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Recycling in Hexham

Recycling in and around Hexham, updated January 2022

 I am often being asked in the shop for advice on where and how to recycle in Hexham. I am no expert but have been doing some research and have liaised with NCC.  I have gathered together as much information as I could locally and hope it helps clarify what is available.    There may well be errors and omissions, I can almost guarantee there will be but what I have documented is well intentioned.  Please let me know about any errors/omissions and I will update the information.

At home

Cardboard, newspapers and magazines can all be recycled.  Large pieces of cardboard should be ripped up to avoid them getting stuck in the bin on collection day.  Takeaway pizza boxes:  tear off the clean lid and put into recycling.  The greasy base should either be put into the bin or torn up and placed in a compost bin.  Birthday/Christmas wrapping paper is ok to recycle if it passes the ‘scrunch’ test.  When scrunched in your hand it should remain a ball.  If it springs back it isn’t just paper.  Any paper with glitter, sequins etc contaminate the paper recycling process and should go in your general waste.  Shredded paper should go into either your compost heap or general waste. NCC recommend only shredding the confidential part of letters, disposing of that element of the letter in the compost heap/ general bin and putting the non-confidential part of the letter in recycling.  Egg boxes, toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes can all be recycled.  Shop receipts should NOT be put in recycling.  Window envelopes can go in recycling – even better if you take the window out first.  Metal caps from beer bottles should go in general rubbish (they will be melted at the EfW plant and the metal can be extracted for recycling).  Plastic lids from tetra Pak cartons should go in general waste.  Orphan plastic lids – not attached to a bottle should go in the bin.

Food and drink cans should be rinsed out and recycled, drip dried preferably as dry cans take less energy than wet ones to melt down.

Aerosols (empty) can be recycled (aerosols with some contents still remaining should go in general waste). The plastic lid from aerosols should be removed and put in general waste. 

All plastic bottles can be recycled.  Lids/trigger sprays CAN now be left on plastic bottles. It helps if bottles are rinsed and squashed before the lid is re-attached

Metal lids from jam jars, cooking sauces etc can go in your recycling bin.

Foil wrap and trays should go in general waste, unwashed.  The energy recovery process creates a bottom ash from which the aluminium and steel can be extracted for re-use.

Use a compost heap if you can for uncooked veg peelings, fruit peelings, tea leaves (remove from bag if using tea bags – better to use loose leaf), coffee grounds, shredded paper and hair from hairbrushes.  Remove any stickers from fruit before putting in the compost and bin the sticker.  Real cork from wine bottles can be composted, repurposed for crafts (who hasn’t planned to make a cork notice board?!) or taken to Matthias Winter.  Cut in half carefully – if it crumbles it is real cork and can be crumbled and composted.  If it is plastic it needs to go in the bin, or, they can all be upcycled and made into coasters/trivets/message boards.  NCC sell compost bins and wormeries.  T: 0844 571 4444.  NCC are currently investigating hot composting bins which may be available to purchase via NCC in the not too distant future.

Bokashi bins allow you to turn ALL kitchen waste into nutrient rich compost.  Meat, fish, dairy products and cooked foods are added to the bin with bokashi bran which acts as a compost activator, pathogen suppressor and eliminates bad smells.  Cooked and uncooked foods are fermented in a small kitchen composter which is then transferred to a traditional compost bin and wont attract vermin in its partially composted state.  I haven’t tried one of these bins but intend to do soon.  Prices vary but seem to vary between £30 and £100.  Often sold in pairs.

Garden waste bins can be hired via Northumberland CC for hedge clippings, grass, weeds, leaves and small branches.  Approx £45 per year.

Almost a daft suggestion but if you visit friends/family in other parts of the country with better recycling facilities, save items if you have the ability to store them and take with you when visiting. 

Reduce waste by mending/darning at home if possible.  Support your local cobbler and businesses offering clothing alterations.  Sew N Sew on Hallstile Bank will adjust/alter clothing.  Derek’s Shoe bar on St Mary’s Chare will do the same for shoes.  Ralph & Mimi in the Market Place offer sewing lessons from beginners to advanced.  Making and mending/altering clothes helps to keep them in use and out of the waste bin.  Wabi Sabi studio also offer sewing and mending classes on Priestpopple in Hexham. Their stitch kitchen invites you to learn how to revamp, revive and repair your wardrobe.

Non-recyclable waste in Northumberland is taken to an ‘Energy from Waste’ plant at Stockton where it is used to general electricity for supply to the National Grid.  NCC’s waste generates enough electricity to power a town the size of Morpeth for a year.

