Luton Borough Council

Reduce, reuse and recycle


Service updates during the coronavirus crisis

Following government advice, we’ve had to make changes to many of our services. Please see the information on coronavirus page, which is regularly updated as new information and advice is released.

Specific service updates can be found on this page.

Updates to bin collections

On this page ...

There are simple things we can all do to cut down on our waste, like buying only the food we need, reducing our plastic usage, saying no to junk mail, and reusing household items and furniture.

Bulky item collections

The following are some examples of bulky waste:

  • bikes, pushchairs and prams
  • children's toys and equipment. For example, play house, cot, highchair
  • domestic waste – excess black bag waste. Three black sacks are equal to one individual item
  • exercise equipment (excluding running machines)
  • fridge / freezer – please note we are only able to accept domestic appliances
  • home furnishings garden furniture and small outdoor toys

 Bulky item collection form

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Rather than filling your brown bin use your green waste use your green waste to make your garden beautiful. Get composting now with our new campaign and low-cost compost bins.

You can start home composting today and it doesn't have to cost you loads of money.

We've teamed up Get Composting again to bring you a great deal on compost bins. This year a 220 litre bin will cost you just £5 and a 330 litre bin will cost £7, which is a massive saving.

Call 0844 571 4444 or order a compost bin online.

At least 30% of your household bin could be composted!

A lot of people think that garden waste is the only thing that you can put into your compost bin. But there are actually loads more everyday waste items from your home and garden that you can add to enrich your compost.

How to compost at Home?

You can compost almost anything that is biodegradable. For more information on how to compost at home check the how to compost guide or visit Royal Horticultural Society.

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Donating furniture, clothes and textiles

Pass it on! Give your unwanted items a new home. 

There is always somebody out there who could benefit from your unwanted clothes and other textiles. Instead of just throwing them away, you could donate your items to local charities or groups. Some will even collect for free.

Below is a list of local charity shops operating in Luton, together with locations and contact telephone numbers. If you are a charity and wish to be added to this list, please contact us on 01582 510333.

For more information about donating to charity visit Recycle Now

Keech Hospice Care Shops

Keech is a local charity with many shops in and around Luton. Find your nearest Keech charity shop

Noah Enterprises 

Noah offers hope and support to those suffering from homelessness and exclusion. Find out more about Noah Enterprises.

Ummah Welfare Trust

The trust is inspired by the Islamic teachings of empathy, generosity and selflessness. Find out more about the Ummah Welfare Trust.

Salvation Army

Unit 1
26 Cheapside Mall
Arndale Centre
George St
T: 01582 400518

The Salvation Army (Furniture Store)

29 Wellington Street
T: 01582 457638

Age UK

9 Market Square
T: 01582 452999

257 Birdsfoot Lane
T: 01582 572030

The Children's Society (Retail)

186 Marsh Rd
T: 01582 493603


23 Manchester St
T: 01582 415798

British Heart Foundation

70 George St
Luton LU1 2BD T: 01582 482812

British Red Cross

12 – 14 Park Street
T: 01582 455411

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Junk mail

Junk mail is considered to be anything that comes through your letter box that you didn't ask for such as:

  • envelopes
  • letters
  • catalogues

Although, junk mail can be recycled it does cause an impact both economically and environmentally. There are a number of ways for you to take action and stop getting junk mail. You can:

  • put yourself on a list to stop getting unwanted post through your letterbox by registering with Mailing Preference Service MPS.
  • put a letterbox sticker or make a sign on your door saying 'no junk mail'
  • register with the 'your choice scheme' will help reduce the amount of marketing junk mail
  • contact the sender directly
  • when filling in any forms tick (or untick) boxes that you give permission for third parties to contact you

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Food waste collection trial

Over a third of the town’s general rubbish is wasted food and to try to reduce this we’ll be trialling a food waste collection in two areas in the town.

The six month trial will start on 26 February 2019 and will take place in Saints and Barnfield wards.

For more information please click on the button below.

