RECYCLE for Greater Manchester is set to expand the range of materials that can be recycled at its recycling centres, as new figures show a strong increase in recycling rates across the city-region.
As part of a trial, Greater Manchester residents can now recycle hard plastics such as old plastic garden furniture or children’s toys that are broken or no longer usable. The hard plastics are bulked up and taken to a reprocessor where they are recycled into new plastic products.
With more containers added for different types of materials, the recycling centers are no longer a place where waste is simply thrown away; nearly all household waste can be either recycled, reused, upcycled or composted. The majority of the items brought to the centers are recycled locally in the Northwest and very little goes to landfill, in fact less than 2% of all household waste in Greater Manchester ends up in landfill.
The announcement comes as new figures show that in May, recycling rates increased on average to over 52%, with some sites reaching 60%.
Cllr Martyn Cox, GMCA lead for the Green City Region and waste and recycling, said: “There have been many improvements to our recycling centers over recent years and it’s great to see the recycling rate increasing. Through our partnership with SUEZ UK who manage the sites, they’ve been able to identify new recycling outlets such as for hard plastics and mattresses. That means we can recycle more and more of our household waste. And through our Renew shops we’re able to support many of our communities and people in need.”
Containers are also available for recycling mattresses and carpets. Mattresses are taken to a facility in Bolton which is run by the Furniture Recycling Group (TFR). Here, they are broken down into 19 different component parts including steel, cotton, polyester, and foam. Some of the fabrics end up in the car manufacturing process whilst others go into making stab proof vests!
Around 167,000 tonnes of mattresses still get landfilled in the UK every year – this is around 7 million mattresses! Every month, TFR Group recycle around 15,000 mattresses, all of which come from the containers at the recycling centers across Greater Manchester.
Reuse is also high on the agenda at the recycling centres, with ‘Renew’ containers situated at 18 of the 20 sites. These are for any items that are in good condition or need minor repairs. Once the items have been donated at the recycling centres, they’re taken to the Renew Hub in Trafford Park, where they’re cleaned, sorted and repaired ready to be sold in one of the three Renew shops, or via the new eBay shop .
The Renew shops opened in 2021 and are located at Woodhouse Lane, Trafford; Boysnope Wharf, Salford; and Arkwright St, Oldham recycling centres. All money raised from sales of the pre-loved items goes towards two good causes: the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity and R4GM Community Fund.
John Wrigley, Regional Director for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said: “We are really proud of the recycling rates that we’re now achieving across all of our sites in Greater Manchester. Since we took on the contract in 2019 we have focused on bringing in the right partnerships enabling us to recycle more materials, such as carpets and mattresses, with hard plastics being the latest material to be added. We work closely with Recycle for Greater Manchester to ensure that residents are aware of what to do with their waste items, and if anybody is unsure on site our operatives are always on hand to help.”
There are 20 recycling centers available free of charge for residents. They are open 7 days a week, most sites from 8am to 8pm. If you are visiting a van, you will need a permit. Find out more: www.recycleforgreatermanchester.com.