No cardboard in recycling remind Council

8 June 2015

Harrogate Borough Council is reminding residents that brown or corrugated cardboard is not collected as part of the blue blag kerbside recycling scheme.

Whilst paper (such as newspapers, magazines and office paper) and card (such as food packaging and greeting cards) can be made into a wide range of products, low grade brown cardboard and corrugated cardboard (such as pizza boxes and heavy duty packaging boxes) is not as versatile a material and has never been part of the kerbside recycling scheme.

If cardboard is mixed with paper and card the paper mills are rejecting the loads as contaminated – resulting in the entire load going to landfill; a significant reduction in the income which is used to fund the council’s recycling programme and an additional cost to dispose of the rejected material.

Residents may have seen some cardboard taken away in the past even though it didn’t form part of the scheme, but due to a considerable downturn in the recyclate market the level of contamination means this is no longer possible.

Whilst the collection crews adopt a pragmatic approach to taking the recycling material put out for collection, they are unable to sort material, and putting out items that can’t be collected may result in all of a households recycling being left behind.

The authority is also reminding residents that plastic bottles are the only plastic that can currently be included in kerbside recycling. Items such as carrier bags and food trays should be disposed of by alternative means.

Councillor Michael Harrison, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Waste Reduction and Recycling said:I welcome the fact that the vast majority of residents are keen to recycle their household waste where possible, and recognise that it can be confusing as to which items can be recycled and what cannot.

While we would like to be able to recycle brown cardboard, corrugated cardboard and a variety of plastic materials, unfortunately we are currently unable to do this as part of our kerbside collection service, as we need to balance the cost of collection, the demand for the recycling product, and the income we receive for the materials. However, such items can be taken to one of our district’s waste recycling centres rather than being included with household general waste.

We are working hard to improve our recycling rates and over the last year we have collected over 10,700 tonnes of kerbside recycling, a recycling rate of 41.37%, representing an annual increase of 6.1%.

I would like to thank the district’s residents for their understanding. Their efforts and continued support are very much appreciated and together we are creating a greener district and making significant savings for the tax payer.

Cardboard can be put black bag waste, it can however be recycled by taking to a waste recycling centre.

For a full list of what can and can’t be recycled and for details on your nearest recycling centre please visit or contract our Customer Services team on 01423 500 600.

1 Comment

  1. I have friends across the uk and I’m a bit worried that we have such poor recycling facilities in Harrogate – in fact the facilities vary across such a small place as Harrogate! When I visit Devon and Hull, there are penalties for not complying with using the correct recycling in the home facilities. I have no ‘brown bin’ for garden refuse even though close neighbours do. In terms of delivery waste eg cardboard boxes etc, we have no option but to use the dustbin.
    Im not a green fanatic. My Christmas tree is still drying out waiting to be burnt because we have no Christmas tree recycling.
    I am aware that there are EU standards for recycling (but I couldn’t quote them!). How come we do so little when other areas are bound by legislation to do so much?

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