What can I put in my General Waste Bin?

5th September 2023

By Graham Matthews

A general waste bin is for many types of rubbish that you can’t recycle. This includes items like wet wipes, cling film, and chicken bones. Understanding what rubbish you should put in a general waste bin ensures responsible waste disposal – as a business or household.

There’s a big overlap between household general waste and commercial general waste bins. However, what you can put in each does differ slightly. For example, you can use your domestic general waste bin to get rid of used nappies and food scraps. Businesses might have separate nappy waste and food waste bins.

Discover what you can put in your general waste bin at home or work to separate your rubbish effectively and improve your recycling rates.

man dropping rubbish into general waste bin.

What goes in a 
general household waste bin?

General household waste bins are used to dispose of many types of non-recyclable rubbish. However, this doesn’t include very large or heavy items, hazardous, medical, or garden waste. What classes as general household waste can vary slightly between regions, so check your local council website to see what is accepted in your domestic general waste bin.

Common bits of rubbish you can throw away in your general household waste bin include:

  • Food scraps
  • Crisp packets
  • Sweet wrappers
  • Non-recyclable food packaging
  • Dirty nappies
  • Cat litter
  • Cigarette butts (extinguished)
  • Cotton wool and buds
  • Used kitchen towel, tissues, and wipes
  • Pet bedding

What can go in a general 
waste bin at work?

Most of the same types of rubbish you put in your general waste bin at home go into general waste bins at businesses. However, you might have separate bins for some general waste items such as food waste, sanitary waste, and dry mixed recycling. Such items should be kept out of your commercial general waste bins.

Common types of rubbish that can go in a general waste bin at your business include:

  • Food scraps – small amounts of waste food leftover from lunches
  • Non-hazardous cleaning items – like used wet wipes, sponges, and kitchen towel
  • Non-recyclable packaging – crisp packets, plastic wrap from deliveries
general waste bin next to road.

What can you put in a 
general waste skip?

A general waste skip is normally used to get rid of large and bulky items too big for a regular general waste bin. Exactly what you can put in a general waste skip depends on the terms and conditions of the company renting out the skip. Most general waste skips are used to store and dispose of big non-recyclable items such as:

  • Bricks
  • Rubble and stones
  • Soil (non-contaminated)
  • Concrete
  • UPVC windows
  • Garden waste
  • Furniture and mattresses

What does not go in a 
general waste bin?

Most non-recyclable rubbish classes as general waste but not all items can be disposed of in a general waste bin. You should not use a general waste bin at home or as a business to dispose of:

As a business, you should use various bins and containers to store these different types of waste separately. This helps increase the amount of waste you recycle, which benefits the environment and lowers your waste disposal costs as you’ll pay less landfill tax. It also reduces the risk of contamination for your general waste and recycling.

At home, you should recycle any cardboard, paper, and recyclables in your household waste recycling bin. Some also accept glass but check with your local council, and you might have a separate garden waste bin. Otherwise, most of these waste types can be disposed of responsibly at a nearby household waste recycling centre (HWRC) – or use our local man and van rubbish removal service.

Man and van rubbish removal

What colour is a
general waste bin?

The colour of a general waste bin depends on your location. Many councils provide household general waste bins that are grey or black, but in some cities, towns, and villages in the UK, they can be blue. Check with your local council or authority for the colour of a general waste bin at your address.

General waste bins are available for businesses in a range of colours to help separate them from your recycling and other waste types. Using colour-coded bins makes it easier for employees and customers to dispose of general waste and other rubbish responsibly.

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