The problemPile of paper and card contaminated with plastic

From April to October 2020 more than 340 lorry loads of paper and card recycling were rejected because it was too contaminated. This adds up to more than 1,600 tonnes and has cost the council around £142,000.

We are finding household bagged waste, food waste, sanitary waste and electronic waste hiding in the paper and card collected.

We cannot sort the paper and card so all this wrong waste means that it cannot be sent for recycling. Things like soiled nappies, food, and household waste contaminate the paper and card so much that a whole lorry load of paper could be ruined by one contaminated bin.

What are we doing?

We are working with Tameside Council to remind you what to put in the paper and card bin.

Lorry loads of paper and card are getting rejected every day and we want to make sure that everyone in Tameside knows what to put in their bin.

The reason so much paper and card is being rejected is because people are hiding general rubbish, nappies, plastic bags, packaging, food and polystyrene.

What can I put in my blue paper and card bin?

Only cardboard, card packaging, paper and shredded paper, magazines, catalogues, books, envelopes, mail, junk mail, greeting cards and wrapping paper (these need to be glitter, plastic and foil free) along with tetra packs such as food and drinks cartons.

How can I make a difference?

  • Please make sure you remove all food waste from the card containers.
  • Read your leaflet and sticker before putting paper and card in your blue bin.
  • If in doubt keep it out!
  • If we recycle our paper and card we are doing our part for the planet. We can recycle paper and card into new material saving on raw material.

Download the pocket guide here

Why did I get a leaflet / sticker?

A leaflet will be delivered to every household in Tameside. The leaflet tells you exactly what you can and can’t recycle. Please keep the guide as a reminder and make sure you only put the right things in the right bins.

Tameside bin leaflet three bins

Every blue paper and card recycling bin in Tameside will get a permanent information sticker to remind residents to put the right things in their blue bin.

Tameside bin sticker

Why did I get a tag?

If a tag has been placed on your bin, this tag has information of what should not go in your bin. Please remove all wrong items and your bin will be collected on your next scheduled date.

visual description of the tag to be given to contaminated bins

How to get involved


  • Tell your friends and family how to recycle right.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter.
  • Tell your local school or community group to book a virtual session to learn more about recycling.
  • To keep up to date with the Tameside campaign, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or search #SortItOutTameside