Changes to household recycling: cardboard and paper to be separated from other mixed recycling

From March 2023, the Council will require all households to separate cardboard and paper from their other mixed recycling. To enable this, we will be providing residents with a new blue sack (for cardboard and paper) and a green sack (for all other mixed recycling). 

We'll be delivering a leaflet providing full guidance on household recycling to all households in the coming weeks. We will also update our webpages accordingly once the changes have been fully implemented at the beginning of March.

What’s changing 

From March 2023, householders will no longer receive a single roll of blue bags for all mixed recycling.

Instead, a roll of 25 new blue recycling sacks for cardboard and paper only and a roll of 25 green sacks for the remainder of your mixed recycling will be delivered to your property twice a year, free of charge. 

What you need to do and when

You can start segregating your cardboard and paper into your new blue sacks as soon as they are delivered to you.

Any old blue mixed recycling sacks you may have left at the time the new sacks are delivered should be used for mixed recycling that does not include cardboard and paper (as if they were the new green sacks) until you run out and can switch to the new green sacks.

You cannot use the old blue sacks for cardboard and paper recycling - only the blue sacks with the new labelling will be accepted for this purpose. This is because we are aligning with the colour coding of sacks on the mainland, in line with the national Recycle Now campaign

What’s staying the same

No changes are being made to collection times as a result of this new cardboard and paper segregation service - anyone who usually accesses a collection service can put the new blue bags out at the same time as their  residual waste and mixed recycling. 

Residents on Bryher and St Agnes will still need to take their waste and recycling to their respective waste management sites, where a new separate container for cardboard and paper will be available.  

You can help us minimise the number of recycling sacks used by flattening cardboard as much as possible before adding it to your new blue sack and waiting until each sack is full before presenting it for collection. If you run out of sacks before your next delivery, you can still request a new roll by emailing or calling 01720 424450.

You should continue to remove any plastic tape, polystyrene, plastic wrapping or other materials from your cardboard and paper recycling to reduce contamination. Please note that you do not need to remove plastic windows from envelopes.

Our recycling contractor cannot accept drinks cartons or Tetra Pak for recycling at this time, so please do not include this material in any of your recycling sacks.

Any items which do not fit in the sacks will still need to be taken to your nearest waste and recycling centre. Booking systems are in place. Waste and recycling site opening times can be viewed at the links below:

St Mary's waste and recycling site opening times 

Off-island waste management site opening times 

Why we’re making these changes

The Environment Act 2021 requires all Local Authorities to increase segregation to improve the way materials are collected and recycled. Furthermore, the UK is required to achieve 65% recycling rates by 2035. Currently only 36% of the islands’ waste collected is recycled, up from 26% in 2018/2019 (baseline year).

Further segregation of material for recycling will help reduce costs to the Council as less sorting will be required, both on the islands and by contractors on the mainland. The risk of contamination from other materials will also be reduced, so the amount of material that can be fully recycled will increase. 

Councillor Harry Legg, Lead Member for Environment, Environmental Services and Climate Change said: "Paper and cardboard products are some of the easiest items to recycle but they need to be in good condition for processing. By asking each of you to separate cardboard and paper from other mixed recycling, we can reduce both the financial burden of the islands’ waste management and our ecological footprint.’’

If you have any queries or would like further information please email or call 01720 424450. 


Publishing date: 
Tuesday, 17 January, 2023