Recycling sacks and purple bin recycling

Every resident in Tower Hamlets can recycle.  Recycling will either be collected from the kerbside or a purple recycling bin will be provided for you to drop your recycling in to. Much of the waste we produce can be easily recycled through the recycling bags and purple recycling bins.

The materials can all be mixed together as they are sorted out after collection at a materials recovery facility.


You can recycle all of the following materials using your pink bags and purple bins:

what can i recycle


Please help us to recycle everything we can by making sure your plastic containers are empty and food is rinsed out of them.

Never put recycling in black bags. The recycling collection crews will not collect any black sacks due to problems with sacks of rubbish being accidentally collected in the past.

Now we can recycle even more plastic!

Recycling in Tower Hamlets is now even easier as new materials are added to the collections. We can now recycle a wide range of types of plastic containers in our recycling sacks and purple bins. This includes things like:

  • Plastic pots (yoghurt pots, plastic flowerpots, and toiletry pots)

  • Plastic tubs and boxes (fruit punnets, margarine tubs, ice cream tubs, and gift packaging boxes)

  • Plastic bottles and their lids (food and drinks bottles, cleaning product bottles and toiletry bottles)

Please help us to recycle everything we can by making sure your plastic containers are empty and food is rinsed out of them.


Collection days

The council has introduced timed collections to a number of key roads and streets around the borough. Please click on the link below to find the daily time schedule for waste and recycling collection.

These changes apply to flatted properties without an area to store waste, on the following streets/roads:

All the refuse and recycling will be collected via sacks from directly outside your door each day at the specific times of day. Refuse and recycling must be kept inside the property at all other times.

For all other properties we collect recycling weekly.  To find your collection day and the kind of service your property is provided with please open the document below, type in the name of your road or block of flats into the ‘Find’ box and press return.

If recycling is collected from your doorstep please make sure it is out by 7am and is clearly visible to the collection crews.

If you aren’t sure about what service you have access to or would like to request recycling facilities for your block of flats please call us on 020 7364 5004 or email

Have we missed you?

Your vital communication with the council allows us to maintain and manage our services and our contractor’s performance effectively.

Step 1

Have you reported the missed service on 0207 364 5004, to our contact centre? Your request will be passed on to the contractor.

Step 2

If your requested service has been missed again, please redial 0207 364 5004 to report again. Your call will be logged with a stage 1 priority.

Step 3

If we still continue to miss your required services, please call again on 0207 364 5004. Your call will be allocated a stage 2 priority. This is the highest service level escalation within our procedures where it will be allocated to the contractor as well as trigger of a back office investigation. The investigation ensures penalties are applied where services have failed.

If you have exhausted the above, you can make a complaint.

Recycling sacks

The Council is currently reviewing the provision of recycling sacks to residents due to concerns that the previous system of distribution was being misused.

We have reconsidered our approach and as of Wednesday 25 January 2017, recycling bags and starch liners will be made available every Wednesday and Saturday from any Idea Store, Cubitt Town Library and Bethnal Green Library. Residents will be able to collect a roll of recycling bags by showing proof of their address such as a utility bill, council tax bill, bank statement or driving licence. 

 If you live in a flat and have access to a large purple recycling bin, you can place recycling directly into the bin. If you live in a kerb side property and have a purple wheelie bin you can also place recycling items directly without the need to place them in a recycling sack first. If you do not have access to a bin, you can use clear bags as an alternative to the pink bags provided by the council.

Streetline will no longer take requests from residents requesting recycling sacks or food waste liners.

Disabled residents will be able to arrange a delivery of recycling sacks/Starch  by contacting the council on:

Email: or call us on 020 7364 5004


Residential recycling sacks are for use by residents for domestic/household waste ONLY. Use of these residential sacks by businesses for business waste is illegal. Businesses found to be using these domestic recycling sacks may be fined or prosecuted. For more information about business waste and the collection service visit the recycling and waste at work page.

Recycling wheeled bins

Residents in properties on the kerbside collection service can order a purple wheeled bin. You must be able to store the bin off the pavement/footpath and make sure it is easily available to the recycling crew on collection day, e.g. not up or down any stairs, behind locked gates.

To order a bin: