Toggle menu

Recycling FAQs

What time should I put my recycling out?

Our crews work from 6.30am until 7pm. To ensure collection, please make sure your recycling out is on the pavement between these times.

Why can't I have one bin for all recycling?

There are pros and cons to both systems. For a one bin recycling system where you put all your recycling into one container you need the additional multi-million pound infrastructure to sort the recycling that is done already at kerbside when we collect your recycling with boxes and bags. On the other hand, the convenience of a single recycling bin is considered attractive by residents compared to boxes and bags.

Would it not be a better service/ cost efficient to provide everyone with recycling bins instead of providing another bag?

If we collected your recycling in one bin we would have to pay for the recycling to be processed. We received more than £3 million last year in recycling income that can be re-invested into public services. There would also be greater costs for extra bins and collection vehicles.

Why do we do kerbside recycling?

Recycling is really important in helping protect the environment reducing our carbon footprint and helping meet our St Helens target of net zero carbon production by 2040. Recycling reduces the need for products to be made from raw materials and helps reduce energy. It also costs much less to recycle your waste than to dispose of it in your brown bin, so by recycling you are helping us avoid wasting public money and allows us to protect local services for St Helens Borough residents.

Why have we got so many bags?

The kerbside sort system with bags and boxes means the quality of material collected is better meaning that organisations prefer to use it and has more value meaning we recycle more. If we collect in one bin, contamination levels can be as high as 25% and this is not recycled.

Why are you not taking greeting cards and wrapping paper anymore?

We are finding a lot of greeting cards have glue and glitter on them, and wrapping paper is not always paper, so if either of these are placed in your blue bag it will contaminate the collection. Please put them in your brown bin. Or visit Recycle now this will give you your nearest recycling location. 

I have seen the bin lorry taking all my recycling together so how can you be serious about recycling?

On the odd occasion, our bin lorries do help out with our recycling collections, this could be due to a vehicle breakdown or during peak periods like Christmas. We can assure you that this recycling is still recycled. Last Christmas we used the bin lorries to collect excess card.

The recycling in my street has not been collected; do I have to wait until the next collection?

Our crews work until approximately 7:00pm. If the recycling for your whole street hasn't been collected by then it will fall onto the next day.

Please check our recycling updates section to see if your street is on the list of missed collections for that day; if it isn't please let us know by calling 01744 676789.

If the recycling in my street has been collected but my recycling has not been emptied, what do I do?

If only your property has been missed please bring it back in and put it out again next time. Please check if you have been given a non-collection card, cards are left if things have been put in the wrong containers, have been left in the wrong place or contain items that can't be recycled. Please check our what goes in what bin? section for advice.

I haven't received my recycling container order; what do I do?

When you order recycling containers, you will receive a delivery date. If you need to chase this up please telephone the contact centre on 01744 676789 or use the form to contact us - General Enquiry

Can I collect the recycling bags?

You can collect the recycling bags from any library or the Contact Centre Town Hall Hub (open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday). Please check the opening times for libraries Find your library

Can I use plastic carrier bags to line my kitchen caddy?

Yes. The bags no longer need to be biodegradable so you can use plastic bags such as supermarket carrier bags or kitchen bin liners.

I need more caddy bags; what do I do?

Tie one of your food caddy bags to the caddy handle on collection day and the crew will leave you a roll of 52 bags.

I tied a caddy bag to my caddy on collection day but didn't get any bags; what do I do?

Please contact us to request more bags and include your address to to let us know this has happened, and we will arrange for bags to be left on your next collection.

Why do we still need a blue bag for paper when less people buy newspapers now?

We still collect more than 1,400 tonnes of paper for recycling each year. The new blue paper bag will be smaller than the other bags and will be weighted in the bottom to stop them from blowing away in the wind.

Where can I take extra bags that don't fit into my brown bin?

You can use any of the household waste recycling centres; for details see our recycling centres page.

What are the arrangements for Bank Holidays?

Please check your collection dates for any changes.