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Slim Bins Boost Manchester's Recycling Rates

Slim Bins Boost Manchester's Recycling Rates

Slim Bins Boost Manchester’s Recycling Rates

Manchester city council has told residents that some bin collections will be changing, after the introduction of new ‘slim bins’ across the city boosted recycling rates.

Manchester’s recycling rate has increased from less than 32% in 2015/16 to around 40%, which is projected for 2017/18.

The ‘slim bins’

The council introduced the slim bins last year, and the new bins have a 140-litre capacity rather than a 240- litre capacity like the previous bins. With less waste being thrown away, the council are making changes to collections to collect the larger amounts of recycling more efficiently.

Preparing for changes

The council has said that the frequency of collections won’t change, and alternate collections for general waste and recycling will continue. Some households will have their rubbish collections on a different day, and this will affect around 17% of residents. This may mean that some residents might initially have a longer wait until their new collection day.

Saving Money

Saving money

According to the council, the increased recycling rates will save the city over £7 million in waste management and disposal costs. They also say that even more savings are possible, if the recycling rates increase further.

In a report, recycling officers stated that the reduction in bin capacity had saved £2.4 million in 2016 alone, as well as £250,000 on their private waste disposal contract.

The report did point out that increased collections would be necessary to cope with the increased recycling rates.

The council is currently reviewing its waste disposal contract, as it is likely to overspend on it again this financial year, mainly due the cost of the operation of anaerobic digestion plants, increased spending on insurance premiums and the rising cost of residual waste going to energy from waste plants.

A joint effort

The council has thanked the residents of Manchester for making the effort to recycle more, and even though they say that there’s more to do, this effort has saved the council a considerable amount of money.

The council has signed an 8-year contract with the waste management firm Biffa, who will be responsible for the new collections.

Other areas have followed suit

Neighbouring boroughs like Stockport have adopted the slim bins, while Bury, Rochdale, and Salford have all introduced three-weekly collections of waste.


The contract with Biffa is set to reduce overall waste management and disposal costs by 10%. Biffa has recently invested £11 million in a new fleet of vehicles which will enable them to collect around 152,000 tonnes of waste per year.


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