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Visiting recycling centres

What to expect when you visit a household waste recycling centre, including charges.

Special notice

Information about the charges for non-household waste (DIY) at our recycling centres

RE: Government announcement on DIY Charging at Household Waste Recycling Centres

On 18 June 2023, the Government announced their intention to abolish charges on small amounts of DIY wastes brought to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s). Larger amounts may still be charged for.

We are awaiting further information and guidance of when this will commence, until then all DIY charges across all of Oxfordshire’s seven HWRC’s remain in place.

Please note the Government’s announcement did not abolish all charges but set a minimum level to be accepted for free, larger amounts will still be able to be charged for.

At present the Government have indicated that the amount of waste accepted for free will be as follows:

  • the quantity of waste per visit is no greater than two 50L rubble bags or 1 bulky or fitted item no larger than 2000mm x 750mm x700mm, such as a bathtub.
  • In addition, the waste is not produced on a regular basis requiring HWRC visits more frequently than four times per household over a four-week period.

Planning your visit and sorting recycling beforehand

60 per cent of items placed into the general and bulky item containers could have been recycled.

Before you visit one of our Household Waste Recycling Centres, please take a minute to sort your mixed rubbish and recycling. 

On arrival at the centre, if you have a bag of mixed rubbish which contains recycling, a member of the team at the centre will let you know where each of the items should be placed and request that you separate it to maximise recycling.

Tips for separating items include reusing different bags, containers, boxes, pots or tubs to keep your items separate, this could include:

  • Clothes and textiles e.g. old clothes, curtains, towels
  • Scrap metal e.g. screws, saucepans, broken cutlery
  • Small appliances e.g. iron, broken electric toothbrush or mobile phone

We have created a video for you to see what good looks like, and how using different containers to sort your items at home before you visit can help to maximise recycling, lowering carbon emissions and speed up your visit.

This campaign originates from a consultation which took place in 2021, where we asked you, our residents, for views on how we can increase recycling rates further. The feedback we received was overwhelming that we should encourage visitors to the sites to sort their mixed waste and recycling before they visit their local recycling centre to increase recycling, and only throw into the general waste container items that cannot be recycled.

For full details of all our household waste recycling centre policies please see our operating, access and waste acceptance policy (pdf format, 421Kb)

What are the benefits of recycling?

Sorting your recycling before you visit the centre (and at the kerbside) have many benefits, such as:

  • Increasing recycling rates
  • Reduces the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere
  • Keeps materials in circulation for longer
  • Knowing that you are making a difference

Other benefits when visiting a recycling centre include:

  • Having a quicker, more efficient visit
  • Reduced traffic queue times at the sites

Opening hours

Day Opening hours
Monday 8am - 5pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm (8am - 8pm April to September) 
Friday 8am - 5pm
Saturday 8am - 5pm
Sunday 8am - 5pm

Bank holidays - normal opening hours except for Christmas and New Year.  

Find your nearest recycling centre

Alternatives to visiting a recycling centre

Some districts provide containers for recycling such as those located in supermarket car parks or community centres: these often collect similar items to household waste recycling centres and are often more easily accessible on foot. Some shops also offer collection points for more specific items like printer cartridges, Brita filters and some lightbulbs.

To check out all the options we know about, use our waste wizard to search for an item and find information on where you can recycle it. If you know of other areas we have not got listed please let us know.

You can also tell us about a missing or inaccurate item.

Household and DIY waste

The waste recycling centres accept a wide range of household recyclables and waste free of charge e.g. garden waste, small and large electricals, textiles, cardboard etc. Non-household waste (DIY) is accepted for a small charge. All payments should be made by electronic means, all of our sites accept contactless payments and Apple/Samsung Pay etc. See the price list on our charging for non-household waste (DIY) page.

You can use the waste wizard search tool to find out what to do with an item you no longer need and what alternatives there are in regard to repair and reuse before bringing it to a recycling centre.

Trade and business waste

Businesses have a legal duty to dispose of their waste properly. See our page on commercial waste disposal for more information.

Pedestrian access

Pedestrian access is not permitted onto any of Oxfordshire’s HWRCs. This is because there are currently no segregated walkways to enable pedestrians to safely enter and exit the sites. This may be reviewed in future developments and site refurbishments should opportunities arise.  

Cyclists are able to use the site, and you can visit with a bike trailer too. You may be able to borrow a trailer from one of the library of things in Oxfordshire.

Vehicles on site

Commercial-type vehicles and trailers between 1.8 and 3 metres (or 6 - 10 feet) require a free permit to use the waste recycling centres.

Please note that only vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes laden can be allowed at the recycling centres. Box or Luton type vans larger than a long wheel based transit van are not allowed access to any site.

We also cannot accept trailers longer than 3m in length or trailers towed by commercial-type vehicles. Vans or trailers with tail lifts or ramps are not allowed to use these on site for health and safety reasons.

See the van and trailer permit scheme for more information on vehicle restrictions.

Please note that due to highway restrictions vehicles are not permitted to turn right into or out of Redbridge waste recycling centre

Wall and railing heights

The walls and railings at our waste recycling centres are the minimum height required under national health and safety regulations. If you cannot reach over the walls or railings to deposit your waste and recycling, please bring a member of your household
who will be able to assist you.

Body cameras

Body-worn cameras have been introduced to all Oxfordshire recycling centres. These form part of the site team's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and is for their safety as well as residents using the centres.

Why are you filming?

For public and site staff safety and to help investigate complaints and incidents which may happen on site.

Are you allowed to film?

Yes, legally anyone is allowed to film in a public area. There are signs advertising the use of body cameras and CCTV on each site. CCTV has been used at the recycling centres for over five years.

Will the cameras record constantly?

No, the cameras will never be recording constantly. They will only be switched on if the site staff think an interaction may escalate. This is to ensure the public are not unnecessarily impeded. Members of public will be told as soon as practical that they are being recorded and when the camera is recording, it is visible by a flashing red light.

Can I ask for the camera to be switched off?

No, the cameras are on site for the purpose of public and site staff safety.

Can I have a copy of the footage you have filmed?

If the public wish to view footage taken of them they can request it from Oxfordshire County Council, in writing, to obtain it under freedom of information, data protection laws. It must be within 31 days before the footage is deleted from the system.

Recycling rates

The best option for any item is for it to be repaired, reused or repurposed.

For items that no longer serve a purpose and are broken, it is important that the materials are recycled. This helps to avoid raw materials being taken from the natural environment to create new products.

To find the best possible option, you can use the Waste Wizard search tool to find different ideas for an item you no longer need. 

Percentage of waste recycled per year
Waste recycling centre






Alkerton 53.95 59.01 56.49 66.47 66.89
Ardley 57.14 60.98 58.23 67.35 69.35
Dix Pit 56.48 55.57 55.53 63.12 66.21
Drayton 61.43 63.58 59.75 66.42 71.17
Oakley Wood 68.66 69.28 65.78 71.84 76.01
Redbridge 52.48 60.75 60.09 66.38 67.18
Stanford in the Vale 60.24 63.37 60.50 67.45 70.80
Percentage total 57.96 61.73 59.66 66.94 69.66