Sustainable Maikhao Foundation provides information on where to take recyclables and what will be done with it so that people will be reassured that their rubbish will be recycled effectively


Recycling is a big business in Thailand.

It is estimated that 18-20% of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass are recaptured and sold to recycling plants around the country. Higher than in some countries that have government-sponsored programs!

Although you don’t see curbside recycling bins or a government effort to promote it, there is a thriving informal economy that makes it happen. Have you ever noticed the people sorting through rubbish bins in your neighborhood looking for plastic, cans or cardboard? How about the big yards or sheds filled with an assortment of metal items? This is our recycling economy at work!


If you aren’t already aware, most of our daily waste is sent to the incinerator in Saphan Hin, Phuket Town.

The incinerator has a capacity of 700 tons per day, but usually receives much more than that.

If it doesn’t fit in the incinerator, it goes to the landfill. While the incinerator has some negative environmental impacts, landfills also have challenges. We want less rubbish to go to both places.

So we should recycle more!

Also, as you know, making new products from old materials is a great way to reduce resource extraction from the earth, and create more sustainable economies.



In short, almost anything you could recycle in your home country can be recycled here in Phuket.


Common items accepted at your neighborhood recycling center:

  • Glass – mixed food and drink containers, beer and soda bottles
  • Metal – aluminium drink containers, metal food cans, scrap metal
  • Cardboard/paper – delivery boxes, moving boxes, cereal boxes
  • Aerosol cans


  • PET (1) – drinks, cooking oil or sauces
  • HDPE (2) – milk bottles, caps from PET bottles
  • PS (6) – yoghurt, sour cream, tofu containers

Less common items accepted by Sustainable Mai Khao Foundation:

These items are part of special recycling projects with different partners – you might be surprised what can be re-purposed and re-used!

See the list here:

  • Clean and dry polystyrene
  • Clean and dry rubber flip-flops
  • Clean, empty disposable lighters
  • Clean and dry stretchy plastic bags (LDPE)
  • Clean and dry plastic bottle caps from PET bottles and milk bottles 
  • Clean and dry drinking straws

Special items that must be taken to a particular recycling location:

  • E-waste – Khun Pramote 086-278-2662 (only speaks Thai)
  • Disposable batteries and fluorescent light bulbs – local government administrative organization (OrBorTor) or Municipality Office (Tessaban) in your area



Unfortunately, not everything can be recycled and these items should be reduced and avoided as much as possible since they will go to the incinerator. 


  • Thin plastic bags and drink cups
  • Crisps bags or plastic food wrappers


To review, there are three categories of items that can be recycled with different locations


Common items go to neighborhood recycling sheds/businesses.

See the Google map with locations near you.


Less common items accepted by Sustainable Maikhao Foundation:

See the list here.

Can be dropped off at Sustainable Mai Khao Foundation from 08.00-17.00, Monday – Friday


Special items that are hazardous or difficult to recycle must go to particular locations:

  • E-waste – Khun Pramote 086-278-2662 (only speaks Thai)
  • Disposable batteries and fluorescent light bulbs – local government administrative organization (OrBorTor) or Municipality Office (Tessaban) in your area
Sustainable Maikhao Foundation Logo

How your donations will be used:

To support and coordinate these projects in the local and expat community through training and networking

To purchase equipment needed for training and to hire trainers to share these practices with schools, hotels, businesses and the community

To sponsor rubbish bins or sorting containers for schools that do not have the budget

To deliver recyclables to recycling yards or recycling partners