Recycling in the UK can be confusing. This page aims to offer guidance about what can and can’t currently be recycled in the Crowborough area. We will try and maintain this page as best we can. If you spot anything that is misleading or that is out-of-date please let Green Transition Crowborough know. We are adding to this page all the time – so if you have any suggestions please get in touch, or add a comment below.

Before we get started, it needs to be borne in mind that if you are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, recycling is low down the hierarchy of solutions. It is much better to Reduce, Reuse and Repair.

If you are sold something in packaging that can’t be easily recycled ask some awkward questions, ask the retailer what you are supposed to do to recycle it, or find alternative products – join the refill revolution.

We need your help

GTC is forming a small band of volunteers to work on the topic of recycling and waste reduction.

We are intending to locate one or more Zero Waste Boxes in the Crowborough area to collect items that can’t be easily recycled. However we need people to help maintain the boxes, squash and pack the items for recycling. Can you help us?

Also we would like local retailers and other organisations (such as schools) to have collection boxes. Would you be willing to participate?

A lot of packaging is still made from a multiple layers of materials bonded together such as plastics, foil and cardboard, eg crisp packets and TetraPaks (drink cartons) These items are hard to recycle and if put in your recycling bin can contaminate the recycling stream.

Wealden District Council’s Recyclopedia can help you to find-out how you can Recycle, Reuse, Repair or dispose of household items.

If you don’t know whether an item can be recycled, check first. If you are still in doubt – leave it out of your recycling bin.

The best starting point is probably what can go in your recycling bin at home, as this is obviously the most convenient solution. We will then go on to explain what you can do to recycle other items that can’t currently go in your wheelie bin.

Recycling at Home

The vast majority of household waste items can be recycled via your bin, such as: glass bottles and jars, cardboard, paper, food and drink cans, foil and aerosol cans.

You can recycle a wide range of plastics, including: plastic bottles (eg milk, soft drinks and shampoo), plastic pots (eg yogurt, cream and soup), plastic tubs (eg margarine and ice cream), plastic trays (eg meat, fruit and ready meals) and now plastic bags, plastic film and wrapping (around magazines, multi-packs and food).

You can’t put the following in your recycling bin: batteries, metal items (other than foil or cans), blister packs (that drugs tablets come in), glass (windows and drinking glasses), black bags, cling film & bubble wrap, food pouches, things like crisp packets, chocolate and sweet wrappers with silver-foil lining, hard plastics (eg toys), electrical items (inc vapes), polystyrene, TetraPaks. See below for some recycling solutions.

Please see this webpage for Frequently Asked Questions about what can go in your recycling bin.

Batteries and Small Electrical Items

Batteries shouldn’t be put in your recycling bin as they can cause fires within bin lorries. Put them in a carrier bag on top of your bin for collection. Supermarkets also have collection bins.

Small electrical items can also be left in a plastic bag on top of your bin. Remove any batteries first. If you think an item can be fixed, take it to our Repair Café.

Textiles and Shoes

If you have shoes or clothes that are still in good condition – donate them to a local charity shop. The Salvation Army have four clothing banks locally, and a local charity World in Need also have a clothes bank in the car park at All Saints Church (old hall).

Tip on Farningham Road

Lots of other (larger) items that can’t go in your wheelie bin should be taken to the Waste Recycling Centre on Farningham Road in Crowborough – such as large electrical appliances, metal & wood. The staff there are very helpful and will help you identify the appropriate skip or location for recycling. Click on the above link for the opening times, details of what you can take and the restrictions.

Flexible Plastics

Some plastic bags, films and wrappings can now go in your recycling wheelie bin (see above). However there are certain flexible plastics that can’t be recycled at home. These can now be recycled at some large supermarkets.

Waitrose have a bin adjacent to the lifts upstairs by the car park entrance. This is the list of the items you can recycle there (we have concentrated on the things that you currently can’t recycle at home):

  • Crisps packets (those with a silver foil lining)
  • Cheese wrappers (with self-sealing mechanism – generally made of nylon)
  • Chocolate bar wrappers and breakfast/energy bars (those with a silver foil lining)
  • Food and pet food pouches
  • Bubble wrap and cling film (commonly made from PVC)

Click for the press release describing the recycling scheme at Waitrose.

As of October 23, Tesco now have a cage trolley by the checkouts in their store in Crowborough. You can use it to recycle food pouches and crisp packets.


Many opticians will accept old reading glasses (eg Specsavers) for recycling. However, if you have a new prescription, ask your optician if your frames can be reused.

Plant Pots

Plastic plant pots can be recycled at Coolings Garden centre at Wych Cross. Where possible they reuse the pots on their nursery or they send them for recycling. Customers are also welcome to help themselves to suitable pots.

Blister Packs

There are boxes in every Superdrug with a pharmacy so you can recycle your medicine blister packets. So stockpile your empty packets and take them next time you go to Uckfield or Tunbridge Wells.

Pringles Tubes

Pringles Tubes can be recycled in the foyer at Crowborough Community Centre via a TerraCycle scheme. Recycle the lids via your council recycling bin. Squash your tubes to get more in the collection box.


Drinks cartons can be recycled at Tesco in Pembury and the Tetrapak bin at Tesco in Hailsham.


All brands of empty makeup packaging, including lipstick tubes, eye makeup packaging, mascara wands, eyeliner pens and empty face makeup packaging can be recycled in the box in the make-up aisle in Tesco Jarvis Brook.

Disposable Gloves

Disposal gloves can be recycled in a box in the foyer at Crowborough Community Centre.


We are adding to this page all the time – so if you have any suggestions please get in touch, or add a comment below.

2 Responses

  1. Kay Singleton says:

    Really useful info here. Thank you for summarising.

    Would be willing to help with any recycling initiatives.

  2. David Martin says:

    I left a bag of batteries on top of the bin as instructed by Wealden and saw the collector throw the bag in the bin! I rang Wealden who were very concerned, but to be safe I’d say take them to a shop. Retailers that sell batteries have a legal duty to collect them for recycling.

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