Changes to recycling

How we collect recycling is changing

We need to change the way we collect and dispose of recycling. 

This is because the companies that recycle waste are now checking and undertaking tests on every vehicle load and they will reject loads that are not separated correctly.

Rejections can cost our councils over £1000 per vehicle load so the need to split paper and card from other recycling is now vital.

A blue bag for paper and card

A new, blue bag will be issued to the majority of homes in the coming weeks, starting in April 2022.

Paper and card only should be placed in these bags. 

Glass, cans and recyclable plastics should continue to be  placed into the current blue bins.

Start date

As soon as you have received your bag or bin you must start to use it for paper and card only.

Put the blue bag out at the same time as you put out your blue bin and they will be collected together.

Blue bag description

The new reusable blue recycling bags are sturdy, hard wearing and they have a weight in the base so should not fly around in the wind.  Crews will aim to place/trap them under the lid of your blue bin once both bin and bag have been emptied. We recommend putting your house number on your blue bin and bag to help with this. 

We have chosen to use the blue bags for paper and card, rather than the rest of the recycling (such as glass, cans and plastics), because it is safer for our crew to carry the bags and empty them. If glass were in the bags it could break and be very heavy, which is why the heavier items will remain in the blue bins. 

Purple bins

Homes in rural areas, in difficult to reach locations, or on a route that includes these, will not receive a blue bag. Instead they will receive a new purple bin.

This is because the smaller vehicles required to reach these places cannot collect using the bags.

If you are affected you will receive a letter directly to your home.

Collection frequency for purple bins

For those homes with purple bins, your collection will alternate each fortnight.

Your blue bin will be collected on one fortnight and your purple bin will be collected the following fortnight 

You will receive a letter directly to your home advising you of the changes. Plus you will receive a leaflet and calendar with the bin.

If you have a question about the service and the information isn’t below, please email our shared waste service. 

Communal bins at flats

We are currently working on changing all our communal properties to the new dual stream recycling service, we will be visiting all sites to assess what will be required and will then write to all residents explaining when the changes will be taking place.  

Making sure your paper and card and your glass cans and plastic go into the correct bins will improve the quality and lower the cost of recycling by processing it in the UK. For more details please visit our page here: Communal Bins | Tamworth Borough Council. 

Please note bins will not be emptied if they contain the wrong items and those items would need to be removed in order for the bins to be collected on the next scheduled recycling collection.

Changes to collection day

10% of homes will have a change to the collection day or collection pattern to accommodate the new system. If you are affected you will be advised by letter to your home.

Do's and don'ts



  • Put any recycling in plastic bags. You must use your new recycling bag for paper and card - it is heavy and durable.
  • Refuse to separate waste. 
    • If you mix all your recycling into your blue bin or bag we will be unable to empty it.
    • We are offering two weeks of amnesty when we will return to collect your recycling once you have separated it.
    • However, after this time we will not be able to collect recycling that is not correctly separated.

Extra blue bins and bags

If one bag is not enough to fit your fortnightly amount of paper and card recycling you can order another bag for free.

However, in the first few weeks of changing to the new system, our team will be very busy.

We will confirm later how you can obtain a second bag.  

Extra blue bin recycling 

If you already have an extra blue bin, unfortunately you will not be able to use it for paper or card once we move over to the new system. You will need to use it for all remaining recycling or ask us to take it back.  

The reason for not using the current extra blue bins for paper and card is that we need to have a standard service for our bin crews who work at speed. Having a mix of blue bins that have different materials in would likely destabilise the rounds and could lead to mistakes happening and recycling loads being contaminated with the wrong waste. 

We also need people to put the right items in the right container and having two blue bins could lead to confusion. 

Unwanted extra blue bins

We will collect any unwanted extra blue bins on request.

Lost blue bags

We will replace your blue bag on request for free.