Published: Friday, 21st Sep 2018

Recycle for Greater Manchester has teamed up with us to launch a new recycling campaign with a spotlight on wrong items found in residents’ beige paper and card bins.

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

Some of the items found in our beige paper and card bins include dirty nappies, wet wipes, leftover food, electrical items, polystyrene packaging, plastic bags and blister packs.

These unwanted items have led to the rejection of some loads of paper and card collected for recycling.

The new campaign is all about encouraging you to think carefully about what should go into beige paper and card bins.

Informative leaflets are currently being delivered to more than 113,000 homes and stickers are being placed on all beige bins across Bolton.

The Recycle for Greater Manchester campaigns team will also 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 Region 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 this means 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.

“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 because there isn’t a mechanical process available to remove things like dirty nappies and electrical items. They have to be handpicked from a conveyor which means not all of these items can be removed.

“We 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.”

Cllr Nick Peel, Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, added: “Since rolling out the grey slim bins, our residents have helped us to save more than £4m in disposal costs.

“Most Bolton residents are recycling right - they are putting cardboard boxes, card packaging, paper and shredded paper, magazines and catalogues, newspapers, books, envelopes, junk mail, greetings cards and wrapping paper in the beige paper and card bin.

“However, there are some residents that are getting it wrong and with this campaign we want to help them to get it right.

“The better we all are at recycling, the more money we can save which can be used to support other council services.”

For more information on the campaign, or to book on to a free open day to see your recycling in action, visit

Download a copy of the ‘What’s in the Box?’ leaflet.