What is recycling?

There are two types of recycling: open-loop and closed-loop recycling.

Closed-loop recycling

With closed- loop recycling a product can be recycled back into a similar product. For example, glass bottles and jars can be turned into new glass bottles and jars and can be environmentally beneficial.

Open-loop recycling

With open-loop recycling products are turned into other types of products. Using the same example glass bottles and jars can be turned into sand or aggregate. Open-loop recycling is often regarded as worse than closed-loop recycling. Glass turned into sand or aggregates does save resources and waste, but it takes more energy than producing virgin sand.

Wherever possible we should be ensuring recycling is closed loop. If open-loop recycling is used tit must be ensured that there is effective Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the process to ensure there are no unintended consequences.

The term upcycling is defined as the reuse of discarded products or materials to create a product or material of higher quality or value than the original.

In the main the materials collected by the Council are likely to be closed loop recycling.

Recycling is only one of the Rs to reduce waste, and we should all be trying to reduce the amount we have to recycle. But if you need to recycle something and are not sure where to recycle it, check out  the GCBB Recycling 101 leaflet in our leaflets and flyers section , recycle now website and/ or get advice in the Greener & Cleaner Bromley (&  Beyond) Facebook group.

Bromley Council offer extensive door to door recycling services.  Read the guide to find out what can and cannot be recycled.

Bromley Council have Household Reuse and Recycling Centres at Waldo Road, Bromley and Churchfields Road, Beckenham where a very wide range of items can be recycled.  Information about what can be recycled at Waldo Road, Bromley

Bromley Council also have several Public Recycling Sites which host containers for various materials.  The containers are usually sited in car parks or on street. List of locations and what materials they accept.

The best way to manage garden waste is by a process of avoidance, reduction and recycling at home by composting.  The A to Z of Waste Reduction gives examples of what can be considered.

If you are unable to reuse all your green garden waste at home, there are some alternatives.

Excess garden waste can be taken and deposited in the appropriate container or point at the Household Reuse and Recycling Centres at Waldo Road, Bromley and Churchfields Road Beckenham. This is free of charge for householders who are resident in the Borough.

If you do not have transport, the Council also operate a Green Garden Waste Wheeled Bin Collection Service. The Council supply a 240-litre wheeled bin which is emptied every 2 weeks for the 9 months during March to November and once per month for the rest of the year.  If you do not have enough garden waste from your own garden, you can share a wheeled bin with a neighbour.  For further details about the collection service and to sign up visit the Councils web site:

There are many small  items that the Council do not accept for recycling. This is mainly for practical, economic or environmental reasons.  However, there are a number of shops and organisations that accept a wide range of items for reuse or recycling.

It is apparent that in many cases the packaging or products are only recycled through open loop recycling means.  There is a danger that the carbon burden associated with the collection, delivery and processing of some open loop recycling can exceed even disposal options.  The main objective must be to avoid and reduce the use of such packaging or products.  The A to Z of Waste Reduction includes more detailed information.

An organisation that attempts to accept over 100 different items of products or packaging is TerraCycle which can be found here: