Household Recycling Centres

All nine of our Household Recycling Centres are open during the pandemic. Please continue to book a timeslot to visit.

Changes may be necessary at short notice due to the changing Covid-19 situation, so please check our website for current information before leaving home.

Update: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is significantly reduced capacity at our Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) due to social distancing measures we have put in place. Please help us by avoiding unnecessary visits and considering the following alternative options before travelling to an HRC:

  • Store items at home
  • Use retailer take-back services or make your old items available for immediate re-use via online platforms. Make sure you follow social distancing and related guidance and that it is safe for you to move the items in question.
  • Check the Reuse Network website to see if there are options available for small businesses or charities in your area to mend or repurpose your furniture and appliances. This may also be a good opportunity to repair, repurpose or reuse items such as old furniture or clothes yourself which you would usually throw away.
  • Use a privately registered waste collection company. There will be cost if you do this. You also have a duty to make sure you know where your waste is going and to ensure that the person collecting your waste is registered. You can do this by checking the Environment Agency’s website.

Booking system and e-permit scheme

We have a booking system in place to help us manage the flow of vehicles while we operate at a reduced capacity to meet social distancing requirements.

The booking system applies to:

  • All vehicles visiting the Alconbury, Bluntisham, Milton, St Neots and Thriplow sites
  • Commercial-type vehicles and or any trailer in excess of 1.5m length (excluding the towing mechanism) or 570 litre capacity visiting any of the nine sites

For more information on the booking system, and to book a slot, please visit our Household Recycling Centres booking system page.

To check whether your vehicle requires an e-permit to enter an HRC, please visit our Household Recycling Centres e-permit scheme page. Please note if your vehicle does require an e-permit, this must be in place before you can book a slot to visit.

Vehicles requiring e-permits are currently not allowed to tow trailers of any size onto site. This is because of reduced manoeuvring space resulting from Covid-19 measures.

Measures in place on site due to the pandemic

We have put a number of measures in place at our HRCs to meet the Government guidelines on social distancing. Please read the following information before you visit your local HRC site. 

  • Visitors must keep two metres apart – we have made site layout changes and installed signage to support this
  • Alternate unloading bays are unusable to help maintain distance
  • Hand sanitiser is available for use when arriving at and leaving the site
  • A maximum of two adults can unload vehicles where necessary for heavy or bulky items. Where possible a single person should be outside of a vehicle.
  • Children must remain in the vehicle at all times
  • Site staff are unable to help unload vehicles, so please ensure one adult from your household accompanies you if you need assistance
  • If you are unable to access the stairs to a gantry, you can ask the site staff for assistance with the physical handling of waste. You will need to remove the waste material from your vehicle or trailer to a safe place as instructed by site staff. You will be required to leave the site for staff to then dispose of the waste.
  • If you are unwell or displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, or someone in your household is, please do not visit the HRC and instead stay at home and follow Government guidance
  • Do not bring waste that might be infected with Coronavirus. This should be stored in a separate sealed plastic sack within a second plastic sack for at least 72 hours and then put out for household refuse collections.
  • Waiting times may be longer than usual due to the measures in place
  • Sites are provided for Cambridgeshire residents only – you may be asked for proof of address when you visit
  • Pedestrian access to sites is not permitted
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes, gloves are also advised

Materials accepted on site

A list of the waste materials we accept at our HRC sites can be found on our What Can I Recycle page.

We cannot accept waste that might be affected with Coronavirus. Please see guidance above for how to dispose of this.

Sale areas for reusable items are currently closed.

Fly-tipping and burning of household waste

You must not dispose of household waste in a way that could harm people’s health. This includes burning household waste, which is an offence that is liable to prosecution. Please make sure that you make full use of your local authority’s waste collection services and follow local advice.

Fly-tipping or dumping of waste is a crime. Leaving items on the street or in parks, woodlands and fields is fly-tipping. Local authorities and the Environment Agency have a range of powers to tackle it, including fixed penalties of up to £400 or prosecution.

Even if you mean well, leaving items outside charity shops or next to full recycling bins still counts as fly-tipping. You can report fly-tipping to your local authority via the GOV.UK website and find out more information on the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group website.

Site details

Please visit our online directory for a list of HRC sites, their addresses, contact details and opening hours. We have nine sites altogether – Alconbury, Bluntisham, March, Milton, St Neots, Thriplow, Whittlesey, Wisbech and Witchford.

Frequently Asked Questions

All of our policies will still apply and can be found here. This includes:

  • Construction, Demolition and DIY Waste Policy to only accept items from small scale DIY work.
  • We do not accept Trade Waste or Landlord waste.
  • Do not bring waste that might be infected with Coronavirus. This should be stored in a separate sealed plastic sack within a second plastic sack for at least 72 hours and then put out for household refuse collections.

Do not visit a Household Recycling Centre if you are:

  • extremely vulnerable and remaining at home for shielding purposes
  • symptomatic with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • in a 14-day household isolation

See the current Coronavirus restrictions on the GOV.UK website.

The companies that take our recycling have assured us they can take the material and recycle them as normal.

