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What happens to my recycling? Boxes or bins?

Why boxes, not bins for recycling?

In the UK there are two main types of recycling collections, the kerbside sort and the co-mingled. There are pros and cons to both systems. For co-mingled recycling (in a bin) you need the additional multi-million pound infrastructure to do the sorting that is already done at kerbside under the kerbside sort system. To some residents they feel the option of a single bin is a better option. 

Recycling wagon and crew
At St Helens Borough Council, our collections are the kerbside sort, which means we have boxes and bags, the different items that you recycle are loaded into the correct compartments on our recycling wagons by our crews. Once the compartments are full on the wagon, our crews take it to the local company CEW based in St Helens. Each section of the wagon is offloaded to separate bays controlled by a digital computer inside the cab, and CEW then forward them onto different companies who then put the recycling through the correct processes to recycle them back into materials that can be used in manufacturing. 

The quality of a Kerbside collection is helped a lot by the work you do, by putting things in the correct recycling container, means less contamination and we can say with confidence, that what we collect from your recycling will actually get recycled. The kerbside collection which we do is financially and environmentally better for St Helens Borough Council.

Sometimes on the odd occasion we use an alternative vehicle, like a bin wagon to help out with the recycling collection, this could be due to a vehicle breakdown, it maybe in for a service, or sometimes just the sheer amount that is presented at the kerbside. Even though we may use a vehicle like this, we still ask you to carry on with your kerbside sort to help our crews out, as we only use this type of vehicle when really needed. This material will still go through the recycling process.


To view where your recycling goes you can have a look at this.

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Last modified on 13 February 2023