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Time to repurpose your old black recycling boxes

Time to repurpose your old black recycling boxes

10 August 2021
A hedgehog enjoying a drink outside its new home

Hedgehog home, vegetable planters and wood store are just some of the ideas Wokingham Borough Council has been sent by its residents as they find new uses for their old black recycling boxes.


The rollout of the borough’s waterproof recycling bags is now complete and we’re encouraging as many residents as possible to find a new use for their old black boxes.

Residents are already using them for a number of practical uses at home and in the garden which include:

  • Storage for items in the shed/garage/loft
  • As a planter in the garden for growing vegetables
  • Growing flowers in it
  • Storing glass to take to the bottle bank
  • Donating to a neighbour who needs it

Find a use at home

Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment, said: “Many of our residents have already taken it upon themselves to find a good way to reuse their black boxes at home. 

I was delighted to see some hedgehogs in Twyford have already found a happy home inside a reused black box, specially fitted out for their needs! They can also sit comfortably in the shed or garage as storage for tools or other items.”


A collection of unwanted black boxes will take place later in the year. Residents will be notified of when this is happening and what they need to do if they can’t find a use for their old boxes. Boxes should not be left out for to be removed if you are not using them.

Get more recycling bags

Any residents needing additional waterproof recycling bags can collect them from our community hubs, including the Council’s Shute End office or libraries in Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Earley as well as  Earley town council offices. Details for each location and its opening times can be found on the council’s recycling bag webpages. 


Initially extra bags are being limited to two additional bags per household but soon residents will be able to get more bags. Announcements will be made in due course.

Hedgehog homes (added 10 August)

Anyone using their boxes for a hedgehog house should ensure it has appropriate space, ventilation and insulation. A guide on how to do this can be found on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website, the RSPB website and the Wildlife Trusts website.

Send in your photos

Any residents wanting to showcase how they’ve repurposed their black boxes and give ideas to others can email their photos to CEM@wokingham.gov.uk

More from Wokingham Borough Council 


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