Reuse and Recycling Centres
Our reuse and recycling centres will continue to stay open but have strict social distancing measures in place.
Visiting Bristol's Reuse and Recycling Centres
Our Recycling Centres will stay open during the lockdown starting on Thursday 5 November for essential journeys. The current rules and number plate system will remain in place.
Only cars, small vans, campervans (with fixed seats in the back) and Blue Badge holders are currently allowed access to the Recycling Centres, in line with odd and even days. This is to allow for social distancing and reduce queue times. These restrictions also apply to hire vehicles. Small vans continue to require a permit.
No large vans, pickups, trailers or vehicles with bulkheads will be allowed. Any vehicle similar in size or bigger than a Volkswagen Transporter will be considered a large van and not allowed access.
These restrictions will remain in place while social distancing is required and we do not anticipate any changes this year.
Please note, it is illegal to bring business, trade or construction waste to the recycling centres.
Our Reuse shop in Avonmouth will be closed for the duration of lockdown. We are not able to accept any donations while the shop is shut.
Traffic management and queue reduction system
We are running an odd and even number plate system to reduce queues at both sites. You can find out more about the system here. We have also set up a live stream so you can check the queues at both of our sites before you travel.
There is currently no access to our St Philip’s site from Kingsland Road coming from the Old Market direction. This is to help the flow of traffic and ensure local businesses are not affected by the queues.
Smaller recycling centres can be found using Bristol City Council’s recycling centre finder.
Opening hours (Winter hours)
Monday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Tuesday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Wednesday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Thursday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Friday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Sunday: 8 am – 4.15 pm
Open 7 days a week
Summer hours: Between 23 March 2020 – 18 October 2020 – 8am – 6.45pm
Winter hours: Between 19 October 2020 – 21 March 2021 – 8am – 4.15pm
Closed 25 and 26 December 2020 and 1 January 2021
You’ll need to arrive at least 10 minutes before we close to give you enough time to unload your recycling and waste. You’ll need to sort recyclables and waste before visiting.
Do you know the new recycling centre rules?
The rules have changed at our recycling centres to reflect social distancing guidelines. It's important everyone follows the news rules to keep yourself, other members of the public and our crews safe.Recycling centre guidance
Please sort your waste before arriving at the Recycling Centre.
Sorting your waste before arriving will make it quicker and easier to offload on site and ensure materials are put in the correct bays. Nearly 70% of what is in the average bin bag that is brought to our Recycling Centres could be recycled. Anyone arriving with bags of general waste may be encouraged to sort the bag on site to ensure all recyclable materials are removed before being thrown away. A table and boxes are provided on site to sort the waste, and hand sanitiser and spray are available to keep the area clean and safe.
You will need ID to use our recycling centres
You must present valid ID confirming Bristol residency to use the recycling centres. These measures are designed to help reduce long queues and save the city money.
Accepted ID combinations:
- Photo ID and Bristol City Council tax bill
- Photo ID and utility bill with a Bristol address
- Student ID card identifying you as a Bristol student
We accept paper and mobile bills
Officially recognised photo ID includes:
- Driving license, including international driving licenses
- National Union of Students (NUS) card
- European Economic Area (EEA) member state ID card
- Construction Identity Scheme (CIS) card
If you’re unable to provide photo ID please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What can you bring to a recycling centre?
Electrical appliances (household only – large and small)
(these can also be given to the Reuse Shop if they are functional)
Florescent tubes and low-energy bulbs
Glass bottles and jars
Green waste from residential gardens
Hard plastic (for example old toys, household items, drainpipes)
Oil (used engine oil and cooking oil)
Paper and magazines
Refrigerators and freezers
Rubble and soil
Shoes, clothes and textiles
Tin cans and foil
Restricted access for vans, pickups and towed trailers
There is currently no access for full-size vans, pickups and trailers at the recycling centres.
When restrictions are lifted householders using a van, pick-up or towing a trailer over 1.52 metres (5 feet) in length, will need to apply for a permit to access either of our sites, there is a height restriction of 2.4m applies at both recycling centres.
At present, we are only allowing cars and small vans to use the recycling centres. Please read the FAQ for more information.
Business waste cannot be taken to our recycling centres.
Only three sheets or three 25kg bags of bonded asbestos will be accepted per visit, or per week, whichever is the less.
All asbestos must be double wrapped in polythene and sealed with tape.
Bagged asbestos must not be mixed with any other waste. We can only accept cement bonded asbestos and will not accept unwrapped asbestos.
Limits on DIY and construction waste
We have weekly limits on the amount of DIY and construction waste you can bring to the site. The limit is one car boot load, or six 25kg bags, whichever is less. Anything over this limit is classed as industrial waste, even if it is generated at home.
Why do we have these limits?
We are bringing out limits in line with other local authorities by imposing these limits. The limits also help to ensure our service is for Bristol residents only, rather than traders trying to dispose of their waste for free.
Examples of DIY and construction materials
- Hardcore rubble and bricks, concrete slabs
- Roofing materials
- Any waste mixed with other DIY or construction waste
Soil and rubble must be separated before you bring them to the site and they will be refused if mixed with other waste.
What if you cannot get to the recycling centre?
Do you have usable furniture to donate?
Charity organisations collect some large, fit-for-purpose items for free so they can be reused. There are numerous charities in Bristol that will collect items, a selection of these are listed below. Check out their websites to find out more.
Please be advised that leaving items out on the kerbside or street can be considered illegal fly-tipping and you could be prosecuted.
Do you have bulky items that you cannot get to the recycling centre?
You can book a paid for bulky waste collection through Bristol City Council’s website using the link below.
Reopening Recycling Centres FAQ
Our Reuse and Recycling Centres are reopening with additional health and safety measures in place to help protect the public and our crew.
The health and safety of our crew and the public is our number one priority. We’re following Government and industry advice and have implemented additional health and safety measures such as limiting the number of cars allowed on site at one time and strict social distancing to help prevent the spread. We’re advising residents to only travel to the recycling centre if it is absolutely essential to do so and the items cannot be stored safely at home for the time being.
The two Reuse and Recycling Centres operated by Bristol Waste Company can only be used by residents living within the Bristol City Council area to dispose of their waste. Bordering councils have their own facilities, which their residents should be using.
Proof of address will be checked before you can enter the site and should be shown to staff through a closed window. You will need photo ID and a recent bill or student ID. Any vehicle that arrives on site and does not have proof of address will be turned away. To keep queuing to a minimum, please help us by having your proof of address documents ready.
We have reorganised the layout of the Recycling Centres and introduced social distancing measures such as two metre markings and only one person allowed in each section at a time. Only a limited number of cars will be allowed on site at any one time with a one in, one out policy.
We expect the Recycling Centres will be extremely busy, so we have an odd and even number plate system in place to help manage traffic and reduce queuing. The system means you can only visit the Recycling Centres on certain days depending on your vehicle number plate.
If the last number of your vehicle number plate is 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 this is an even number plate.
Examples of even number plates:
RL34 JGS (the last number is 4)
V952 GHD (the last number is 2)
PRIV8 A0 (the last number is 0)
If the last number of your vehicle number plate is 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 this is an odd number plate.
Examples of odd number plates:
GJ25 HJK (the last number is 5)
Y247 NDF (the last number is 7)
PRIV8 A3 (the last number is 3)
The last number of your licence plate will determine which day you can visit the Recycling Centres. For example, N951 HUP would be an odd number as the last number is 1.
The last number of your licence plate will determine which day you can visit the Recycling Centres.
This is a staged reopening and we are not currently able to accept waste from anyone in a transit sized van. Only cars and small vans will be allowed to use the site initially to help keep queues to a minimum. We are continually reviewing the situation and following Government issued guidelines. Please regularly check this website for updates.
A small van would be of a similar size to a Citroen Berlingo. You will still need a permit to bring a van to the Reuse and Recycling Centre, if you haven’t got a permit you can apply through our website. Anything bigger than this will not be able to access the sites for the time being.
Please note, we will continue to review the access criteria based on queues and demand. Access for small vans may need to be restricted if the number of people visiting either site becomes unmanageable.
This is primarily for your safety; we want all visits to the Recycling Centres to be in a controlled safe environment. The Recycling Centres are very busy and designed for vehicle access and not pedestrian access. Large lorries and other vehicles are active on site and unfortunately it is not possible to provide safe access routes or pavements for pedestrians.
Please do not arrive on foot as social distance measures mean our operatives will not be able to take any waste from you.
Although the site is reopening, the pandemic continues to have an effect and we cannot promise that it will be business as usual. We will try to accept reuse items where possible, however if you have an item that is in good condition and could go on to have another life in a different home, do try to store it until social distancing is relaxed.
We have reorganised the layout of the Reuse and Recycling Centres and introduced social distancing measures such as two metre markings, only one person allowed in each section at a time. Car windows must always remain shut. Only a limited number of cars will be allowed on site at any one time with a one in, one out policy. Only one person from each vehicle will be allowed to unload unless an item is too heavy for one person to safely carry, in which case another adult member of your household will be able to assist. Our crew will not be able to help you unload.
Looking after our staff and the public is our number one priority. We are following our risk assessment and WISH and Government guidance with social distancing measures and hygiene procedures.