I know a lot of people complain about the poor levels of recycling in Northumberland.  What I have learned from my contact with NCC is that people are generally poor at sorting their waste and this is what we need to improve.  I noticed when I went to the tip in Hexham to find out all the recycling options that every skip/bin I looked in had incorrect items in it.  I am sure people go with the best of intentions but putting something in a skip ‘hoping for the best’ isn’t the solution.  I have found this with the waste collection we do in the shop.  We get a lot of general plastic waste which I am sure people are giving us with the best intentions but we cannot send that for recycling and I have to throw it away.   If you are not 100% sure you can recycle something don’t just put it in recycling and hope for the best.  It could contaminate a whole load – it’s better to put it in the general waste.  (Update re soft plastic: The Coop are now accepting any soft plastic.  If it scrunches up then springs back it is soft plastic eg sweet bags, punnet wrappings, bread bags pretty much any pre packaged fruit/veg wracpping.  Waitrose and Tesco offer similar recycling options for soft plastic).

The information given here has been collected locally or from the NCC document:

‘What are the target materials for Northumberland recycling bins?’ which you can find yourself with a Google search.


Hexham Town Centre


Around Hexham

Single use paper cups.

Costa will take any plastic lined paper cups (not lids) for recycling.  They are sent for processing to Cumbria and turned into writing paper.

Costa Coffee, Fore Street.


Furniture Housewares

Bikes – Adult and child


Items collected for free.  Delivery for purchases £5-£15

Core Furniture, Haugh Lane, Hexham, NE46 3LF (support adults with learning difficulties).


Tynedale Hospice at home

Bridge End Indust Estate

Hexham Town Centre


Around Hexham

Flat crisp packets, biscuit wrappers,

Used stamps (Collected for Kirkwood Hospice)

Used uncoloured candle wax (used by Hexham Abbey to make new candles)

Used inkjet printer cartridges

Used wine corks


Refills:  Have bottles of cleaning products, shampoo, conditioner body wash, hand wash and solid deodorant refilled.


Matthias Winter, 15 Hallstile Bank.






BHF will collect:

Sofas, suites, armchairs, tables, chairs, desks, cabinets, beds and bedroom furniture, TVs, hi fi, washing machines, small electricals.

BHF Carlisle will collect unwanted furniture from Hexham.

 T:  01228 371 558



Try selling larger objects online; Tynedale selling page, Ebay, gumtree, Facebook marketplace or give away on freecycle.org, ilovefreegle.org, swapz.co.uk, local selling pages.









Cardboard boxes

Fourstones Paper Mill

White plastic sleeves used to cover beer bottles when purchased singly can be returned for re-use





Deli @ No 4 on Beaumont Street



New and unused personal care, beauty and hygiene products.

Beauty Spot on St Mary’s Chare.  Collecting for The Hygiene Bank, helping to tackle hygiene poverty in the UK.


The skincare brand used in the salon offer a recycling scheme for all of their cosmetic bottles.



Soft Plastic ANY

Crisps, biscuits, bread bags, etc.


Plastic bags and film at Tesco: outside the store.

This includes plastic such as that surrounding bean tins/soup.


Recycle in the store:

Water filters, inkjet cartridges, batteries, energy saving light bulbs



Similar scheme at Waitrose (outside the store).

Waitrose also give away coffee grounds for your garden.(Metal bin outside the shop)






Used towels

RSPCA shop, Battle Hill. 


Get used for bedding for animals.


Clothing, household, bric a brac

Charity shops:

Tynedale Hospice, RSPCA, Save the Children, Cancer Research, Scope, Oxfam, Relate, Far Place, Life Span.


Hexham Town Centre


Around Hexham

Used/unwanted bras.


Bras get sent to Africa and are given to needy ladies to sell at markets and generate income.

Petals, Market Street




Clothing:  Shopping at M&S.  Donate at least one item of M&S labelled clothing or soft furnishings to Oxfam and you’ll receive a voucher for £5 off when you spend £35 in participating M&S stores.

M&S take back used M&S coat hangers.







Plastic pens

Penfax, Market Street


Saleable clothes and paired shoes in aid of Salvation Army

Coop – West End

Marks & Spencer car park (cross the roundabout)






Egg boxes

Return their own boxes to Shields market stall in the Market Place and they will re-use them.


Textiles for recycling: All clothing, sheets, blankets, curtains, handbags and belts. (NOT:  duvets & pillows, carpets, rugs, bric a brac) Shoes:   (paired)


Hexham  tip, Wentworth car park







Fruit punnets

Return fruit punnets bought from the fruit & veg stall in the Market Place.


Tetra Pak (paper based liquid food and drink cartons)







Hexham tip only (no longer a drop off at Wentworth car park

Hexham Town Centre


Around Hexham

Used/unwanted glasses. FRAMES ONLY, NO CASES.

