Household waste

Mini Recycling Centres

Everything you need to know about using your mini recycling centre in Bristol.


How to use your Mini Recycling Centre (MRC)

If you live in a flat you probably have shared bins, either on the street or in a bin store inside or near your building. We call these shared bins mini recycling centres, or MRC for short.

Most mini recycling centres have recycling bins for cardboard and brown paper, glass, plastics and metal and paper. Most, but not all, have a food waste bin. We’re currently working with Bristol City Council to improve recycling for flats across the city.

What you can put in your mini recycling centre bins

All your clean cardboard recycling should go in here. To fit as much into the bin as possible, please flatten, fold or cut up any boxes.

  • Boxes (remove tape)
  • Cartons (rinsed and squashed)
  • Greetings cards (no glitter)
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Brown paper

Give these items a quick rinse and squash them if you can.

  • Cans
  • Plastic bottles
  • Lids and caps
  • Plastic packaging (no black plastic or plastic film)
  • Aerosols (empty with the lids removed)
  • Foil

  • White or coloured paper
  • Magazines junk mail

Please only put glass into this bin. 

All your leftover cooked and uncooked food should go in here, including:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Cheese and dairy
  • Meat, fish and bones
  • Plate scrapings
  • Eggshells
  • Bread, pasta, rice and cereal
  • Coffee grounds and tea bags

Line your food waste caddy with a compostable liner or a plastic bag such as an old bread bag or shopping bag. All liners will be removed before the food waste is processed.

You should put almost everything that cannot be recycled into this bin. For safety reasons, you should take hazardous waste, electronics and batteries to a recycling centre.

Batteries are a fire risk and must never be put into the general waste.

This includes ‘hidden’ batteries inside electronics. Take them to a recycling centre or a supermarket collection point.

Things we don't collect from shared bins

We don’t collect electronics, also called WEEE, from mini recycling centres. Instead, please take small electronics to your nearest recycling centre. If they still work, you can donate them to our Reuse Shop or a charity shop.

We don’t collect batteries from mini recycling centres. Instead, please take batteries to your nearest battery recycling point or one of Bristol’s recycling centres. Do not put batteries in your general waste bin as this is a fire risk.

Bulky waste is anything that won’t fit into your bin. Remember, we won’t collect waste left on the floor unless you have booked a bulky waste collection.

How to book:

Book a bulky waste collection for larger items such as mattresses, electrical items, fridges and freezers on the Bristol City Council website. There is a small service fee (£25 for up to 3 items or £50 for up to 6 items) for the service. You must book this service first and only put the items out on the day of the scheduled collection.

Bulky items can also be taken to one of Bristol’s recycling centres where waste, recycling and large items can be disposed of for free.

Please take them to a reuse and recycling centre or a charity shop. We cannot collect textiles from a mini recycling centre.

Report an issue with your mini recycling centre

Depending on who your landlord is, there are different ways to report issues with your shared recycling bins.

Report a missed collection
Large Bristol Waste recycling bins in front of a brick wall.

Don't risk a fine by fly-tipping

If the bin is full, please wait until there is space to add your waste or recycling.

  • Leaving anything on the floor of your mini recycling centre or on the street next to your shared bins is fly-tipping.
  • Fly-tipping is a crime. The maximum penalty for fly-tipping is £50,000. Fly-tippers also face prosecution.
  • If you leave fly-tip on the floor of an indoor bin store, your managing agent may charge you or increase the service charge for your whole building.

The maximum fine for fly-tipping is £50,000.

Download a mini recycling centre guide

Download a copy of the guide in English, Polish or Somali to read online or print at home.

Find out where we got the data:

Bristol is number 1 English core city for recycling: DEFRA local authority collected waste management figures.

Glass can be endlessly recycled: Recycle Now

We recycle 55,000 tonnes annually: Bristol Waste recycling data. Stats confirmed in January 2023.

6 recycled tea bags generate enough energy to boil a kettle: Wales Recycles

You could save around £700 a year by not wasting food: WRAP figures, published December 2022

1 banana skin generates enough energy to power 2 mobile phones: Zero Waste Scotland published in

It takes 95% less energy to make a can using recycled aluminium: Novelis data (leading global aluminium recycler)

180,000 tonnes diverted from landfill last year: Bristol Waste recycling data. Stats confirmed in January 2023.

1 Million collections each month: Bristol Waste recycling figures for household and MRC collections. Stats confirmed in June 2023.