top of page

Part 2 - Recycling in Winchester

A guide to places you can take recycling in Winchester.


This is the second in a two part series on recycling. Here I would like to focus specifically on what you can recycle in and around Winchester. This includes a look into what our council takes in the curbside bin, plus an interactive map of drop off points for other types of recycling in the city center and surrounding areas.

Putting the map together has been a long-term project that I took on over the summer and I hope that it will be a helpful and comprehensive guide to recycling in our local area. I will do my best to ensure it stays updated into the future but if there is anything that is missing from here, or that has changed since publishing please do get in touch with me and I'll add or update things.

What is wish-cycling?

I first wanted to briefly discuss wish-cycling, which is a form of recycling that many people do without realising the consequences. If you've not heard of the term before, it is also known as aspirational recycling and it means to put something in the recycling bin that you aren't sure is recyclable but that you hope is. It is a hope that can do more harm than good.

Including incorrect materials in your bin has the potential to contaminate a whole batch of recycling. Once contaminated, the quality of the end-product is diminished and manufacturers will be unable to use it. In this instance it is unsalvageable and will be put in landfill or energy recovery (incineration) instead. Ultimately, putting the incorrect recycling in your bin, even with the best intentions, can actually create more waste.

Our recycling goes through multiple layers of sorting; from hand picking by staff, to magnets, spinning and light sensors. Due to the amount of sorting that is required to separate the different useable materials, even if a batch isn't contaminated by the inclusion of incorrect recycling, checking and removing it slows down a process which is already under pressure. A worse-case scenario is that incorrect materials could damage the machines, such as getting caught in cogs or clogging up the belts, which not only slows the process further but may endanger staff.

The best thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the correct recycling for our area and only send what is accepted. There are other places to send recycling in our local area, which we will look at further down in the article.

What can you recycle in curbside bins:

Recycling guide from WCC website, 2021

All recycling that you dispose of must be clean and dry. It's also best not to put your recycling inside of each other, eg don't put bottles inside of cereal boxes. This makes sorting at the other end much more difficult and could lead to stray contaminants being left behind.

In Winchester, our recycling bins will accept:

  • Paper, eg newpapers, magazines, junk mail (inc envelopes with windows) and directories.

  • Cardboard, eg cereal boxes, corrugated card, greeting cards and toilet roll tubes.

  • Plastic bottles, eg drinks bottles, toiletries (shampoo/conditioner) and cleaning bottles.

  • Tins and cans, eg food and pet tins, drinks cans and biscuit tins.

  • Aerosols, eg food (cream or oil), hairspray and deodorant.

This link provides an easy guide for what can go in and importantly, what recycling can't go in the bins that the council takes curbside. The above poster can also be found and downloaded on this page. We have a copy on the fridge at home as a handy reminder!

It is also possible to put small electricals, such as toasters and kettles, out with the recycling bin to be picked up. Do not put the electricals inside your bin, instead place them in a small carrier bag on top of, or next to your bin and they'll be collected at the same time as other recycling.

Where to take other types of material:

I've been working on a comprehensive and interactive map of recycling locations in and around Winchester. Each location on the map has a list of what is accepted there, and where possible there is a link to rules and instructions for dropping to that location.

Below is an embedded version of the map, but you can also open it fully in Google Maps. If you open it in google while logged in it will be saved in 'Your Places' in the left side menu, making it easy to access again in the future.

There are a lot of other locations that I haven't included on the map that take Terracycle collections. There locations are mostly personal home addresses and so I've not included them on the map which is public and not something that the collectors have directly signed up to.

There are two ways to find out where your nearest private Terracycle collectors are based.

  1. Head to the Terracycle website and search by collection to find your nearest drop off point for specific materials.

  2. Join the South Hants recycling group on facebook, which provides information about collections for Terracycle in Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton.

I hope that this deeper look at recycling here in Winchester has been helpful and informative. I'm hoping to get the chance to speak directly to Winchester City Council soon about where our recycling goes and what it gets used for next. As soon as I can, I'll write this up as a new blog to share with you.

If you have any questions you'd like me to put to the council, please do drop me a message and I'll see what I can find out for you!

Take care!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page