Reading recycling centre guide

Reading Recycling Centre and Rubbish Tip

17 August 2022

Recycling centre and rubbish tip information summary for Reading residents

If you are a Reading resident, you have two options to choose from: Smallmead Recycling Centre in Reading and Longshot Lane Recycling Centre in Bracknell both operated by re3 recycling.

Address and Opening times:

Reading recycling centre - Smallmead Recycling Centre, Island Road, Reading, RG2 0RP

Bracknell recycling centre - Longshot Lane Recycling Centre, Longshot Lane, Bracknell, RG12 1RL

Map view of the re3 Recycling Centres

MAP VIEW OF RE3 recycling centres in Reading and Bracknell

When can you go to the Recycling Centres?

Both sites are open 7 days a week April ‑ September 8:00 am ‑ 8:00 pm and October ‑ March 8:00 am ‑ 6:00 pm

(Both recycling centres are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and shut at 4 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)

Contact Information

You can contact Reading’s recycling centre through their Facebook page - where they also post service updates.

Contact number: 0800 988 3023

Email: [email protected]




Important information about your trip to the tip in Reading:

Pedestrians can enter without a booking - speak to a member of staff on arrival - but all vehicles book a slot here before you visit. Reading residents can book up to 7 days in advance at either recycling centre. Booking closes 1 hour before slots. Have your confirmation email ready to show the staff as you arrive at the tip.

  • Each slot booking only grants one-time entry – you cannot leave and re-enter during your allocated time to get more waste. Each slot is 30 minutes long; make sure you arrive during this time otherwise you may not be allowed in and forced to rebook.
  • Due to high demand, please only make one booking a week.
  • Arrive with lots of time – if you arrive too close to closing time, you may not be allowed to enter.

Vehicle restrictions:

  • Box vans are not allowed to either recycling centre
  • Any car or bicycle without a sign and with a trailer more than 6 ft requires a permit
  • Cars or bikes with a written sign require a commercial vehicle permit.
  • No car or bike may enter with a trailer or horse box larger than 10ft
  • All vans and pickup trucks require a commercial vehicle permit.
  • If you are coming in a pickup truck or a van, you may not use a trailer or a horse box.

You can apply for a permit when you make a booking here using the drop-down option – it will come as part of your confirmation email.  You can also apply using the re3cyclopedia app which has updates on the service as well as more recycling information for your area.


What to bring with you on the day:

Since access is limited to residents of Reading, Wokingham, and Bracknell Forest, you must bring proof of address - Here is a complete list of what you can bring to prove your residency:

  • Driving license
  • A current council tax bill
  • Utility bill, bank, or credit card statement (both of which must be dated from the last 3 months)
  • re3 council issued photo bus card
  • Bracknell forest resident E+ card
  • Blue badge/ residents parking permit issued by re3 council
  • Student campus card from the University of Reading (if you don’t have one of the above)
  • The orange window screen re3 resident’s permit stickers can no longer be used as proof of address.

You will only be allowed access in a vehicle if you had a valid booking – make sure you bring your confirmation email on the day. If you require a vehicle permit, it will be in the confirmation email, so it is important you check your spam folder to make sure you have this accessible!

What can you dispose of at the Reading Recycling Centres?

What you can bring to the reading recycling centres without a charge:

  • Aerosols
  • Cardboard, paper, books
  • Car batteries and other household batteries
  • Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • Hard plastics - plant pots, buckets, crates, bins, storage boxes, garden furniture and pipes
  • Garden waste (not soil)
  • General waste
  • Fridges, freezers, and furniture
  • Bicycles
  • Clothes, shoes, fabrics, and carpets
  • Small appliances e.g., mobile phones, monitors, printers, and speakers
  • Large appliances e.g., cookers, ovens, and microwaves
  • Household fridges, freezers and washing machines
  • Cooking oil and engine oil
  • Furniture, china and crockery
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Household chemicals and pesticides
  • Mattresses
  • Metals (aluminium, brass, copper, steel), pots, pans, cans and DVDs
  • Paint
  • Pushchairs, cots, prams
  • Window frames, wood and timber
  • Up to 2 bags of domestic pet waste
  • Car tyres (max 4)
  • Up to 2kg/ 3L fire extinguishers (max 2)
  • Calor, Handygas, Air Products, Air Liquide, Camgas, Cheshire, Messer, Linde, Macgas and Flogas Gas canisters – other types can be disposed of for a charge.
  • re3 also accept Disposable/ non-refillable gas cylinders are also accepted free of charge.

