Local Recycling Directory – Colchester Essex

After you have reduced, reused and repaired any items you buy the next option is to recycle what you have left. The first thing to do is to check out what recycling facilities are available through your Local Authority.

The next step is to see if any items not recycled through your local authority can be recycled somewhere else.
Check out Recycle Now for a comprehensive A to Z directory of how to dispose of items and the Love Essex recycling search facility. .

In Colchester and North East Essex the following local collection points can help you recycle even more. In some cases it will also help the local groups raise money.
– Please make sure your items are clean and dry
– Please don’t make a special journey to deliver by car

See something missing let us know at info@en-form.org.uk.


The large supermarkets collect a range of soft plastics and other items for recycling. Check what your local supermarket collects:

Battery Recycling

Batteries don’t take up much space in landfill but are made up from hazardous materials and are a pollutant. Please recycle them through the numerous shop and supermarket recycling boxes. Basically if a shop sells batteries it normally has a recycling box.

*Biscuit Wrappers

  • All Brands of non savoury biscuit wrapper
  • All Brands of cracker wrapper
  • All Brands of cake wrapper
  • Rice cake packs

Collected by: 
enform – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS
Rowhedge Recyclers -The Crow’s Nest, Regents Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HG
Tendring Primary School

Biscuit wrapper recycling info page: terracycle.co.uk

Bra Recycling

Collected by:
Essex Wildlife Trust at the Visitor Centres

*Bread Bag & Bakery Recycling

Thumbnail for The Warburtons Bakery Recycling Programme

Acceptable Items
  • Any brand of bread loaf bag
  • Baguette packaging
  • Bread roll packaging
  • Bagel, pretzel and crumpet packaging
  • Wraps, pitta breads, naans and garlic bread packaging
  • Croissants, brioche and pastry packaging
  • Teacakes, fruit loaves and scones packaging
  • Doughnuts, cookies and muffin packaging
  • Cake, cake bars and slices packaging
  • Pancake and waffle packaging
Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS 
Rowhedge Recyclers -The Crow’s Nest, Regents Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HG
Stanway Fiveways Primary School
Tendring Primary School 


*Bread Bags (Plastic) – can be recycled at some supermarkets carrier bag recycling banks and also:

Cameras and Optics Recycling

Camera equipment (old film, digital and video) and optics, including binoculars.

Collected by:
enform – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS
Essex Wildlife Trust

CD’s, DVD,s, Books and Games

Of course you can give these unwanted items away on giveaway sites such as Freegle or charity shops.

*Cheese Wrapper Packaging

  • Any brand of flexible plastic cheese pouches
  • Any brand of individual plastic cheese wrappers
  • Any brand of sliced cheese protective plastic film
  • Any brand of plastic nets for mini cheeses
  • Labels from Cathedral City Minis packs of 6
  • Babybel labels
  • Babybel net bags
  • Babybel metal clasps
  • Babybel individual wrappers
  • Babybel wax

The following items are not acceptable:

  • Plastic cheese tubs and trays (these can be recycled through local council facilities)
  • Cheese wax and wax paper (except Babybel)
  • Squeezy cheese tubes
  • Labels from other Cathedral City nets products or from other brands of mini cheeses

Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS

*Chocolate  Packaging

Ferrero Rocher brand only:
✅ Chocolate bar aluminium wrappers
✅ Aluminium wrappers
✅ Gold Plastic tray
✅ Transparent plastic box
✅ Ice cream plastic packaging

Kinder Brand only
✅ Aluminium foil packaging
✅ Chocolate wrappers
✅ Flexible plastic packaging
✅ Rigid plastic packaging (the eggs)
✅ Nutella biscuits flexible plastic pouch

Collected by:  
enform – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS 

Rowhedge Recyclers -The Crow’s Nest, Regents Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HG
Tendring Primary School

*Cleaning Packaging Recycling

Any brand of:
  • Fragrance twin pack plastic sleeves
  • Flexible stain remover powder packaging
  • Flexible cleaing product refill packaging
  • Flexible home cleaning wipe packaging
  • Flexible dishwashing tablet packaging
  • Outer Plastic sleeves
  • Dishwasher cleaner outer packaging
  • Foil inside dishwasher packaging
  • Flexible plastic dishwashing salt bags


Any brand of:

  • Plastic air freshener containers
  • Plastic air freshener caps
  • Plastic car air fresheners (except electric plug ins)
  • Flexible wipe packaging used for cleaning only
  • Flexible laundry washing capsules and pods packaging
  • Tinted fabric conditioner bottles and caps
  • Tinted rigid plastic tubs used for home cleaning
The following items are not acceptable
(Most items an be recycled through kerbside collection schemes)
  • Laundry detergent packaging
  • Toilet freshener packaging
  • Aerosols (recycle with kerbside can collection in many areas)
  • Plastic bottles and tubs (recycle with plastic collection in many areas)
  • Dishwasher liquid bottles, rinse aid packaging
  • Fragrance candles, reeds, plug ins and auto sprays
  • Soda Crystals packaging
  • Washing machine and oven cleaner packaging
  • Cardboard packaging (recycle with kerbside paper collection in many areas)j
  • Flexible wipe packaging not used for home cleaning (such as baby and beauty wipes packaging)
Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS 
Rowhedge Recyclers -The Crow’s Nest, Regents Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HG
Tendring Primary School