Specsavers work with Vision Aid Overseas.  Glasses are recycled to raise money to transform access to eye care in developing countries and tackle poverty.

Specsavers, Fore Street



Glass bottles and jars

Wentworth car park, Hexham tip.



NCC is running a pilot scheme for kerbside glass recycling awaiting long term outcome and whether it will be extended across the county.







Damaged books, unsaleable clothing, towels, sheets, curtains, shoes and belts which can be sold for rags (please keep separate from saleable items)


Cancer Research shop (and probably other charity shops will do the same)


Books & media:

Readable books, playable cds, playable dvds, playable computer games

Hexham tip

Wentworth car park

Terracycle schemes in the wider Hexham area






Writing instruments: any brand of pen, market, highlighter, correction fluid

Corbridge Middle School (Can also be dropped at Penfax who pass them on to Corbridge)


Bread bags:  Any brand

Ovingham First School






Disposable contact lenses and blister packs (You don’t have to have bought them from C&G)


Unused spectacles (sent to Vision Aid Overseas)


Sell refills for lens cleaning bottles.

Croft & Graves Optometrist, Corbridge – Public drop off point.


Use recyclable paper bags.


All oral care products:  toothbrushes, electric brush heads, toothpaste.


Garnier scheme:  Flexible plastic wipes (used for personal care and beauty products)


Plastic pots and flexible plastic tubes (used for personal care and beauty products)


Hair colourant kits

Plastic roll on deodorants



Allendale Primary School









Used bedding/towels

Newcastle dog and cat shelter, Benton









Bike recycling.  Deliver your bike to Newcastle or they will collect:

T:  0771 170 5125

Email:  ngbarnes@icloud.com

Recyke your bike, Newcastle






Nuts, popcorn, crisps, pretzels.

Ovingham First School


Empty        plastic Body Shop tubs, tubes and pots.

Body Shop:  Metrocentre/ Newcastle


Allendale, Slaley and Humshaugh all have recycling schemes available in their areas.  Contact the village shops for more details if you live nearer to those places than Hexham.


If ever you need boxes for packing, storage etc. ask around the independent shops.  We are always receiving deliveries packaged in cardboard boxes.  There are only so many we can use and the remainder end up at Fourstones paper mill.  If you can use/re-use packing boxes and keep them out of recycling, that’s even better.


Hexham tip  (waste recovery centre)

Opening times:       Nov-March:  8am to 6pm          April – Oct:  8am to 7.30pm


There is a small charge for rubble, soil, plasterboard and ceramic fittings.

Wood (no MDF or branches)

Green waste (grass, turf and soil, small branches, tree trunks – no bags)

Rubble:  Bricks, concrete, tiles/ceramics (no bags, soil, plasterboard or wood)

Plasterboard only (NO bags or wood)

Mixed textiles and shoes: (All clothing, all household textiles; sheets, blankets, towels, curtains, handbags and belts.  NOT duvets, pillows, carpets, rugs, bric-a-brac)

Books & Media:  Readable books, playable CDs, playable DVDs, playable computer (No magazines, damaged or wet items, tapes/videos, vinyl records

Tetra – pak:  Paper based liquid food and drink cartons – take off plastic lids


TVs and Monitors

Used engine oil


Rigid plastics: plastic toys, plastic furniture, plastic crates.  (NO uPVC, mental, plastic bags, electrical items)

Mixed recycling:  newspapers, magazines, food and drink cans, plastic bottles (no cardboard).

Food and drink cans, paper, plastic bottles (as home recycling)

Glass bottles and jars only

Scrap metal

Small electricals

Fridges and freezers

Car batteries

Household batteries

Fluorescent tubes

Mobile phones

Light bulbs

Printer cartridges

Other schemes to consider:

Too Good to Go app.  Take away food retailers send out alerts when they have reduced food prices towards the end of the day.

Olioex.com:  Share more, waste less:  “Helping neighbours share food and other things, rather than chuck them away.  It’s fast, free and friendly”.

Look out for another Swish event at Trinity Methodist Church on Beaumont Street around Easter time.  No entry fee.  Take along unwanted clothes and swap them for something else.

Repair days – organised by Higher Ground in Allendale to repair small electricals and textiles.

Open a current account with an ethical bank such as Triodos Bank.  An ethical bank which only invests in ethical projects.  £3/month fee.

Anyone feeling brave?  Set up a social enterprise:  Food cooperative, Set up a community electrical equipment sharing scheme for DIY/garden use. 

Not recycling but encouraging people to take pride in their community we have litter pickers and gloves available to borrow from Matthias Winter.

Produced by:       Alison Smith, Matthias Winter (Eco Home shop)  15 Hallstile Bank, Hexham           27.01.22