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Improved recycling service launches to make waste a thing of the past

An improved recycling service for St Helens Borough has launched with an enhanced bags and boxes system starting its rollout to residents today (Monday 11 September).

Recycling Bags New

Article date: 11 September 2023

Each household will receive a full set of new recycling bags that they can begin using as soon as they arrive. There'll be a leaflet inside detailing the changes and how to use the improved system. 

Following feedback from residents, these new bags have an improved lid to keep the contents dry and a heavier weight in the bottom to stop them from blowing away in the wind. 

The set will include a new green bag for cardboard recycling. The existing black box will be for glass bottles and jars only. There will be no change to the blue bag (newspapers and magazines), white bag (plastic bottles and cans) or food waste caddies. 

The roll out of the new bags will take up to eight weeks to complete so please be patient on when to expect their delivery. 

The launch follows over 40 public engagement events and road shows over the summer, delivered by the council's Recycling Officers in locations across the borough, giving residents the opportunity to see the new containers and ask questions about the service changes. 

Residents will continue to put out recycling on their designated collection day, every week for collection by 6:30am. While brown and green bins will continue to be collected on that same day, on alternate weeks. 

Then, from Monday 6 November your collection day, week or time may be changing. This is to help improve the efficiency of collection rounds and reduce vehicle movements, accommodating new roads and houses built since the last review of routes, several years ago. Residents will receive a leaflet in October ahead of the day changes, outlining their new collection day.  

A kerbside sorted collection is the most efficient and effective way of collecting recycling, reducing contamination from other recyclables, resulting in quality, valuable materials for recycling, and providing residents with more than double the capacity than a regular sized wheelie bin collected fortnightly. 

The improved recycling system was first detailed in a new Resources and Waste Strategy for St Helens Borough that aims to 'make waste a thing of the past', approved by Cabinet in March this year. 

Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Climate Change, said: 

"With our improved recycling service and its supporting strategy, we're aiming to make waste a thing of the past, looking at waste as a resource first - working together to reduce, reuse and recycle as much of our waste as possible. 

"With this in mind, our enhanced kerbside sorted service launching today is the most effective and efficient model. This method of collection generates high quality material that has a higher financial value and that can more easily be recycled. 

"That means we can always say with confidence that what we collect for recycling will be recycled. When recycling is comingled in one bin, typically more than 20 per cent of materials cannot be 

recycled due to contamination. And with our bags and boxes collected weekly, residents have more than double the capacity that a regular sized wheelie bin would provide. 

"We must enable residents and businesses to contribute towards the circular economy and achieving net zero carbon. This means preventing waste and keeping resources in circulation through repair, reuse and recycling." 

For more information about the changes to recycling and waste services, visit