Food waste collection trial


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Love food, hate waste

Did you know in the UK £10.2 billion or seven million tonnes of food is thrown out by householders every year? £1 billion of this food is still ‘in date’ and perfectly edible.

Each household throws out an average of £480 worth of food a year. This rises to £680 for a family with children, equivalent to £50 each month or £15,000 to 24,000 over a lifetime. The figures soon add up, and that is a lot of money to be ‘throwing away’!

So, how much are we talking about?

  • over 5 million whole potatoes
  • over 4 million whole apples
  • over 1 million whole and untouched sausages
  • 1 million slices of ham
  • 1 million loaves of bread
  • over 1 million yoghurts and yoghurt drinks
  • 520,000 unused teabags
  • 440,000 home-made and ready-made meals

In Luton more than 30 per cent of the rubbish in our black bins is these types of food waste. Often, throwing away this waste can be avoided, for example egg shells, potato peelings and tea bags can be home composted rather than thrown away. 

Tasty ideas and recipes to help reduce your food bills

We are producing a number of great recipes for you to download using leftovers to make simple, tasty meals. Please come back and visit this page throughout the year as we will be adding more super meal ideas for you and your family to try.

Find recipes, hints and tips on reducing food waste

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Real Nappies

Financial help to buy real nappies – not to be poo pooed at!

If you are an expectant or new parent you can apply for a ‘cash back’ sum of £40 against the purchase of real nappies, and covers from any company, or subscribe to a nappy laundering service subject to proof of purchase, ie till receipts.

The minimum spend on real nappies before qualification for the ‘cash back’ is £50.


For more information on the cash back scheme please contact our waste minimisation officer on 01582 546942 or fill in the real nappies claim form, available below, and send it in to us

Real nappy facts:

  • 8 million disposables are thrown away to landfill every day in the UK
  • parents can save £500 per baby against the cost of disposables
  • real nappies come in funky styles, colours and in lovely natural fabrics

What you may not be aware of is that the world has moved on from the old terries, pins and soaking days. Easy-care, shaped ‘real’ nappies in natural or fleece fabrics, breathable wraps, poppers and Velcro are now the norm.

Real nappy cashback scheme form

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Recycling resources for schools

Schools Education Pack

Request our education pack and find a range of fun activities to complete in the classroom.

To receive an education pack please contact:

Waste and Resources Officer ( Education):
Steven Lawson
Email: [email protected] 

Key stage 1 and 2 materials

For quick exercises, we have fact and activity sheets covering ten topics from the basics of waste to waste electricals and electronic equipment.

Our waste education pack provides a comprehensive collection of information, teaching notes and activity sheets to cover multiple areas of the key stage 1 and 2 of national curriculum.  

Online resources

  • Recycle Now has resources to teach reducing food waste, composting and recycling to pupils including lesson plans in design and technology, science and music, presentations for assemblies, along with games and videos.
  • The Eco-Schools scheme helps schools follow a seven-step process to address a variety of environmental themes to achieve awards can be used to motivate students about recycling.
  • Keep Britain Tidy has resources on recycling including activities, information and teacher resources including suggested links to subjects.
  • The Friends of the Earth website has tips for making your school greener.

Secondary education

  • Recycle Now has a dedicated area for secondary schools with lessons plans, assemblies and school projects all linked to the national curriculum.

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Single use plastics

Single use plastics has a damaging effect on our environment, some plastics such as plastic bags can take a 1000 years to break down! It is important that unnecessary plastic production is reduced, increase reuse, and improve recycling.  


  • straws
  • soda and drink bottles
  • coffee stirrers
  • plastic bags
  • food packaging
  • cups
  • plastic cutlery


  • shop consciously
  • carry a reusable water bottle
  • bring your own cup
  • bring your own reusable shopping bag
  • use reusable container for lunch or leftovers
  • say no to disposable straws, plates, bowls, and cutlery
  • use metal cutlery
  • use paper straws
  • bamboo cutlery

Useful links:

Recycle Now - Find out about local recycling
Greenpeace - Ways of reducing plastic usage
YPTE - Young peoples trust for the environment

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© 2020 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