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Waste and Recycling

Find out what you can do to help reduce your affect on climate change by helping to manage your household waste.

There are lots of things you can do yourself to help reduce waste before it’s created, including avoiding single-use plastics, reusing things you’d normally throw out, or just re-thinking the necessity of certain items.

Many items around the house can be recycled rather than going to landfill. Converting waste into new materials prevents depleting infinite resources. For example, plastic is created from fossil fuels. In Swale, none of our waste goes to landfill, but to a waste to energy plant, however it is still important to prevent wasting the energy that is used to create items in the first place.

Ourselves and Kent County Council provide different ways to recycle your household waste, including routine weekly kerbside collections. You can also bring clothes, shoes and more along to the bring sites, bottles banks and household waste recycling centres across the borough.

Principles to help reduce waste

At home, try to follow the principles of zero-waste where possible. these five principles can help reduce your waste:

  1. REDUCE - Starting at the beginning, consider whether you need to buy a particular thing. For example, do you already have some at home or at your business? This will help you reduce your waste to start with
  2. REUSE - Next, can you reuse something you’re about to throw away. For example, can the plastic products you’re throwing away be reused for something else?
  3. REPAIR - Could the product be repaired? Repairing items you would otherwise throw away can help save you money
  4. RECYCLE - Before you decide to throw something away, check if it’s recyclable. Oftentimes things like plastic, paper and cardboard can be recycled and used to make other things in the future
  5. DISPOSE - Finally, if you can’t reduce, reuse, repair or recycle waste, you’ll need to dispose of it responsibly. You can read more information about the different ways you can recycle your waste

At home, try to follow the principles of zero-waste where possible – try to reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, recover and finally, dispose of waste.

Blue bins

You can recycle a lot of your household waste just by using your routine blue bin collections. Most things, including plastic and glass bottles, tin cans and cardboard can be recycled like this but there are some things you shouldn’t put in your blue bin, like clothes and batteries.

For a quick and easy way to check what you can put in your blue bin, use our Waste Wizard.

Garden waste

Our garden waste collection service is a convenient way to get rid of waste from your garden. Sign up and you’ll receive a brown bin and fortnightly collections. Disposing of garden waste correctly prevents it from going to landfill and producing methane – one of the worst green house gases.

You can sign up to our garden waste collection service online.

Recycling centres

If you’ve got large items, appliances or general household waste, you may be able to take it to your local tip.

Visit Kent County Council’s website for more information about local tips, including what you can bring along.

Clothes and textiles

If you’ve got old clothes you don’t wear anymore, or even things like bed sheets and towels, you can donate them to charity by visiting your local charity shop or leave them at one of the several clothes banks across Swale. You can also leave a small carrier bag of clothes by your blue bin to be collected at the same time.

Use Love Your Clothes’ website to find your nearest public clothing bank.

Small electricals

If you’ve got things like toasters or kettles (small electricals) you can put them by your green bin on collection day and we’ll take them away, whether they’re working or not.

If they are working, you could donate them to charity instead.


You can recycle batteries in lots of places across Swale, including some supermarkets and even smaller independent shops. Alternatively, you can put them out with your next blue bin collection, as long as they’re left alongside the bin in a separate bag.

You can visit Recycling Now’s website to find a location that accepts batteries.

If you’re getting rid of a car battery, you can take it to a household waste recycling centre. Visit Kent County Council’s website for more information about recycling car batteries.

White goods

If you are hiring a company to dispose of household waste or white goods, you can check that they’re licensed online, 24 hours a day. You’ll just need the name of their business. It only takes a moment and you’ll be able to check if their licence is still valid too.

Sustainable Periods

Find out more about the Swale Sisters scheme to save both money and waste.

Refill Scheme

To help reduce the amount of waste you are producing, you can download the Refill UK app for free. Refill is an award-winning campaign, from City to Sea to help people live with less plastic.

The app connects people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging. Anyone can download the free app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill. From a coffee on your commute to drinking water on the go, or even shopping with less plastic.

Every year around the world we create more than 300 million tonnes of plastic – half of this is single-use.

Coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK – enough to stretch around the world roughly five and a half times.

There are currently 15 sites signed up in Faversham, 9 in and around Sittingbourne and 8 on the Isle of Sheppey.

You can download the App here.