All Recycling Centres remain open (updated 5th January 2021)

Please follow the below guidelines when visiting:

  • only visit if you really need to do so
  • follow social distancing measures when on site
  • wear a face covering
  • plan your visit, weekdays are less busy
  • sort waste and recycling before your visit to minimise time on site
  • all recycling containers are open
  • wash your hands before and after your visit


In 2019, your local councils collected over 80,000 tonnes of paper and card.

The problem

Most people are recycling right in Greater Manchester. However truck loads of paper and card collected last year couldn’t be recycled because some people are putting the wrong things in their paper and card bins and even purposely hiding rubbish in their bins.

This is a problem because companies that process paper and card only want dry paper and card recycling. Wrong things in the recycling bin, lowers the quality which means they can’t recycle it and it will end up being processed as general waste instead.

The costs

For every tonne of poor quality paper and card which has to be processed as general waste, costs your council, on average, an extra £88 per tonne – that’s up to £520 per truck load.

In June, 168 lorry loads were rejected, which is 833 tonnes.

When your paper and card recycling bins are collected and emptied they go to a transfer loading station in Greater Manchester where the truck load is inspected.

Things that we found include:

  • rubbish bags of general waste
  • dirty nappies
  • electrical items
  • leftover food
  • pet training pads
  • clothes
  • plastic packaging
  • toys

The myths

It all gets sorted

Hundreds paper and card bins are emptied every week across Greater Manchester.  There are staff  to inspect the quality of the truck loads but they only have minutes to do this –  it is not their job to sort out other people’s rubbish.

It all goes to landfill

No, good quality paper and card recycling is delivered to Saica a paper and recycling company in Carrington.

Nappies and wet wipes are made of paper

No, nappies and wet wipes are mostly made of plastic. Nappies and wet wipes should go in your general waste bin.

What you can do to help

We need everyone in Greater Manchester recycling right.

Make sure you only recycle paper and card in your paper and card recycling bin. Nothing else.

These are the things you can put in your paper and card bin:

  • cardboard
  • card packaging
  • envelopes and mail
  • empty food and drink cartons
  • greeting cards and wrapping paper
  • junk mail
  • newspaper
  • magazine and catalogues
  • paper and shredded paper

Recycling Tips

  • Empty, fold and squash cardboard boxes
  • To keep your paper and card recycling dry, make sure your wheelie bin is fully closed
  • Empty and rinse food and drink cartons

How to get involved

1. Tell your friends and family how to recycle right

2. Follow @recycle4gm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

3. Take part in a virtual open day and see what happens to your recycling

4. Subscribe to our newsletter

5. Tell your local school or community group to book a virtual visit to our recycling facility

Recycle for Greater Manchester