It’s easy to get blasé about recycling when all you see is the ‘putting things in the bin’ end of things. But, when you think about it, it’s like modern-day alchemy. Old drinks bottles coming back to life as football tops. Aerosols becoming mobile phone parts. Food scraps making electricity! It’s like very clever magic really.

What is recycling?

Recycling is better for the environment than sending our rubbish to landfill, but it still creates carbon emissions through the recycling process. The best thing we can do is to first reduce the amount of products we consume and reuse what we already have.

  1. Reducing

  2. Conserving

  3. Renewing

  4. Resources

Recycling swoosh icon

Up to 60% of what households throw away could be recycled.

Variety of plastic bottles ready for recycling

Try the new Recycling Sorter...

Our handy new digital recycling tool, allows you to search for what items can be recycled, and in which colour of bin, in any Scottish local authority – helping to ensure we’re all recycling as best we can.

The positive impacts of recycling

  1. Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill (meaning less landfill tax for Scotland).

  2. Keeps valuable resources in the country which is good for the Scottish economy.

  3. Creates jobs in Scotland.

  4. Less litter and pollution.

  5. Reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials.

  6. Turns rubbish into something useful or innovative - like bags or phone cases!

pile of clothing and textiles for recycling

What to do with

Search our 'what to do with' library to find our how to recycle or reuse household items like clothing and textiles, electricals, furniture and many more! 

Take the next step


Recycling is important, but minimising waste in the first place is even better so reduce or reuse as much as you can.

If in doubt, leave it out

Contamination by food residue or non-recyclable materials can ruin the batch and cause it to be sent to landfill.

Local knowledge

Follow local instructions on how to recycle when at home or out and about.

Recycling locator

Enter your location to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on your unwanted items nearby.

Signpost with directions to a local recycling centre

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