Just like many supermarkets, we must ensure we adhere to social distancing guidelines to protect residents and staff by limiting the number of people on site. To do this we will be limiting the number of cars on site at any one time and every other parking bay will be closed. We will operate a “one in one out” approach, just like a visit to the supermarket.

They will be asked to leave the site and the site may have to close temporarily. Social distancing will be strictly enforced by site staff and if the rules and restrictions are not followed, we may have to close the sites.

If you are unable to access the stairs to a gantry, you can ask the site staff for assistance with the physical handling of waste. You will need to remove the waste material from your vehicle or trailer to a safe place as instructed by site staff. Site staff cannot move any items of waste from a vehicle or trailer. You will be required to leave the site for staff to then dispose of the waste.

We are not able to take any reuse items at the Household Recycling Centre and ask you to hold onto these items until we can take them or you can donate them to a charity.

Vehicles requiring e-permits are currently not allowed to tow trailers of any size due to reduced space for manoeuvring resulting from Covid-19 measures. Trailers requiring permits can be towed by vehicles that do not require e-permits.

A temporary booking system is in place to help with traffic flow. Please check our Household Recycling Centres booking system page before going to site as people arriving without bookings where required will be turned away.

Site staff will be at the site entrance to check that bookings have been made where required and may ask for proof of Cambridgeshire residence.

Site capacity is reduced to maintain 2m social distancing requirements, with alternate parking bays closed off. This may make manoeuvring more difficult, especially for larger vehicles

Follow signage and staff advice at all times, measures are in place for your protection.

If you need advice, please ask a member of staff but ensure you maintain a social distancing of 2 metres away from them..

We have three sites that have no steps so waste can be dropped into the skips from where you reverse park your vehicle. If you have heavier items or will find it difficult to bring your waste up steps, then these sites may be more suitable for you:

If the map does not load, please view it on the My Cambridgeshire website.

Household Recycling Centre policies

Check your vehicle is allowed entry to the sites

For information about the types and sizes of vehicles that are allowed entry to our Household Recycling Centres, and whether or not you will require an e-permit for your vehicle, please visit our HRC e-permit scheme webpage.

Bulky waste collections

If you need to dispose of large, bulky household items and are unable to bring them to the nearest Household Recycling Centre yourself, your district council can come and collect them for a fee. See the below links for more information from your district council:

Cambridge City Council - Bulky waste
East Cambridgeshire District Council - Bulky waste
Fenland District Council - Bulky waste
Huntingdonshire District Council - Bulky waste
South Cambridgeshire District Council -Bulky waste

Please find below a useful guide to our Household Recycling Centres and how to get the most out of your visit.

household centres A5 8pp_Final1.04MBpdf
A useful guide to what you can recycle at your nearest recycling centre
Size: 1.04MBFile format: pdf

Household Recycling Service Strategy

The Household Waste Recycling Service Strategy sets out our strategy for providing a household recycling service to the residents of Cambridgeshire to dispose of bulky household items or items not collected at the kerbside. See our Recycling Service Strategy 2014 - 2019 below.

Recycling Service Strategy 2014 - 2019 pdf (4.22MB)
Size: 4.22MBFile format: pdf

Recycling Centres Charter and Policy

The Recycling Centres Customer Charter will be reviewed and updated as part of the options work undertaken as a result of the Household Recycling Service Strategy above.

Recycling Centre Customer Charter263KBpdf
Recycling Centres Customer Charter
Size: 263KBFile format: pdf
Vehicle Parts Policy267KBpdf
Size: 267KBFile format: pdf

Vehicle Part Policy

Our Household Recycling Centres Vehicle Part Policy specifies what vehicle parts and vehicle fluids our sites are able to accept.

Trade Waste Policy and Commercial Waste Policy

Our Household Recycling Centres are not licensed to accept waste from commercial business or contractors. Please see our Trade Waste Policy for more information. We also do not accept waste from parish councils, schools, charity shops or clubs as specified in our Commercial Waste Policy.

Trade Waste Policy169KBpdf
Size: 169KBFile format: pdf
Chargeable Household and Commercial Waste Policy156KBpdf
Size: 156KBFile format: pdf

Tenanted Properties Policy

We can accept waste from tenants however we do not accept waste from landlords as specified in our Tenanted Properties Policy.

Tenanted Properties Policy252KBpdf
Size: 252KBFile format: pdf

Construction, Demolition and DIY Waste Policy

Waste from large scale construction, demolition or renovation projects cannot be accepted at Household Recycling Centres. Small scale project waste may be accepted. Please see our Construction, Demolition and DIY Waste Policy for more information.

Construction, Demolition and DIY Policy Guidance 2019398KBpdf
Construction, Demolition and DIY waste policy pdf (397.61KB)
Size: 398KBFile format: pdf

Some items taken to recycling centres are available for sale, this does not include electrical items. Please speak to the site staff if you wish to purchase something.

The contractors who operate all our recycling centres have salvage rights over any waste that is deposited at these sites. This income is put towards the day to day running costs of the centre which means costs are kept down for the council and taxpayers.

Bring banks

You can find Recycling Banks located in villages, towns and cities across Cambridgeshire, meaning you don’t have to go so far to recycle your waste. These include collections for items such as textiles, electrical items, books and shoes.

Follow the links below to find recycling banks in your local area: