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. With this handy guide, your recycling skills will be as dependable as the 192 bus.
According to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council:
Here’s what you CAN put into your recycling bins:
- • Newspaper, magazines and catalogues
- • Junk mail and envelopes
- • Shredded paper
- • Wrapping paper
- • Cardboard
- • Telephone directories, including the yellow pages
- • Greeting cards
- • Rinsed cardboard milk, juice, and drink cartons
- • Books
- • Clean glass bottles and jars
- • Rinsed food tins
- • Drink cans
- • Empty aerosol cans
- • Plastic bottles
- • Plastic milk containers
- • Aluminium foil and trays
- • Fruit or vegetable peelings
- • Bread and cake
- • Tea bags and coffee grounds
- • Leftovers from your plate
- • Eggs
- • Dairy products like cheese
- • Meat and fish including bones
- • Cut flowers
- • Garden waste
- • Twigs and sticks that aren’t thicker than your wrist
Here’s what CANNOT go into your recycling bins:
- Plastic or foil wrapping paper (top tip: scrunch your wrapping paper into a ball – if it stays scrunched, it’s made of paper, if it bounces back, it’s made of plastic or foil and should not go in your blue bin)
- Cards or wrapping paper with glitter
- Lids from bottles and jars
- Yogurt pots
- Butter tubs
- Plastic bags
- Branches bigger than your wrist
As well, your council has a few extra notes to keep in mind when sorting out your waste.
Only use compostable liners in your food caddy and green bin. Please don’t use bags that say biodegradable! While the term ‘biodegradable’ sounds green and sustainable, these sneaky plastic bags just break down into microplastics that harm the environment.
If you don’t have a green bin, don’t worry! Just use your outside food and waste caddy instead.
For more of Stockport Metropolitan’s recycling details, just follow the link here.
Where does it all go?
In Stockport, 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.
Stockport’s 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.