Use the correct bins corresponding to each category and sort your waste out beforehand so your visit is as efficient as possible. Queues can be a problem, so the tip is keen to ensure everyone spends as little time as possible in order to maximise the centre's productivity. If you are unsure about which container to use, ask a member of staff on site for guidance.

What you will be charged for:

Charges are calculated according to the number of 25-litre bags, or equivalent, being disposed of. Sanitaryware items will be charged individually e.g., sinks.

Sort out your waste before arrival so chargeable items are separate so your trip is as efficient as it can be.

  • Construction and demolition waste e.g., items from DIY repair works on houses or garden alterations.
  • Rubble – (including bricks, concrete, cement, ceramic and porcelain drainpipes, breeze blocks, tarmac, gravel, paving slabs, rubble, slates, stones, tiles and sand) charged at £2.50 per 25L bag or per single item
  • Soil - £2.50 per 25L bag
  • Plasterboard - £1.50 per 25L bag
  • Gas bottles/ canisters (not listed above)- £6 per item
  • Asbestos – if you want to dispose of asbestos waste, you must book your slot between 8:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday or 8:00 – 12:00 Saturday. Both recycling centres also require you to let re3 know your booking time by calling 0800 988 3023. Before bringing asbestos waste to the site ensure you double wrap it in thick plastic sheeting and seal it. You must use the onsite weighbridge for your asbestos; asbestos weight is rounded to the nearest 20kg (the minimum charge) - £8.00/ 20kg bonded asbestos




What can't you bring to re3 Recycling Centres?

What can’t you bring to the Reading recycling centres:

  • The re3 Partnership does not accept gas canisters over 15kg, air cylinders or SCUBA bottles.
  • Livestock waste
  • Fireworks, flares, ammunition, and other forms of explosives
  • Clinical/medical waste including needles and syringes
  • Petrol, diesel, paraffin, and oil tanks
  • Solar panels
  • Tarmac
  • Trade waste

How can you dispose of trade waste in Reading:

Disposing of trade waste requires a valid trade waste permit – re3 reviews the number of trips you take and will contact you if activity appears more than household removal. -Local micro businesses can pay to use dispose of trade waste at the Transfer stations next to re3 recycling centres at affordable rates provided it is small amounts similar to householders.

  • You need to complete this online application form to see if you are eligible for this microbusiness payment structure. These permits are valid for 12 months and mean you can dispose of trade waste on a regular basis

Alternatively, businesses who present a waste transfer note and waste carriers license can be charged at the Waste Transfer Stations next to the recycling centres based on how much you dispose of

  • The rate is £211.00/ tonne with a minimum cost of £50.40 (both VAT inclusive)
  • The green waste rate is £134.40/ tonne with a minimum cost of £63.80 (both VAT inclusive)

They do not accept any forms of hazardous waste.

When can you go to the Waste Transfer Station?

They are open Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm and 7:30 am – 12:00 pm on Saturday. (Closed Sundays and Bank holidays)



Other useful information for your visit to re3 Recycling Centres:

  • Contaminated waste must be double bagged!
  • Children must always remain in vehicles.
  • Anything in black bags will not be recycled – please sort your waste accordingly
  • Check how busy the recycling centres are on their live queue cam.
  • re3 recycle centres do not accept cash or AMEX so please remember to bring another card form of payment.

Free waste disposal for registered charities in Reading:

  • If you are a charity shop selling goods donated from households or a residential hostel that accommodates only those with no permanent address or those unable to live at their permanent address, you could qualify for free disposal.

Fill out the application form here to apply for one of the 12 free disposal permits issued a year from either Readding or Bracknell recycling centres.

Recent reviews about Reading Recycling Centre

Recent reviews of the re3 reading and bracknell recycling centres Recent reviews of the re3 reading and bracknell recycling centres

However, if you don't fancy or are unable to take stuff to the recycling centre, then why not pay a licensed waste carrier to take it away instead? To find a cheap local collector, publish a free listing on LoveJunk marketplace and see what the nearby waste companies (and reusers) would like to charge. Just click here.


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