collection point. Click through to the store details to find out which soft plastics they collect.

Plastic bottles
Plastic pots, tubs and trays (clean)
Raw vegetable waste
Rubber bands Deposit loose in any post box and Royal Mail will re-use them.
Shoes Recycle pairs of shoes with clothes/textiles (must be tied together or separately bagged).

Find your nearest Traid textile bank, request a free Traid doorstep collection or find out more about textile recycling charity Traid.

Local textile banks accept clean and dry clothes (including underwear and pairs of shoes) and accessories such as handbags and belts, plus bed linen, curtains and towels. They do not accept carpets/rugs or stuffed items such as pillows, duvets and teddy bears.

Updated: 10 March 2023

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