News from South Staffordshire Council
In Spring 2022 you will get a new blue bag for paper and card.
The new blue bag will be used for paper and card. The blue bin will be used for cans, glass and plastics.
The blue bag and blue bin will be collected together on your recycling collection day.
More information will be provided before you need to start using the bag. The blue bin can be used as normal until your bag arrives.
Image shows the recycling bags and bins used in a local area. Bags and bins in South Staffordshire may look different to this.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is changing?
In Spring 2022 you will get a new blue bag. The bag will be yours to keep and use every fortnight. The blue bag will be used for paper and card recycling. The blue bin will be used for cans, glass and plastic which we can recycle. The blue bag and blue bin will be collected together on your recycling collection day.
There will be some changes to the items we can recycle. The recycling market has changed a lot in the last few years and we need to make sure we only collect things that are good for recycling today.
Some bin collection days may change. We will keep it simple and only make changes if we really need to. We will let anyone whose bin collection day changes know before it happens.
When will this happen?
A blue bag will be delivered to you from March 2022 onwards. We will let you know nearer the time when to expect your blue bag and when to start using it. You can continue to use your blue bin as normal until you get the blue bag next Spring.
Why are you making this change?
In the last few years, the market for recycling has changed a lot. Companies that take our used items to recycle them now need higher quality items that are clean, dry and free from contamination.
When items are mixed into one bin, they are harder to sort and separate ready for recycling. Items like glass can break and get stuck in other items like card. As companies ask for better quality material, the cost of sorting it has risen.
By keeping paper and card in a bag away from other items we can make sure it is much cleaner and drier. This means it can be turned into more new things than ever and be sent to paper mills right here in the UK. Cans, glass and plastics in the blue bin will also be easier to sort from each other at our local recycling site.
Lots of Councils now use a bag to recycle paper and card. We know that we will be able to recycle even more than before. We also know that there will be less contamination in the recycling which means fewer loads turned away from our recycling site.
This will cost us less and help us recycle more.
Why did you choose a bag?
The blue bag will take up less space than an extra bin. We know most people do not fill a recycling bin with paper and card. The bag has enough space for the paper and card and can be easily folded or put inside the blue bin whilst both are being filled.
Won’t this cost more?
The cost to recycle continues to rise. It will cost us more to recycle now whether we continue to mix all of the materials together, or use the bag for paper and card. However, using the bag is the cheaper of the two options.
Not only is using the bag the cheaper option when it comes to sorting the items ready for recycling, it is also means the paper and card we collect will be cleaner and drier. This makes the paper and card more valuable and means it can be recycled into more things than before. By keeping all materials cleaner and drier, and reducing contamination, we will have less loads turned away from our recycling site which will reduce our costs for other disposal options.
Will my collection day change?
Some collection days may change. We will keep it simple and only make changes we really need to. We will let anyone whose collection day changes know before it happens.
How will the bag be collected?
The bag will be collected on the same day as your blue bin.
We will have new recycling vehicles which are designed to collect both paper and card, and mixed recycling at the same time. These trucks will have a fixed panel down the middle of the truck which stops the items mixing inside the truck. When the recycling collection crew arrive, they will empty the blue bag into a bin which is fixed to one side of the truck. This bin will be tipped into the paper and card side of the truck. The blue bin will be tipped into the other half of the truck. The materials will be kept in their own halves of the truck and will not mix.
Will I get a new bin calendar?
New calendars will be delivered in April 2022. These calendars will contain information about your blue bag and any changes to your bin collection days.
When your current bin calendar runs out in December 2021, there will be a new version on the website to use until you get your new calendar in Spring 2022. Your bin collection day will not change unless we notify you or your new calendar in Spring 2022 shows this, so please continue to present your bin(s) on your normal collection day.
What can I recycle in the blue bag?
The blue bag should only be used for the following items: newspapers, magazines, envelopes, computer paper/print outs, junk mail and flyers, coloured paper, large brown cardboard boxes, corrugated card, cereal boxes, card sleeves, washing powder boxes and other card box packaging, sheets of thin card, telephone directories, yellow pages, catalogues, and egg boxes.
What can I recycle in the blue bin?
The blue bin should only be used for the following items:
Glass (lids removed) – mixed coloured glass bottles, clear glass bottles, green glass bottles, amber glass bottles, and glass jars
Metals (rinsed out) – Steel food and drinks cans, aluminium food and drinks cans, steel and aluminium bottle lids, and aerosol cans (fully discharged only)
Plastics (clean and dry) – drinks bottles (lids on), plastic bottle tops, shower and bathroom plastic bottles (lids on), household cleaning bottles (lids on), light or clear coloured plastic food trays and containers, yogurt pots and margarine tubs.
