How a recycling site should look when used correctly

Quick what you need to know

  • Recycling must be put inside containers, never on the floor
  • Do not put recycling into sacks, place into containers loose
  • No household waste, take it to a household waste site
  • Clean, squash and flatten recycling
  • Enforcement will catch those who use sites incorrectly


During the current Covid 19 pandemic there has been a significant increase in how much we are consuming as households which has led to a big increase in the amount of both waste and recycling being produced. Households in general have greatly increased their use of online shopping and this has created a huge amount of packaging and in particular cardboard which even when flattened takes up lots of space in recycling containers. The following guidance will help make sure that all the recycling you have taken the time to separate from your household waste and taken to a recycling site does get recycled rather than being disposed of as waste.

Do not use sacks or bags

please do not put your recycling in bags or sacks, especially not black sacks. We needs to be able to clearly identify that it is recycling, if it looks like household waste it is likely to be treated as such. In order to recycle all items must be put into the containers loose so that they can be clearly seen and sorted at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). This is the facility where your recycling goes to be separated into different materials i.e. glass, plastics, cardboard etc ready for being made into new products . If you are a Rother resident the recycling containers at these sites should be used in the same manner as your smaller recycling containers at home. Place recycling items separately through the flap in the lid and take your bags/sacks home with you. It is not acceptable to leave bags of recycling on the floor next to the containers, in order for it to be recycled it must be put into the containers.

Put recycling into containers

Only recycling placed into the containers will definitely be recycled. Anything left on the floor outside the containers will attract general dumping of rubbish and generate significant litter from animals and birds scavenging and strong winds. As mentioned above if it looks like household waste it will be treated as waste. The recycling processing sites do not accept recycling which is mixed with general rubbish or where significant amounts of it looks like household waste. For example at our Ravenside site in Bexhill padlocks have been placed on the lids as we were seeing all sorts of rubbish being put into the containers which led to heavy contamination of the recycling and meant the whole lot was being rejected as household waste.

Recycling needs to be clean, flattened and loose

Please clean and rinse off any residue and/or food waste. This is really important as clean material means that a greater proportion will end up being recycled. If recycling gets covered in food waste / liquids it can lead to that material being rejected due to contamination and therefore not being recycled. To help stop containers quickly overflowing it really helps us if you flatten cardboard and squash plastic bottles. Cardboard not broken down and bottles that have not been squashed will result in the recycling containers filling up so much quicker as unnecessary space is taken up. Lastly it is so important that you take the time to put your recycling into the containers loose, not in bags. Recycling left in bags or sacks is very likely to mean that it will not be recycled so please remember put recycling in the containers loose.

Fly tipping and enforcement

Rother are keen to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle and the recycling sites are provided as an alternative opportunity for Rother residents to recycle even more. In order to make sure these recycling sites are used for what they are intended for all sites are now being closely monitored including CCTV and regular site visits. Anybody not using these sites for recycling faces being prosecuted for fly tipping which can result in a significant fine. Please remember these are recycling site and not household waste sites, any items left on the floor will be viewed as a potential fly tipping offence for which you can be prosecuted. These recycling sites are for household use only, any businesses using these sites instead of arranging their own private waste and recycling removal will be prosecuted.

Final thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read this information. It really is important that you follow the above guidance to make sure everything you have separated for recycling is recycled. The facilities where your mixed recycling is sent for separating will not accept recycling which looks like household waste i.e contained within sacks, especially black sacks. In order for recycling to be separated ready for turning into new products it goes through a number of sorting processes i.e. magnets to extract metals, air blowers to separate lighter items like paper, these processes will not work if the recycling is contained within a bag or sack.  These recycling facilities handle volumes of recycling on a massive scale every day and therefore sorting by various mechanical processes is the only viable approach, only a very small amount of hand sorting takes place.

Aiimee Digital Assistant Icon

Aiimee - Rother Digital Assistant

Ask me a question!