Are you ready for simpler recycling? Bristol’s already doing it!

Bins and recycling containers, neatly lined up on a pavement

Simpler recycling in Bristol

Let’s talk about boxes, bins, caddies and bags. What makes Bristol’s recycling so effective? What about if we put all recycling in one bin?

The government’s latest update on the Simpler Recycling scheme confirmed that councils will be expected to collect the same materials across England. This means collecting paper and card, plastic, glass, metal, food waste and garden waste. For some councils who don’t currently collect these materials, this may mean using a mixed recycling container.

However, Bristolians already recycle these items as standard from the kerbside.

Will there be changes to recycling in Bristol?

In our city, Bristolians have proven (number one core city for recycling rates for eight years in a row!) that our current method works for communities and for our planet.

Key facts from the government’s update on new recycling rules and what they mean for Bristol:

  • Councils will be expected to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper and card recycling in all circumstances
  • Local authorities will retain the flexibility to collect recyclable waste in the most appropriate way for their local areas

Bristol’s kerbside recycling is already simple and effective. So, if it ain’t broke, let’s keep reducing, reusing and recycling it. There will not be changes to recycling in Bristol based on these updates.

Why do we separate out recycling in Bristol?

Sorting recycling into boxes at home is just the first step in a team effort that keeps Bristol as the number one English core city for recycling.

After you put your sorted boxes out for collection, the collection crew further separate it into the different compartments on the truck and take it back to our transfer station where metal and plastic are sorted by machine.

Each step in this journey is important to reduce contamination and increase the quality of the materials, so they can be reused and turned into new products.

This means in Bristol we have a much better choice of re-processors who will buy, separate and process the recyclable materials. It ensures most of our materials stay in the UK and we get the best price possible, reinvesting that money into our services for the city.

Plus, by collecting recycling weekly, it’s a handy system for everyone to dispose of waste easily and responsibly. That means less goes in the black bin, saving the city money and preventing overflowing bins.

An illustration showing Bristol's recycling containers: black box, green box, blue bag and brown food waste bin

Bristolians are best at recycling

Last financial year, Bristol households reused, recycled or composted 45.1% of their total household waste – 6.3% more than our closest competitor, Manchester.

By making our recycling system easy, accessible and efficient, we are on our way to achieving the city’s ambitious waste targets. We’re aiming for a 65% recycling rate by 2030.

We are committed to helping Bristol waste nothing. We don’t need a target to know it is the right thing to do. And if you feel the same, why not sign up to our 30-Day Waste Nothing Challenge?
We’ve distilled all our knowledge, insights and zero waste hacks into daily challenges, set by experts, full of waste reducing, money saving ideas and activities.

Thanks to everyone else for being top recyclers and helping Bristol maintain its number one spot for recycling!

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