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Bin it, but don’t bag it! 10th June 2011

National Recycle Week gets underway on June 20th with Merseyside and Halton waste officers urging householders to raise the region’s recycling rate by keeping unwanted items out of their recycling bins.

The Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership message is simple: ‘If you have any doubt about whether an item should go for recycling, leave it out!’ and comes as the Partnership reveals a catalogue of weird and completely inappropriate objects left for recycling including: a large paddling pool; dead animals such as chickens and birds; a bag of dry cement; syringes and needles; bags of animal excrement; gas bottles; a hydraulic car jack and a car exhaust.

Just as much of a concern is the amount of bagged waste making it into recycling bins – items that have been sorted by householders for recycling, but then tied up in a plastic bag. Recycling items should be placed loose into the recycling bin.

General black bin-bag waste is also ending up in some recycling bins, whereas this should be placed into your normal rubbish bin.

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, said: “After bin lorries have done a collection round they then come to our Recovery Facility where a system of conveyor belts, magnets and hand sorting separates all the recyclable materials. If there is too much contamination then it disrupts the whole process and can bring it to a halt completely.

“It’s a shame if people are sorting their recycling but then putting it into plastic bags.”

While Sefton and St Helens collect recyclables separated at home, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Wirral are on a comingled collection where mixed recyclable material is sent to the Bidston Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Wirral.

The Bidston facility opened in 2006 and is operated by Veolia Environmental Services. The Materials Recovery Facility at the site sorts items which have been delivered from local doorstep recycling collections.

Other items of trouble for the MRF are foil and Clingfilm. These are often the product of food packaging – if materials are dirty then residents should put the items in their normal residual bin.

Councillor Kevin Cluskey, Chairperson of MWDA, said: “Contamination in a recycling load can lead to portions of collected recyclables having to be landfilled, which is not what we want at all. If people stick to what their local Council says can go in their recycling container then hopefully we’ll see a reduction in contaminated loads, and less wasted efforts. Our message is ‘bin it, but don’t bag it’.”

For a list of what should and shouldn’t go in your recycling bin, please contact your local council or visit  


Notes to editors:

The attached image shows the Bidston Materials Recovery Facility.

Recycle Week takes place between 20th and 26th June 2011 and is organised by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).

Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership is Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, and Halton, Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley and Sefton Councils. The combined area covers 640,000 homes.  

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MWDA takes a lead i