Blue Bin Kerbside Recycling Guidelines


How to present your recycling

Please do not bag your recyclables. Items should be placed loosely into the bin as the recycling facility is not designed to sort items contained in plastic sacks or bags. Any bagged recyclables could be rejected and sent for costly disposal.


  • Put the lids and caps back on plastic bottles and glass jars/bottles
  • Ensure paper and card is clean and not stained or dirty with food, grease, paint or dirt.
  • Rinse your food cans.
  • Put loose metal lids inside the tin. 
  • Empty bottles of any liquid


  • DON’T put your recycling items in plastic bags.
  • DON’T remove plastic windows from envelopes – there’s no need.
  • DON’T squash plastic bottles



Please remember: Remove any plastic wrapping and free gifts from newspapers, magazines and flyers and put in the general rubbish. Paper is one of the most valuable recyclable materials – but only when it is clean.

Yes Please

  • Newspapers and supplements.
  • Magazines, brochures and catalogues.
  • White paper (e.g. computer paper, letters). 
  • Telephone directories.
  • Leaflets and flyers.
  • Envelopes (Including windows).
  • Brown paper.

No Thanks

  • Paper that is stained/dirty with foodstuffs, grease, paint or dirt.
  • Hygiene/Sanitary products (i.e. nappies, wipes, sanitary towels etc.)
  • Used paper towels.
  • Tissues.
  • Cotton wool/make up pads.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Sticky papers (e.g. Post‐it notes, sticky labels or paper tape).
  • Non‐paper gift wrap (e.g. foil‐based/shiny gift wrapping) or bags. 
  • Crisp or sweet packets/wrappers.
  • Wallpaper and decoration paper. 
  • Shredded paper.

Once soiled with grease, paper cannot be recycled because the fibres cannot be separated from the oils during the recycling process. Shredded paper can’t be recycled due to fibre size and paper quality issues.



Yes Please

  • Cardboard boxes (e.g. cereal boxes, dishwasher tablet boxes).
  • Corrugated cardboard.
  • Online delivery boxes and cardboard envelopes (Remove all plastic inserts and polystyrene, as well as packing tape).
  • Greetings cards without glitter (Remove any badges and batteries). 
  • Egg boxes.

No Thanks

  • Card that is stained/dirty with foodstuffs, grease, paint or dirt e.g. pizza boxes.
  • Glitter covered greetings cards (The glitter cannot be removed and the recycled card has to be rejected).
  • Food and drink cartons

Once soiled with grease, paper and card cannot be recycled because the fibres cannot be separated from the oils during the recycling process.


Metal packaging

Yes Please

  • Drinks cans.
  • Food tins.
  • Include lids and tops
  • Empty and rinse items – left over foods or liquids can contaminate other recyclables
  • Pop tin lids inside the tin

No Thanks

  • Biscuit/chocolate tins and their lids. 
  • Aerosols.
  • Aluminium foil (e.g. for baking/covering food). 
  • Aluminium foil trays (e.g. take‐away trays).
  • Aluminium tubes (e.g. tomato puree).
  • Laminated foil (e.g. pet food/coffee pouches).
  • Crisp packets and sweet wrappers.
  • Metal containers for chemicals (e.g. white spirits/paints). 
  • General kitchen ware (e.g. cutlery, pots and pans).
  • Any other metal items (e.g. kettles, irons, pipes, white goods).

The equipment is only designed to remove particular items and for certain materials there is currently no financially worthwhile end market. Items such as laminated pouches are made from a mixture of raw materials and are therefore are difficult to recycle. The process is not currently designed to sort these items.


Glass packaging

Yes Please

  • Bottles of any colour (e.g. wine, beer, spirits).
  • Jars (e.g. sauces, jam, baby food).
  • Non‐food bottles (e.g. perfume, aftershave, face creams).
  • (N.B. Keep lids and tops ON)

No Thanks

  • Glass cookware (e.g. Pyrex). 
  • Drinking glasses.
  • Vases.
  • Ceramics (e.g. crockery or earthenware).
  • Nail varnish bottles.
  • Microwave plates.
  • Mirrors.
  • Light bulbs/tubes.
  • Window glass.

These types of glass do not melt at the same temperature as bottles and jars. If they enter the glass recycling process it can result in new containers being rejected. For nail varnish bottles it is difficult to remove the varnish and the bottles are so small that they are filtered out during the recycling process.


Plastic bottles

Yes Please

  • Detergent and soap bottles ‐ remove any pumps from the bottle and dispose of these.
  • Cleaning product bottles (e.g. bathroom cleaners, bleach etc.)
  • Skin care product bottles.
  • Shampoo/shower gel bottles.
  • Fizzy and non‐fizzy drinks and water bottles.
  • Milk bottles.
  • Ready‐to‐use plant food and pesticides bottles (check the label).
  • Keep tops on the bottles and don’t squash them.
  • Empty & rinse items, replace tops and don’t squash the bottles. Liquids and residue can contaminate other materials which may mean they are not recycled, and they can also damage the sorting equipment. If bottles contain liquid they might not be recycled as they go through the automated sorting process (the extra weight stops the bottle being pushed into the correct recycling stream). Squashed bottles won’t be recognised by the sorting equipment as bottles.
  • Leave on labels: these will be removed in the recycling process.

No Thanks

  • Anything that is NOT a plastic bottle.
  • Anything that looks like a pot, tub, tray or tube.
  • Black plastic bottles.

Sorting equipment cannot detect the colour black and therefore black bottles are not recycled. Check bottles for disposal instructions where containing chemicals (e.g. anti‐freeze) that are poisonous. They are hazardous to staff and can damage recycling equipment.


Reducing Confusion

There is common confusion amongst householders regarding what they can do with mixed plastics and food and drink cartons. The process is currently not designed for such items and is unable to sort them for recycling.

  • Equipment at the facility is unable to detect the colour black and therefore black plastic is not recycled.
  • Food and drink cartons are difficult to recycle because they are made from a mixture of paperboard, a thin layer of plastic and a thin layer of aluminium.
  • The process is not currently designed for items such as tubs and trays and it isn’t financially worthwhile (i.e. there isn’t enough volume).

Even if packaging displays a recycling logo these items can not be placed in your blue bin.

Mixed Plastics

  • Pots (e.g. yogurt).
  • Tubs (e.g. margarine, ice cream).
  • Trays / punnets (e.g. raw meat or ham trays; take‐away trays; fruit /veg trays).
  • Chocolate and biscuit tubs and trays.
  • Carrier bags/plastic wrapping film (e.g. bread bags and bubble wrap).
  • Other clear plastic packaging.
  • Brown plant pots.
  • Black plastic.
  • Crisp and sweet packets/wrappers.
  • Film lids from pots, tubs or trays.
  • Laminated pouches (e.g. pet food/coffee pouches that spring back when you try and scrunch them. Pouches are currently not recyclable).
  • Plastic toys.
  • Medicine packs (e.g. headache pills).
  • Toothpaste tubes.
  • Expanded polystyrene (e.g. packaging inserts).
  • Plastic bottles containing chemicals e.g. anti‐freeze.
  • Paint pots

Food and drink cartons

  • Drinks cartons (e.g. juices, Tetrapak).
  • Food cartons (e.g. soups).
  • Laminated plastic food/drink pouches (e.g. baby food pouches, pet food pouches, coffee pouches).

Sorting equipment cannot detect the colour black and therefore black bottles are not recycled. Check bottles for disposal instructions where containing chemicals (e.g. anti‐freeze) that are poisonous. They are hazardous to staff and can damage recycling equipment.

Discover what happens to your recycling

The Recycling Discovery Centres at Bidston and Gillmoss offer the opportunity to see recycling in action and to find out what happens to your waste. The free programmes and visits are open to all schools, colleges and community groups.

If you are interested in booking a visit to the Recycling Discovery Centre, or you would like more information, please visit