I personally have found that the British are more keen on recycling than any place else that I lived and it is easier here to recycle. I have never lived in a place that they collected recycling from your home. Generally you will have 2-3 colored bins. Black bins are for regular waste, blue bins are for recycling and green/brown bins are for compostable items. Bins are emptied every other week, so one week it will be black bins and the other will be blue and green bins. You will need to ask your council what day your collection is or watch to see which bins your neighbors put out when.
What is allowed in the blue and the green/brown bins varies between councils so check with the local council to find out. By the way, styrofoam is not compostable or recyclable so it goes in the black bin. If you put the wrong item in the wrong bin and they see it they will sometimes leave you with a full bin. Also if your bin is too full that the lid won't shut, they will leave it behind so get someone to climb in and jump on it until it goes down.
The councils have different requirements because they have their own recycling centres so asking what everyone else put in which one is not very helpful for you or the council. For instance, when I lived in Newmarket, I could not put glass bottles in the blue bins, so I collected them and took them to the local glass collection center. In Cambridge, I am able to put glass jars in with my recycling. Here are the local councils's guidance of what goes in what bin:
They are very concerned about climate change and therefore they use methods to get people to change their behavior can be seen such as making recycling more accessible, charging more for cars that emit more CO2 emissions and the introduction of smart meters by 2020 in every household.
I hope that you will make an effort to recycle appropriately because these services are paid for by council tax which you are exempt from and when you get it wrong, it can contaminate the recyclables and then they are just put in the rubbish. I have made a lasting impact on my friends and family so that they also recycle what they can back home. My husband and I usually have the green and blue bin full and very little in the black bin!