Everything including the kitchen sink… exploring the weird and wonderful world of Oxfordshire recycling

The waste recycling team at Oxfordshire County Council is planning to form a band. They’re not particularly musical, but they’ve been inspired by the range of musical instruments disposed of at the county’s seven Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

The centres receive a curious haul of unusual items from residents every week, from guitars, to disco glitter balls, skis, cuddly toys, old military helmets, even an occasional vintage pram and rocking toy… in fact, everything including the kitchen sink!

And, not just the sink, the centres are flushed with taps, plugs, ball-cocks and wall cabinets. Clearly a lot of kitchen and bathroom re-fits have been taking place across the county!

Oxfordshire County Council provides services that enhance quality of life in the community and protects the local environment. Its waste and recycling team is at the heart of this work.

Weird and wonderful

Rachel Townsend, from Oxfordshire County Council’s waste and recycling team, said: “When you stop and think that our seven recycling centres process over 55,000 tonnes of waste every year, it’s perhaps not surprising that we see such a range of weird and wonderful stuff.

“The recycling centres accept a range of normal, familiar items, like fridges, TVs, electrical items, grass and tree cuttings, household chemicals, lightbulbs, batteries, clothes. Almost everything, including the kitchen sink!

“Around 60 percent of everything deposited at the centres is recycled, but we can all help raise this further, separating our waste and placing it in the right container or skip.

“So, we thought, what are the most peculiar items that residents have dropped off at the Household Waste Recycling Centres since Christmas? Here’s our Top 10 Pick of the Pops, or should I say Pick of the Drops.”

Top 10 Pick of the Drops:

• Child size Scooby Doo cuddly toy (see photo)

• Giant wolf’s head wall decoration (made of ceramic) (see photo)

• Victorian metal chain link cot

• Japanese inspired carved food tray

• Skis, lots of skis!

• Kitchen and bathroom sinks and accessories (see photos)

• Furby and friends

• Old military helmet

• Pram; a vintage from a bygone era

• Guitars and other musical instruments (see photo)

Many of these quirky and unwanted products can be re-loved and given a new home through the Reuse schemes operated at all the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), including the county council’s newly launched Reuse scheme at Dix Pit, near Witney. Before placing items that could be used again into the skips, speak to a member of staff for advice.

The recycling centres are for the use of residents only. They cannot accept any businesses, trade or commercial waste. Sale of reusable goods is not allowed at the recycling centres.


The Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are in:

Alkerton household waste recycling centre

Stratford Road, Alkerton, Near Banbury, OX15 6HZ

Ardley Fields household waste recycling centre

Brackley Road, Ardley, OX27 7PH

Dix Pit household waste recycling centre

Linch Hill, Stanton Harcourt, OX29 5BB (Postcode for Sat Nav - OX29 5UX)

Drayton household waste recycling centre

Steventon Road, Drayton, Near Abingdon, OX14 4LA

Oakley Wood household waste recycling centre

Old Icknield Way, Crowmarsh, Near Wallingford, OX10 6PW

Redbridge household waste recycling centre

Old Abingdon Road, Oxford, OX1 4XG

Stanford in the Vale household waste recycling centre

Faringdon Road, Stanford in the Vale, Faringdon, SN7 8L


Councillor Yvonne Constance, County Council member for the environment, said:

“The list of quirky items is a fun way to highlight a serious challenge; how to reduce unnecessary waste and protect the environment for future generations.

“Schemes like Reuse allow us to find new homes for many products that can be re-loved elsewhere. We also encourage everyone to use the many online services like Freegle to pass on unwanted items, or see if your local charity shop would like them.

“I’m continuing to investigate rumours that we’ll soon have a waste rock band and an orchestra. And with these wonderful images in mind, thanks to all our residents who are already in-tune when it comes to recycling!”

Further information

For further information on where to take your unwanted guitar, trumpet, roller skates or kitchen sink – and for the opening times of the HWRCs – visit the website sections:

Recycling A-Z:


Commercial waste: