Severn Waste Services and Mercia Waste Management

ENVIROSORT - Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the questions asked about kerbside collections and recycling in general:

Paper and Card:

+ / -Can I put shredded paper into my recycling bin?

It is difficult to recycle shredded paper, we suggest you keep shredding to a minimum and put any shredded paper inside an old envelope and into your recycling collection. Alternatively, a much better way of recycling your shredded paper is to put it in your home composting bin along with your fruit and vegetable peelings. It makes excellent compost!

+ / -Can I recycle Wrapping paper?

Only certain types of wrapping paper can be recycled. Good quality paper which is bright white on the non-printed side can be recycled. However, if the paper has metallic images / patterns and cannot be easily ripped it cannot be recycled as this type of paper often contains plastic. Also, wrapping paper which is very thin and the printing can be easily seen on the blank side cannot be recycled as it can not be “de-ink” at the mill.


+ / -Why can’t I put black plastic into my recycling collection?

Plastic items are sorted by optical scanners which use the reflection of light to identify the types of plastics. Black plastic doesn’t reflect light, so can not be seen and sorted by the scanners and could end up contaminating other materials such as glass bottles. Microwave food trays which are normally black are also made of a special type of plastic which can not be easily recycled.

+ / -Why can’t I put plastic film into my recycling collection?

Plastic film causes technical issues with the automated sorting equipment, causing miss-sorting and the rejection of otherwise good materials.

+ / -Can I recycle blue plastic - for example the punnets that mushrooms come in?

Yes, all colours of plastic are accepted. The only exception to this is black plastics and coloured bottles which contained alcoholic drinks, normally blue and brown, which can not be recycled and should be disposed of with your rubbish. Alcoholic drinks bottles contain a special liner which cannot be separated from the bottle and could contaminate other bottles when reprocessed.

+ / -Why can't I recycle plastic bottle top?

Bottle tops are difficult to separate from your other recycling as they are normally very small. Additionally bottle tops can cause problems when the plastic bottles are baled for storing and transporting. If a bottle has its top still on it may not squash down and can create damaging air pockets in bales which can cause bales to explode, posing a danger to those working at EnviroSort and at the plastic bottle reprocessors. Please dispose of bottle tops in your refuse collection.

+ / -Can I put plastic plant pots in my recycling collection?

Plastic plant pots should not be placed in your recycling collection as they are often made of black or very dark coloured plastic. These cannot be seen by the optical scanners at EnviroSort and therefore cannot be seperated. In addition there can be issues with plant pots contaminating other items in the recycling as they are often still contain bits of compost and residues of various garden chemicals. Some garden centres offer a recycling and reuse scheme for old plant pots so please check with your local garden centres.


+ / -Why can't I recycle glass in my recycling sacks?

Placing glass in your recycling sacks poses a number of health and safety risks to the collection crews and those working in EnviroSort. The process of opening sacks would shatter the glass into tiny pieces that are too small to recover and recycle.

+ / -Can I place other glass objects like light bulbs and dishes in my recycling?

No, only bottles and jars can be placed in your recycling. Other items such as dishes are made of a different type of glass to bottles and jars and should be safely disposed off. Did you know that light bulbs can be taken to your local household waste site for recycling.


+ / -Can I put large metal sweet and biscuit tins in my recycling?

Yes you can put large metal sweet and biscuit tins in your recycling. Please ensure the tin is empty and place the lid on the tin. Remember there is no need to squash the tin.

+ / -Why can I no longer put foil in my recycling?

There are a number of reasons why you can no longer put foil in your recycling. Firstly, it acts like paper in the sorting process making it difficult to separate. It also accounts for a negligible amount of the commingled recycling (approx 0.001%) and would take up valuable storage space at EnviroSort which can be more beneficially used for other materials.


+ / -Do I have to remove the plastic spout / opening device?

No, plastic spouts can be left on the cartons. Please remember not to squash your cartons.


+ / -Do I need to squash bottles, cans and cartons and scrunch up my paper?

Please do not squash your plastic bottles, cans and cartons or scrunch up your paper. The machinery at EnviroSort works best if these materials are in their original state. The main separator in EnviroSort works by separating flat things e.g. paper and card, from 3D things like cans and bottles. That’s why we ask you not to squash bottles, cans and cartons or scrunch up paper.

+ / -Why can't I put textiles into my recycling collection?

As your recyclables are now collected mixed together in one bin / sack we can no longer collect textiles for recycling because they will get spoilt. You can donate textiles to charity for re-use and there are also recycling sites throughout your area where you can take unwanted textiles.

+ / -Why can’t I put all my items for recycling in a carrier bag?

The recycling needs to be loose so the equipment in EnviroSort can separate the different materials. If you place the recycling in a carrier bag, the bag would first need to be opened and could potentially contain anything posing a health and safety risk to those working in EnviroSort.

+ / -Why can’t I put batteries in my recycling?

Batteries are hazardous waste and should not be put into your recycling. Old batteries can be taken to your local household waste site were they are collected for recycling.

+ / -Can I put polystyrene packaging into my recycling collection?

Polystyrene packaging like the type found protecting new electrical items or the small polystyrene chips often found in boxes sent through the post, should not be placed in your recycling as it cannot be recycled at EnviroSort. Please dispose of this type of polystyrene in your rubbish collection


+ / -Can I get a bigger bin / more sacks?

If you are recycling more than you can fit in your bin please contact your local council who will be help by providing a bigger or extra bin / sacks.

+ / -My recycling hasn’t been collected?

Please contact your local council who will be able to assist.

Severn Waste Services
The Marina, Kings Road, Evesham
Worcestershire WR11 3XZ

Tel: 01386 443376
Fax: 01386 446757

Mercia Waste Management
The Marina, Kings Road, Evesham
Worcestershire WR11 3XZ

Tel: 01386 443376
Fax: 01386 446757

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