Recycling campaign launches across Greater Manchester

Recycle for Greater Manchester has teamed up with Salford City council and & Manchester City Council to launch a new recycling campaign with a spotlight on wrong items frequently found in Salford and Manchester residents’ paper and card recycling bins.

To kick start the campaign, Recycle for Greater Manchester recently talked to Salford and Manchester Councillors about the scale of the problem, and the importance of making sure that good recycling doesn’t go to waste.

Wrong items (contaminants) are frequently found in Manchester and Salford’s blue paper and card recycling bins – with dirty nappies, wipes, leftover food, electrical items, polystyrene packaging, plastic bags and tablet blister packs some of the main offenders.

This high level of unwanted items has led to the rejection of tonnes of paper and card collected for recycling. Since the beginning of the year, several bin lorries have been turned away – wasting time, money and, importantly, good recycling efforts across Greater Manchester.

The new campaign encourages residents to think carefully about what should go into paper and card recycling bins.

Informative and impactful leaflets will be delivered to residents’ homes in October and November – along with stickers on bins and supporting advertising and social media activity.

The Recycle for Greater Manchester campaigns team will be attending a number of local community and business events over the next few months to continue to spread the message about what can be recycled.

Councillor Alex Ganotis, Greater Manchester’s Green City lead said: “Contamination in Greater Manchester’s paper and card recycling bins has always been a problem, but recently we’re facing increasing challenges.

In January, tough new quality standards in the paper and card recycling market were introduced, and these mean that we have to collect as much clean paper and card as possible.

Unfortunately, we are finding too many wrong items and lorry loads of recycling are getting rejected time and time again.


“People often think that it doesn’t matter if wrong items get mixed up with their recycling and that they will all get removed later.

This isn’t the case – it’s almost impossible to remove most of the contaminants.

“We also get a surprising number of nappies and baby wipes in the paper and card recycling and these are serious contaminants that should go in the general waste bin and never in the recycling bin.”

Councillor David Lancaster, Lead Member for Environment and Community Safety at Salford City Council added: “We are calling on residents in Salford to double their recycling efforts and think again about what they put in the paper and card recycling bin.

Just taking the time to empty any cardboard boxes and remove any packaging, electrical items, or any leftover food – will make a big difference.

“Newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, paper wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and junk mail and envelopes are the only things that should be placed in the paper and cardboard bin.

“We all have a part to play in making sure that our recycling efforts aren’t wasted and we’re confident that our residents will get behind the new campaign and help us collect more paper and card that can be recycled.”

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar of Manchester City council added: “We’re encouraging all our residents to think carefully about the items they place in their paper and card recycling bins so that good recycling doesn’t go to waste.

If we all take the time to think about what we are actually recycling in our paper and card bins it will make a big difference to overall recycling efforts.”

More information on the campaign is available on


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