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Recycling in London: how does it work?

Recycling is not the most glamorous topic, however it is a question that is often asked by our customers who have recently moved to London, and whose apartment or house is full of empty cardboard boxes … What to do?

In London, recycling is organized by each local municipality (the Council).

If you live in an apartment block, there is a good chance that you will find containers for household waste, as well as for household packaging (cardboard, glass, paper).

If you live in a house, the Council distributes recycling bags for the collection of household packaging. If you can not find one when you move in, you can request it on the Council website or by going to the local library (where you will of course also find books). In some places, houses are provided with their own containers – one for recycling, one for normal rubbish. These will be left by the previous tenants, and you should not have to request any.

For objects such as metal, wood, paint, which do not fit the criteria of household packaging, it is necessary to go to a local “Recycling Center” where everything is classified by category. Be careful, these dumps are only open to private individuals, not businesses. They are open on Sundays too (practical after a weekend of DIY). You can find their addresses and opening hours on the website of your local Council. They are free, and generally clean and well organized.

For bulky items, there are two possibilities. The Council can pick up bulky items on request, against financial compensation (on average £20). Otherwise, you can contact charities who pick up items in good condition, even big ones.

Happy recycling!

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