Coffee Packaging Recycling

  • All brands of coffee bean pouches
  • All brands of flexible coffee packaging
  • All brands of ground coffee pouches

Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS

*Coffee Pods Recycling

*Lavazzo Eco Caps –  This scheme is operated by Terracycle and
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS.  is a collection point

For information on other brand recycling schemes, check out:
Nescafe Dolce Gusto 
Tassimo & L’Or

*Contact Lens Recycling 

*Contact Lenses and packaging:
Collected by:
Boots Opticians

*Cosmetic Packaging Recycling

Accepted Items: All Brands of

  • Flexible plastic and metallic plastic tubes used for body creams, ointments or moisturisers
  • Flexible plastic packaging used for facial cleaning wipes
  • Eye shadow compacts
  • Lip and cheek, highlighter and bronzer sticks
  • Mascara tubes and wands
  • Lipsticks, lip glosses and lip balms

The following items are not acceptable:

  • Glass
  • Rigid plastic bottles, pots and tubs used for personal care unless not accepted by local council facilities
  • Flexible plastic tubes not used for personal care and as for moisturisers or body creams (such as hair care, shower gels, food and glue tubes)
  • Flexible plastic wipes packaging not used for personal care ( e.g. baby wipes and cleaning wipes)
  • Deodorant, body spray or perfume
  • Cardboard packaging (recycling through council recyc;ling)

Collected by:
enform – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS 
Tendring Primary School

Also check out:
Body Shop recycles any Body shop empty plastic bottles, tubs, tubes and pots.
Tescos Highwoods and The Hythe, Sainsburys Tollgate and Superdrug Colchester High Street through Maybelline Recycling Boxes

*Crisp and Snack Packet Recycling

*Snack Packets (Crisps, nuts, popcorn and pretzels)

  • Any brand of Crisp packet
  • Any brand of Crisp or snack packet multipack wrapper
  • Any brand of nut packet
  • Any brand of pretzel packet
  • Any brand of popcorn packet
The following snack packs are also acceptable:
  • Quavers
  • Doritos
  • Hula Hoops
  • McCoy big crisps
  • Cheese Puffs
  • Onion rings
  • Monster munch type snacks
  • Pork Scratchings
The following items are not acceptable
  • Meat snack packets
  • Dried fruit packets

Collected by:
enform – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS 
Rowhedge Recyclers -The Crow’s Nest, Regents Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HG
Stanway Fiveways Primary School
Tendring Primary School

Currency and Stamps 

  • any coins or banknotes, UK & foreign, even if it’s out of circulation currency
  • Stamps: loose, single, albums, first day covers, presentation packs, collections, postcard collections

Essex Wildlife Trust They can be donated at visitor centres.   

*Disposable Gloves

Thumbnail for The Spontex®  Disposable Gloves Recycling Scheme

The following items are not acceptable
  • Non-disposable gloves
  • Disposable gloves that have not been used in a domestic environment
  • Disposable gloves that have been used with harsh chemicals or unhygienic substances
  • Any cardboard glove packaging (this can be recycled through your local council)
Collected by:

Gadgets and Phones (see also Mobile Phone Recycling)

Gadgets including mobile phones, tablets, iPods, games consoles, games and accessories, MP3 Players and satnavs.

*Hand Wash Packaging

  • Baylis & Harding caps
  • Baylis & Harding pumps
  • Baylis & Harding flexible plastic lotion tubes and their caps
  • Baylis & Harding Goodness handwash refill pouch

Waste that is NOT accepted:

  • Other brands of hand wash pumps or refill pouches
  • Plastic hand wash bottles (these can be recycled through local council facilities)
  • Plastic hand gel bottles and caps (these can be recycled through local council facilities)
  • Hand cream bottles and pumps
  • Handwash, bath soak, shower gel, hand and body lotion plastic bottles as these can be recycled through your local council facilities
  • All other Baylis & Harding products including perfumes, candles, gift sets packaging and glass pots

Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS

Inhaler Recycling


Jewellery & Watches

Old or broken jewellery and watches in any material (including costume jewellery).

Light Bulb Recycling

Energy Efficient light bulbs only.

Collected by:
Robert Dyas, Colchester High Street

Mobile Phone Recycling

Unwanted mobile phones can be sold or recycled. Mobile phones have quite a lot of expensive raw materials that are pollutants so please don’t dump them even if they are not worth anything.
Collected by:

Printer Cartridges (Inkjets) Recycling

Inkjet cartridges only from HP, Canon and Epson

Please note Laser Toner cartridges should be returned to your manufacturer if the facility is available. Check manfactuers website.

Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS  
Stanway Fiveways Primary School

Razor Blades

Cab be recycled through Gillette by Freepost envelope.
Details at https://www.gillette.co.uk/recycle.list

Spectacle Recycling (see also  “Contact Lens” Recycling)

Many opticians collect unwanted spectacles which are then recycled.

Collected by :
Boots Opticians
Bethell and Clark (for Vision Aid)
Specsavers  (for Vision Aid)  
Owen Aves

School Uniforms

Unwanted outgrown school uniforms

Collected by:
Essex Uniform Project

Tetra-pak Food  and Drink Cartons and Coffee Cups

In Colchester and the local area these can ONLY be recycled at large supermarkets using the special Tetra- pak recycling banks. Check for your local bank here

In Colchester that means the recycling bank areas at Asda, Sainsburys Tollgate and Tescos at Highwoods, The Hythe and Tiptree.

*Toothbrushes and Oral Cleaning Recycling

  • Any brand of toothbrush
  • Any brand of electric and battery toothbrush heads
  • Any brand of dental floss containers
  • Flossing sticks and interdental brushes
  • Electric flosser nozzles
Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS 
Rowhedge Recyclers -The Crow’s Nest, Regents Street, Rowhedge, CO5 7HG
Tendring Primary School  
Stanway Fiveways Primary School

More info on recycling toothbrushes etc here: terracycle.co.uk


LOL Surprise brand only (producrs, packaging and accessories)
Collected by:
en-form – 15 Church Walk Colchester CO1 1NS
Tendring Primary School

  • BROKEN OR DAMAGED toys & games from all brands, in plastic, metal, wood, cardboard or paper.

Water Filter Recycling

Thumbnail for The Aqua Optima® Water Filter Recycling Programme

*The Following Brand and items only:
  • Aqua Optima Universal Water Filters
  • Aqua Optima Evolve 30 and 60 Day Water Filters
  • Aqua OptimaOriginal 30 and 60 Day Water Filters

Brita Filters only:

Collected by:
Many organisations check here, select others then Water Filters
Robert Dyas, Colchester High Street
Sainsburys Priory Walk, Colchester

Wool Recycling

For local Community Projects

*Writing Instrument Recycling

The following items are collected:
  • Any brand of pen, felt tip, mechanical pencil and eraser pen
  • Any brand of highlighter
  • Any brand of correction fluid pot and correction tape
  • Any brand of marker
The following items are not accepted
  • wooden pencils and chalk
  • glue sticks
  • erasers, rulers or other cutting objects that could disturb the recycling process

More info on this type of recycling here: Terracycle.co.uk

Collected by:
Brinkley Grove Primary School
Elmstead Primary School
Stanway Fiveways Primary School
St Lawrence’s School, Rowhedge. Collected in a yellow bin is in the open lobby, before the locked doors into the school
*the above items are part of the terracycle Scheme:  terracycle.co.uk

9 thoughts on “Local Recycling Directory – Colchester Essex

  1. charmienne bond

    where and how are pet food pouches recycled? (not sent to Malaysia/elsewhere?)
    what charities do you support?
    can my local school be in receipt of ‘collection points’ if I am the central collector for the village?

  2. LIz Thurlwell

    Please would you add Prettygate Junior School Recycle Scheme to your list. We are collecting…Baby food pouches, biscuit wrappers, Bread Bags, Chocolate bars and Sweets, Cleaning Packaging, Crisps and Snacks, Pet food pouches, Toothbrushes, Writing Instruments. Oh and ink cartridges with InkBin. We have a 24hr public access bin on Plume Avenue by the main entrance.

  3. Hayley-Rose Stirling

    Wow I wish I had come across this information sooner. The fact that many things that seem to be non-recyclable via the council can be collected by you rather than going to landfill needs to become common place knowledge.
    Thank you for offering this service and I hope the word spreads.

  4. Jacqueline

    Hi guys,
    We spoke on Sunday in Castle Park about the recycle items you collect for Colchester via Enform.
    I have looked at your website, but cannot see ‘rubber gloves’ which I am certain one of you said you collected?
    Please could you let me know because I intend to do a display at work, perhaps a washing line of the items you take and if it’s permitted, some collection bags alongside our recycling points and want to get it right.

  5. Paul Arrowsmith

    My school council are big on recycling at the moment. We have an Ink Cartridge box and a battery recycling box.

    Would you be willing to come into school to:
    a) give an assembly on importance for recycling or
    b) give a talk to my school council about different opportunities to recycle.
    c) both!

  6. Laurel Spooner

    I am impressed by the variety of items you are able to recycle. I am wondering why the Council isn’t collecting them itself. Could I chat to you?
    Tel 07785537767
    Better still come and meet you at the shop.
    Where do you send what you collect? How is it managed downstream?
    I write a column in the Gazette as their” green campaigner” so material which it is useful to pass on to the wider public would be appreciated.

  7. Graham Hinton

    Hi there

    Just a thought….do you know what happens to all the thousands and thousands of plastic AD Blue containers that you need to use when driving an AD blue vehicle?

    I asked at many petrol stations and they said just throw it in the waste bin 🤷


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