How to reduce your rubbish to one bag a week - collection from bins

The One Bag a Week Challenge is here to help you waste less and help Lambeth become carbon neutral by 2030. See how you can reduce your rubbish collected from bins.

Stuff that can’t be recycled

Except in rare circumstances, one bag a week should be enough for all your non-recyclable waste. The most common everyday items that can’t be recycled from your recycling bin are things like plastic film, tissues and kitchen paper, foil, and soiled food packaging that can’t be rinsed clean. Here’s how to deal with some other common non-recyclable items.


Disposable nappies are unfortunately not recyclable, and have to go in your black bin. These would be likely to take up more than one bag a week on their own, so if you’re currently using disposable nappies, you might consider switching to reusable nappies which create much less waste and can also save you up to £500 in the process. The council currently offers a voucher to get you started, so there’s even more reason to make the change.

Pet litter and waste

It might surprise you to know that litter and waste from pets that don’t eat meat can be home composted. For this, you’ll need your own compost bin, and Lambeth has teamed up with to offer reduced-price home composting bins and other products.

Order a bin

Unfortunately, litter and waste from meat-eating animals, such as cats and dogs, can’t be composted and will need to go in your black bin. Please note that no animal waste should go in your food waste bin, even from non meat-eaters!

Polystyrene packaging

We find lots of this stuff in green recycling bins because many people think it can be recycled. Unfortunately though, it’s not currently possible to recycle this material from home, and it should go in your rubbish bin.


It’s often thought that aerosols are recyclable from home, but unfortunately they can cause fires at the recycling plant so they’re not accepted for recycling. They should go in your one bag a week.

Other items

We’ve put together an A to Z of what to do with your waste, so if you’re not sure what to do with a particular item, you’re likely to find the answer there.  

And finally, don’t worry, nothing goes to landfill from Lambeth. Your one bag a week is sent to an energy from waste plant, where it’s incinerated to provide electricity for thousands of homes.