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.
According to Trafford Council:
Here’s what you CAN put into your recycling bins:
- (Please make sure to rinse out your items before putting them in the bin)
- • Aerosols (without lids)
- • Clean foil and foil trays
- • Food and drink cans
- • Bottle shaped plastics like cleaning products, trigger spray bottles, shampoo and shower gel bottles, drink bottles, milk bottles, glass bottles and jars (without the lid)
- • Paper and newspaper
- • Magazines and catalogues
- • Books
- • Cardboard
- • Card packaging
- • Rinsed food and drink cartons (including Tetra Pak)
- • Greeting cards
- • Wrapping paper (not foil based)
- • Envelopes and mail
- • Junk mail
- • Raw and cooked meat and fish – including bones
- • Raw and cooked fruit and vegetables
- • Leftovers from your plate
- • Rice, pasta, and beans
- • Bread, cake, and pastries
- • Cheese and eggs – including eggshells
- • Tea bags and coffee grounds
- • Flowers, plants and leaves
- • Grass cuttings and hedge clippings
- • Twigs and small branches
- • Hay and straw pet bedding (i.e. from rabbits and guinea pigs)
Here’s what CANNOT go into your recycling bins:
- Plastic food trays
- Yoghurt pots and margerine tubs
- Plastic film
- Plastic bags
- Plastic bags
- Wrapping film
- Glass jars and bottles
- Food and drink cans
- Garden or food waste
- Paper tissues and paper towels
- Liquids – like milk or cooking oils
- Plastic bags
- Plastic food packaging
- Turf and ash
- Soil and stone
- Dog and cat faeces
As well, your council has a few extra notes to keep in mind when sorting out your waste.
Unfortunately, plastic pots, tubs, trays, and bags cannot be currently recycled, so you should pop them into your grey bin.
It’s very important to only put the correct items into your blue bin. Otherwise, the waste cannot be recycled because of contamination. From January 2020 to August 2021, 778 tonnes of waste found in blue bins could not be recycled because of this, costing an extra £70,020 in disposal costs. Think of how many bacon butties could be bought with that!
When using your green bin, make sure to avoid putting in cut flowers, house plants, and pet bedding, as these are considered household waste. As well, your green bin is not the place for your pet’s ‘presents’, so please put your cat litter or dog poo into the grey bin.
For more of Trafford Council’s recycling details, just follow the link here.
Where does it all go?
In Trafford, 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 went to other world markets outside of the EU.
Trafford’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.