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Glasgow City Council

RECYCLE - top tips on recycling at home and in the office

Make Glasgow Greener - Keep recycling

Why should we recycle?

Recycling helps to protect the environment and reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials, all of which create air and water pollution.

As a council we are responsible for managing over 320,000 tonnes of waste each year. The majority of this is taken to landfill to be disposed of which removes both the value of the material and the energy used to manufacture the original product.

If some of this waste was taken for recycling instead energy, raw materials and landfill costs would be saved.

By taking the time to sort your rubbish appropriately, you are helping to reduce our general waste going to landfill and our associated costs.

Making small changes at home and work, can make a big difference to the environment -as recycling saves energy, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.

Recycling in our city - our new citywide campaign and recycling locations

In response to the Climate Emergency, we are committed to playing a key role in the development of a more sustainable role in the development of a more sustainable city.

New campaign

Look out for our new tv and radio campaign which aims to get Glasgow residents talking and thinking about recycling.

With a tagline of 'Stop Talking Rubbish', citizens are encouraged to waste less by reusing or recycling more while also underlining the importance of recycling properly for the city and the wider environment.  The campaign flows from the strategic objective in our Resources and Recycling Strategy 2020-2030 to promote behaviour change and at a practical level seeks to direct residents to use recycling bins appropriately while also highlighting the impact of not doing so.

It is also hoped the campaign will help to promote a sense of personal pride in Glasgow so that recycling is taken seriously by householders and they try to waste less by reusing or recycling more.  

GCC Recycling

Bin frequencies

Our new bin frequencies help us to encourage increased recycling in the city and helps to reduce the carbon footprint. (See the next section about what each household bin can take)

  • Green bin - every 3 weeks instead of two
  • Purple bin - every 8 weeks
  • Blue and Brown bins - every 2 weeks.

The majority of general waste is processed at the Glasgow recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC), where state of the art technology is used to extract recyclables from waste which would otherwise be disposed of and recovers energy from material which cannot be recycled.

Green Fact - The £154 million Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre takes 90% of the waste that would have gone to land and turns it into renewable energy, making a substantial contribution to the decarbonisation of Glasgow's electricity. The world leading waste processing plant was built through a joint venture between Viridor and the council. The plant also has options to connect to the future heat network being planned in the city and will be a key piece of infrastructure in the city's race to be net zero carbon by 2030.

Household Waste Recycling Centres

  • Dawsholm, 75 Dawsholm Road, Glasgow G20 0TB
  • Easter Queenslie, 90 Easter Queenslie Road, Glasgow G33 4UL
  • Polmadie, 425 Polmadie Road, Glasgow G42 0JP
  • Sheildhall, 375 Renfrew Road, Glasgow G51 4SP

Visit for a list of what you can dispose of and recycle at any of our centres.

Public Recycling Centres

There are over 650 public recycling sites across the city where materials can be placed for recycling, visit for a list of all sites.

At home - top tips on how and what to recycle

Remember your food caddy can be used to store food waste in your home and help you transport it to your brown bin.

A blue recycling bag for life can be provided to assist with storing loose recycling items in your house and will help you to transfer to your blue bin.

What can I recycle?

The following only applies if you live in Glasgow, you should check your local council website for details on other areas.

  • Blue bin - dry mixed recycling, such as newspapers and magazines, drink cans and food tins, cardboard and plastic bottles.
  • Brown bin - food (cooked and uncooked) and garden waste (we can only collect garden waste that can be composted. Twigs and branches should be cut to lengths that fit into your brown bin.
  • Purple bin - glass bottles and jars
  • Green bin - general/non recyclable waste, such as polystyrene packaging, plastic carrier bags, nappies, takeaway pizza boxes and crisp packets.


  • Glass can be recycled again and again with no loss in quality or strength.
  • Flatten, squash and squeeze all your recyclables - save as much room in your bin as possible.
  • Buy recycled paper and print on both sides.
  • Invest in your own coffee cup and water bottle.
  • Use reusable bags instead of plastic.

Could you recycle more?

A recent survey found that we are still putting too much recyclable waste in our green bin.

We need you to recycle as much as possible to reduce the amount of waste in your green bin. It was also highlighted that approximately 60% of waste in the green bin was recyclable and could have been placed in the blue, brown or purple bin.

Recycling can save you money - reuse your containers and shopping bags.

At work - top tips for how and where to recycle in your council workplace

All commercial premises, including council offices, need to separate waste for recycling. This includes glass, metal, plastic, paper and card from all other waste.

Our recycling rate is improving but we need to do more to make sure we reduce the amount of waste going to landfill to save both our costs and the environment.

Did you know that one recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes and one recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for three hours?

How can I recycle in my office?

A lot of the materials we use in the office can be reduced, recycled or reused:


  • A large amount of waste in an office is paper waste.
  • Printers are automatically set to print double sided - if your printer does not have this setting think about the amount of material you print, does everyone really need a copy of your meeting agenda? See our dedicated staff campaign on how to Go Green and Keep it On the Screen to reduce printing here


  • Personal bins were removed as part of the Tomorrows Office programme and various recycling facilities are available.
  • Please take the time to take and sort your rubbish at your nearest recycling point.
  • This could either be an integrated recycled bin or a large white cardboard BIG BIN in your:
    • coffee hub
    • tea preparation area
    • administration hub
    • office area.

What items can I recycle?

You can recycle the following items in both the integrated bins in the BIG BIN:

  • Non-confidential mixed papers including newspapers, magazines, brochures, junk mail, office paper, directories and white envelopes
  • Plastic bottles (rinse out first)
  • Food and drink cans (rinse out first)
  • Cardboard and card packaging.

Please dispose of your confidential waste papers in your nearest confidential waste unit. This will be collected for secure shredding before being recycled.


In 2019, the Glasgow Cup Movement was launched by Keep Scotland Beautiful and Simply Cups to reduce the large volume of single use cups being discarded to landfill, as opposed to being recycled. We then launched our internal cup collection and recycling units to help reduce single use cup waste in the workplace and encourage staff to bring their own personal cup to re-use each day instead.  Find out more here and make the change with a reusable cup.


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