Manchester’s local recycling rules 

18 March, 2022

Manchester’s local recycling rules 

Recycling rules are a lot like navigating public transport on a hangover – confusing, frustrating, and a little bit overwhelming. But we’re here to change that! We’ve laid out what you can and can’t recycle, as well as some general bin rules that may have been lost in translation. This handy guide will ensure your waste collectors don’t look back on your bins in anger.   

According to Manchester City Council:

Here’s what you CAN put into your recycling bins:

Blue bin

  • • Paper and card 
  • • Clean cardboard – including egg cartons and pizza boxes 
  • • Newspaper, magazines, and catalogues 
  • • Food and drink cartons – including juice boxes 
  • • Travel tickets (for bus, tram, or train) 
  • • Greeting cards 
  • • Flyers, leaflets, and pamphlets 

Brown bin: 

  • • Plastic bottles – this includes shampoo, bleach, mouthwash, drinks, washing up liquid, and milk bottles 
  • • Foil and foil trays 
  • • Empty aerosols 
  • • Rinsed tins and cans 
  • • Rinsed glass bottles and jars 

Green bin (please only use compostable bin liners): 

  • • Meat and fish bones 
  • • Raw and cooked food 
  • • Tea bags and coffee grounds 
  • • Egg shells 
  • • Grass cuttings, hedge clippings, twigs, and branches 

Here’s what CANNOT go into your recycling bins: 

These cannot go in any of your bins, but some items may be accepted at your local recycling centre

  • Batteries 
  • Electrical items 
  • Japanese knotweed 
  • Giant hogweed 
  • Himalayan balsam 
  • Clothing 
  • Soil 
  • Building rubble 

For more of Manchester City Council’s recycling details, just follow the link here

Where does it all go? 

In Manchester, your paper and card are taken to a facility where it’s sorted and graded (but not into Hogwarts houses). It’s then transported to a reprocessing facility that recycles it into new products. According to Recycle for Greater Manchester, these new products are then sold – with 51% of recycled paper and card sold to UK markets and 7% sold to EU markets. The rest goes to other world markets outside of the EU. 

Your mixed recycling is taken to a Materials Recovery Facility in Manchester. There, your plastic bottles, tins, glass jars, and drink cans are all separated. It’s then all put together and ready for the recycling process. 66% of recycled plastic bottles are then sold to UK markets, and 33% are sold to EU markets. 100% of your glass bottles, jars, aerosol cans, food cans, drink cans, and foil were then sold to UK markets (Recycle for Greater Manchester)

All your food and garden waste is taken to an in-vessel composting facility in the UK. What’s that? It’s basically one huge compost that can break down everything in just six weeks. The compost is then used in the UK as a soil improver. 

If you’d like to learn more about where your recycling goes, just follow the link here

We hope this helps uncomplicate your local recycling rules and makes it easier to sort through your waste. We know recycling isn’t the answer to the waste crisis, but it’s a step in the right direction. Happy recycling! 

*This information is up to date as of 16th March 2022.