Keep up the recycling Harrow! 

Recycling team

Thanks to your recycling efforts we’ve seen a reduction in contaminated waste in the last 6 months. But more work needs to be done to get Harrow recycling even better.  

We’ve halved the amount of contamination in our dry recycling to 13% (previously 26%). This is just over a 6-month period (between April to October). While this is great, there is a still a lot more we can do. 

Contaminated recycling means anything that’s in your recycling bin that cannot be recycled or is spoiled by food or grease. It’s so important to put the right things in the right bin. If there are too many of the wrong things, it can mean that whole lorry-load of recycling can’t be recycled.  

Food is one of the most common contaminants, caused by packaging not being rinsed out before being put into the recycling. This then spoils other materials in the mix, such as clean paper and card. Just a quick rinse will make all the difference. 

In Harrow some of our top causes of contamination are food, textile, black sacks, and nappies. On average it costs the council around £300,000 to dispose of contaminated waste. By making sure the right things are in the right containers, we can all help save time and money and make the recycling process more effective. 

Cllr Stephen Greek Cabinet Member for Performance, Communications & Customer Experience said: 

“This is positive news, recycling is great for the environment and helps save money.  

“I know there is still more we can do to increase our recycling and reduce contamination in our recycled waste. This is a common issue across London which affects costs, recycling performance and the quality of recycling.  

“It’s so important to put the right thing in the right bin. There is plenty of information on our website about what we accept– and of course you have our recycling centre, free for Harrow residents to use.  

“We have also recently created a new recycling team who are already doing some fantastic work to engage with residents in our hotspot areas. Over the next year you’ll see them around the borough where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask them questions about recycling and pick up lots of helpful information .”  

Key points to help us recycle better:  

  1. Use TRAID for textiles 

  1. Recycle your food waste in your food caddy 

  1. Black sacks belong in your general waste bin  

  1. Nappies cannot be recycled and must be put in general waste bins 

  1. Wash out your containers before putting them in your recycling bin 

Find out more about what goes in what bin and all the different ways to recycle and dispose of waste in Harrow at

Published: 7th December 2023