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Compulsory recycling

In Islington it is compulsory for residents to recycle using the recycling service we provide. This includes household recycling (e.g. plastic, cans, glass bottles, cardboard), as well as food waste and garden waste if you have these services.

This means you must not throw away anything in the rubbish bin which you can recycle at home using the services the we provide residents, otherwise you may receive a fine.

Recycling is the cheapest and most sensible way to dispose of your waste.  Recycling more means the money saved can be spent on important council services. 

If someone is not using their recycling and food waste service an advisor may visit to make sure they have everything they need to recycle, and to answer any questions. Although recycling advisors can issue fines, they will only do so as a last resort if they are sure that someone has all the information and containers they need to recycle, and are deliberately not recycling. 

We want to encourage all residents to recycle as much as they can, and give everyone all the information they need to help them recycle.

Why has Islington made recycling compulsory?

Islington is home to a lot of people on low incomes and is the London borough hardest hit by cuts from central government. To protect your services, we need to save money wherever we can. One way of doing this is by recycling.

Is recycling compulsory for all households?

Yes. We provide recycling services to all households in Islington, so recycling at home is compulsory for all residents in the borough. This includes all street properties that have a ‘door to door’ recycling service for their individual property, and also residents with communal recycling and food waste services for their flats and estates. 

What do I need to do? 

It’s easy. 

  • don’t throw away anything which you can recycle at home, and recycle using the containers the council provides 
  • put the correct materials in the correct container 
  • if you have a doorstep collection leave your containers out by 6.30am on the day your recycling is collected 
  • if you live in a flat above a shop leave your containers out in the evening
  • if you have communal recycling bins or a recycling chute put your recycling in the correct bin at any time
  • remember, you must not throw away anything in your rubbish bin which you are able to recycle at home, using the services the council provides for you.

What happens if I am not at home and do not put any recycling out?

We are trying to encourage people to recycle, not trying to catch residents out. We will only be following up with residents who persistently do not recycle. 

I don't have a recycling service

We’re committed to providing all residents in Islington with a recycling collection service. If you do not have a recycling service, or if you’re not sure how to recycle, please let us know by emailing

Can I home compost my food waste and my green waste?

You can home compost your food waste and your green waste. The important thing is that you do not place food waste or green waste in your rubbish for collection.

Is it compulsory for businesses, schools and other organisations in Islington to recycle?

No, we are not able to make it compulsory for businesses, schools, charities or other non-household organisations to recycle, though we would like everybody to recycle more. Businesses can receive business recycling services through our partner Enterprise. Schools and charities can receive free recycling collections from us. 

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