What about other items not listed above?
We will only be able to accept the items above for recycling in your blue bin and blue bag.
We will no longer be able to recycle waxed cartons which includes items like Tetra Pak, drinks and juice cartons, coffee cups and long life milk cartons. These items are very difficult to recycle as they are made from a mixture of materials (such as plastic, card and foil). All of these materials have to separated from each other so that each part can be recycled. UK paper mills do not want this material as it contaminates the good quality paper and card, and we want to keep as much of our waste and recycling in the UK as possible. Most liquids that come in waxed cartons can also be found in plastic or glass bottle options which can be easily recycled. There are containers for recycling waxed cartons at Wombourne, Bilbrook and Cannock recycling centres. These sites have recycling banks just for waxed cartons so it can be kept away from other materials and recycled on its own.
Black plastic trays are also not easily to recycle as they do not contain a colour signature that can be picked out by the sorting equipment at most recycling sorting sites. Black plastic trays are often used by food companies to make the food inside them appear more attractive to consumers. Black plastic trays should be put into the general waste bin (grey bin) for energy recovery.
Wombourne, Bilbrook and Cannock recycling centres accept a wide range of items for recycling including batteries, electronics, and wood. Find out more about what you can recycle at your local recycling centre.
What happens if I put the wrong thing in the bag?
We will only empty bins and the new bags if they contain the right items in the right place. If there are items in any of the bins or bags that should not be there, then we will not empty the bin or bag. The wrong items will need to be taken out and put into the right bin or bag ready for your next collection day.
Find out more about what goes in which bin. Please note this guide will be updated to include the blue bags ready for Spring 2022.
How big will the bag be?
The bag will be about the third of the size of the blue bin (around 80 litres). The bag will be made from a light, flexible material that can be folded down when not in use or part full.
What do I do with cardboard bigger than the bag?
Large boxes will need to be folded, squashed or undone along the edges so that they fit inside the bag. We cannot take cardboard that is bigger than this as it will not fit in the container we will use to empty the bag into the recycling truck.
What will the bag look like?
The bag will be blue in colour to match the blue recycling bin. It will made from a woven plastic material, and coated with a waterproof lining. There will be a space to write your house number and street name. The bag will have a lid with velcro edges that can be closed when the bag is not in use. There will be handles on the bag for carrying it.
Won’t the bag blow away?
The base of the bag will have a weight inside it (450g) to stop it from blowing away. It is also easy to fold down, store between other bins, and even fits inside the blue bin.
Won’t the paper and card blow out of the bag?
The bag will have a lid which is attached on one side, and has velcro along the other so that it can be closed.
Won’t the paper and card get wet?
The bag will have a lid which can be closed on all sides to stop water getting in. The lid should be kept shut to keep the paper and card dry.
How many bags will I get?
Each household will get one bag in Spring 2022. We know that most people only have enough paper and card waste to fill this size bag.
What if I need an extra bag?
We ask that everyone tries using one bag for the first couple of collections. If after you have tried using the bag you find you normally have lots more paper and card, then please get in touch with us.
I have an extra recycling bin, but I won’t need it anymore
We ask everyone tries using the bag alongside their blue bins for the first couple of collections. If after you have tried using the bag you find you no longer need any extra recycling bin(s) then please get in touch with us.
How do I store the bag?
The bag is waterproof and can be stored outside with your bins. The lid should be kept closed to keep the paper and card dry. The bag is flexible, and can be folded down as it is being filled, and it will even fit inside the blue bin.
Can I put my house number on the bag?
Yes. There will be a space on the bag to write your house number and street name.
How do I get the bag?
The bag will be delivered to your home in Spring 2022. We will let you know nearer the time when to expect the bag to arrive. You do not need to contact us to ask for a bag.
I live in a communal property, will I get a bag?
If you live in a communal property such as a flat or apartment then we will let you know as soon as possible how to recycle your paper and card. We are currently looking at all of these properties to work out the best way to collect paper and card from each of these buildings.
I have an assisted collection, what do I do?
If you have an assisted collection, please leave the blue bag next to the blue bin on your normal collection day in the normal place, and we’ll empty it with your blue bin.
I already have a bag for recycling, what do I do?
If you are a household that already uses a bag for your recycling, you will now need to use both bags. The new blue bag will be for paper and card only, and your old bag will be used for glass, cans and plastics.
What if I don’t want to use the bag?
We will only accept paper and card in the blue bag. Any paper and card in the blue bin will be considered contamination. We will not return to empty the blue bin until the next collection day, as long as the unwanted materials have been taken out.
Wombourne, Bilbrook and Cannock recycling centres also accept paper and card for recycling. The paper and card should be emptied into the ‘cardboard’ skip on the site for recycling.