This has changed following the Charity Commission's ongoing review of the register.
Last year, the Commission recognised conservation of the environment as a charitable purpose in its own right and now it looks set to recognise the public benefit of recycling too.
The organisations are Recycling in Ottery, a Devon-based organisation that runs a recycling scrapyard, and Cylch, a Welsh umbrella body that promotes sustainable waste-management practices.
James Kilby, a senior lawyer with the Commission, said: "These cases show that charity law is keeping pace with developments in society. Ten years ago people wouldn't even have come to the Commission with a proposal of this nature."