How to Recycle in Portsmouth Part 1: Kerbside and Beyond

Portsmouth has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country. In the first of a three part series running this week, Tamara Groen from the Shades of Green blog gives you all the information you need on recycling in Portsmouth, from kerbside collection to the recycling facilities across the city.

Note: This article was originally published on Shades of Green and has been reprinted with permission.

I am so pleased to live in a city that has a kerbside recycling collection for most items. Portsmouth City Council’s fortnightly kerbside collection helps me to save the planet while staying in bed, which is a win win. So, for those of you who may be new to the recycling malarkey – it couldn’t be easier!

Kerbside Collection

All items must be clean, dry and loose:

• Drink Cans
• Food tins
• Aerosols (No lids – take these to mixed plastic banks)

Plastic Bottles:
• Plastic bottles (No lids – take these to mixed plastic banks)
• Cleaner and detergent bottles
• Milk bottles (No lids – take these to Lush)
• Drinks bottles
• Toiletries and shampoo bottles

• Newspapers
• Envelopes
• Junk mail
• Magazines
• Telephone directories
• Window envelopes
• Yellow Pages
• Greeting cards
• Other paper (No shredded paper- Take this to Asda Bridge Centre and Tesco City Centre Crasswell)

• Cardboard egg boxes
• Cardboard fruit and veg punnets (please break down larger boxes)
• Cardboard sleeves
• Cereal boxes
• Corrugated cardboard
• Toilet roll tubes

Small electrical items
• Small electrical and electronic equipment (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE) in standard sized supermarket carrier bag which must be placed beside or on top of your recycling bin.

Recycling Banks

But wait, there’s more!

There are council, charity, and even supermarket recycling banks dotted across our lovely city.  Here, you can recycle other things like glass (of any colour), mixed plastics, batteries, printer ink cartridges and textiles etc.

This example is from Tesco North Harbour:

 Mixed Plastics: Recycling Bank at Sainsbury’s

I was delighted to discover that the two big Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the city (Commercial Road and Farlington) have banks for mixed plastics because I haven’t seen any other recycling points for mixed plastics in the city. If you have, please let us know at:

Once a week, I take my mixed plastics (as well as my housemates’, my next-door neighbour’s and also some lovely Portsmouth Green Party members’ who are car-free) to one of the big Sainsbury’s stores.

They accept:

  • Margarine and ice cream tubs
  • Confectionary tubs
  • Rigid plastic food packets
  • Yogurt pots
  • Plastic lids from aerosols, bottles, cartons

They do not accept:

  • Polystyrene
  • Plastic food wrapping
  • Plastic bags (but these can be recycled at most big supermarkets)
  • Cling film
  • Meat trays
  • Toys

But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t wait till my plastics bin is overflowing before I take a trip to the recycling bank. And I also treat myself to a veggie sausage sandwich at the Sainsbury’s cafe while I’m there. Delish!

Useful Websites

Here are the websites that I use most frequently to check recycling locations:

Final thoughts

When I go to throw things away, I try to remember that there is no place called ‘away’. Everything I put in my waste rubbish bin goes somewhere, usually to an incinerator or a landfill. The less I send to landfill the better.

That’s why my household recycling centre looks like this:

Portsmouth has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country, coming in at 338 out of 352 authorities in 2015/16 with the percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting at 23.4%.

The top ranking authority, South Oxfordshire District Council, has a percentage of 66.6%. So as a city, Portsmouth has a way to go. I hope my efforts will have a ripple effect – one resident at a time!

Do you have any other recycling hacks for Portsmouth? Let us know in the comments section below or email the Shades of Green blog at