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Top Tips for the ‘Tip’

22 Apr

Or as we like to call it in the industry the ‘recycling centre’, no matter how hard we try this name just doesn’t seem to stick. We understand why ‘tip’ is used; it’s easy to say and that’s what residents know it as. To quote Shakespeare, “what’s in a name?”

Most people acknowledge the changes that have been made in the industry in recent years with over 20 separate recycling streams for the stuff we don’t need any more and want to tip somewhere.

Recycling Centre Sign

Recycling Centre Sign

Today, most of that waste is transformed into new products, i.e. plastic bottles can be made into new football shirts; metals turned into iPods or new drinks cans; glass can be made into more glass bottles.

As for the non- recyclable items, this doesn’t go to waste; it’s turned into green energy! The power you use at home may have resulted from disposing of your waste at the tip. Long gone are the days of putting it all in a big hole in the ground.

In Greater Manchester we have a network of 20 recycling centres all of which are new or have been refurbished; they get used a lot which is great. Last year, across all 20 centres we recycled 54% and 68% was turned into green energy.

The sun is shining and Spring is upon us and so is May bank holiday and this is when the recycling centres are at their busiest (residents de-cluttering at home and spring cleaning). We thought it would be a good idea to provide you with some ‘top tips’ to use when visiting the recycling centre to make your visit simple and stress free. (All of the advice below is based on experience and true life stories):

1. Preparation is key – The recycling centres are designed to make recycling easy; by following these few simple steps it will make your visit even easier:

  • Segregate your recyclable items (check your local recycling centre to see what recycling they take); this will make unloading your vehicle quicker.
  • The recycling centres are predominately designed for vehicle access, and operate a height barrier set at two metres. Don’t even chance it if you think your vehicle is close to this height as we have had vehicles get through when they are loaded and not get out the other side once unloaded! If you have a vehicle above this height, we do have recycling and disposal facilities available at our larger plant facilities. See our website for the closest one to you before you leave home.
  • If you are pulling a trailer make sure the load is lower than two metres, as you can see from the picture below, your vehicle may clear the barrier but the load may not and this can cause damage to your vehicle and our lovely stripy barriers.
Trailer loaded to above 2 metres that caused damage to the barrier and the residents car

Trailer loaded to above 2 metres that caused damage to the barrier and the residents car

Staff are there to assist, but if you are bringing heavy or awkward sized items, please consider whether to bring along someone to help you (is it a 2 person job?)

2. Don’t tip the wrong stuff – When you have located the correct recycling container to tip your waste please ensure that you only recycle what you intended to.

  • Make sure you put your car keys in your pocket before throwing things into the containers; otherwise it may be ‘hook a duck’ time for staff. The recycling containers hold tonnes of waste so it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack!
  • Make sure there is nothing valuable that you have accidentally put in with your recycling.
  • Make sure any jewellery on your throwing hands is secure! We recently saved Neil’s wedding ring as well as a lot of earache from the wife!

3 .Leave the site safely – This may sound like common sense ‘how could I not exit safely,’ but it is worth remembering to do the following:

  • (See Point 1) make sure you check your vehicle height and remember your car may appear shorter when loaded.
  • Ensure your boot is closed before you exit, this is especially important if your car is a hatchback. Open boots will stop you and everyone else from leaving.

4. Make the most of it – Make sure you get the most out of this service; all recycling centres are open during the summer from 8am to 8pm (except Salford Road, Bolton). See what can be recycled and disposed of here and if you want to know what happens to your recycling all the information is here.

  • However don’t be surprised if you’re a frequent visitor, that you are asked a few questions. Recycling Centres are for Greater Manchester residents only; commercial operators need to pay for disposal of their waste. We try and protect this service from abuse so it remains a high quality service for all.
  • Lastly, don’t forget Greater Manchester residents can use any of the 20 recycling centres in the network, so you may want to check out our recycling centre map to check which one suits your requirements.

Spring is in the air..

12 Mar

It’s time for Spring cleaning again, a chance to open your windows and clear away the winter cobwebs! So don’t forget when you clear out your draws and cupboards the garage and the garden shed you can take all of your unwanted items to your local recycling centre. Think how much space you can make in your home and garden!

In Greater Manchester we have a network of 20 recycling centres that provide residents with a wide range of recycling and waste disposal opportunities. You may be surprised with what you can take to the recycling centres. Generally if it is from your house or garden you can bring it along to a recycling centre, where we can recycle it or it can be used for energy recovery.

At your recycling centre you can take a wide range of standard materials for recycling:

HWRC recycling material icons image

Did you know that you can also take a lot more items that you may have otherwise thrown away?

For example:

  • Odd socks, nylon and wool tights or stockings and  underwear as well as clothing and textiles too worn for use, all of these can be put into our textile bank at your local recycling centre.
  • DVDs and CDs with or without cases, books (damaged or not). They can all be put into our media bank where the items will later be sorted for reuse or recycling.
  • Left over paint- we take all paint, gloss and emulsion. Any gloss paint will need to go into the hazardous waste bin – just ask staff on site for help.
  • Did you know that as well as taking your old car oil we can also take your old cooking oil, which is reprocessed in the UK for biofuels?


Smart Apps:

Remember, if you have a smartphone you can download the Recycle for Greater Manchester app which has a ‘find my nearest’ function which lists all our recycling centres, opening times, addresses and postcodes. If you have activated your mobile location function it will also show you a map of how to get there!  Just go to the App Store or Play Store on your mobile device and search for Recycle for Greater Manchester.


Nothing goes to waste!

The good news is, if we cannot recycle it we will use it to create energy from waste.

If you want to know more about what we do with the items you take to your recycling centre visit our website or book to visit one of our FREE open days which run throughout the year.

If we cannot recycle it we will use it to create energy from waste. If you want to know what we do with the items you take to the recycling centre find out more.




Why not use up your leftovers on Pancake Day?

17 Feb

Traditionally pancakes were made to use up perishables such as butter, milk and eggs the day before Lent begins Making pancakes is  also a good opportunity to use up any leftovers of items from your fridge and kitchen cupboards before they are out of date. In the UK, we still waste around £60 worth of food per month by throwing away food that could have been eaten. A fifth of the food we buy ends up as waste, and about 60% of that could still have been eaten.

Research has shown that milk is one of the three top items being thrown away unused in British homes along with bread and potatoes. There is an incredible 5.9milliion glasses of milk wasted on a daily basis in the UK. The main reasons for the waste is the fact that we sometimes  buy more than we need and we are unsure about how to store food to keep it fresh. Quite often, we are unsure about  food date labelling and over-estimate portions. So instead of throwing away leftovers or overripe fruit today, use them up by creating a tasty pancake filling.

pancakesPancake batter is simple to make and there are loads of pancake recipes to be found online. To create the basic pancake you will need is a few ingredients; flour, milk, and eggs. Just about anything you put in a pancake will taste great, you can even add fruit, nuts, berries or even chocolate to your batter. If you need to shop for your pancake day treat remember to take a shopping list and only buy what you need to create the prefect waste-free meal.

Pancakes are popular around the world; why not try a different type of pancake today? There is the American buttermilk pancake, or Russian pancakes called blinis, which are made from buckwheat flour, try them served with smoked salmon, sour cream or crème fraiche. If you fancy something savory try an Indian Gujarati pancake with spicy potatoes and yoghurt. Or for a delicious  dessert you can make quick and easy sweet fillings using overripe fruit chopped and stirred through yoghurt or cream.

Enjoy your pancake day, if you do have leftover batter keep it fresher for longer– pour it into an clean plastic milk bottle and it will stay fresh in your fridge for a few days’, it will separate so just give it a quick shake before you use it.

Got a favourite pancake recipes, filling or handy tips? Share it with us via Twitter @recyle4gm or our Facebook page!

Get creative and save money this Christmas

19 Dec

With just a week to go until Christmas… if you have not already, it’s time to get all those decorations up and get all the presents wrapped.

Tina, our ‘crafty’  communications team  member shares some creative ways on making your very own decorations and present wrapping ideas using items lying around the house and last years’ Christmas cards!  

I have a tendency to collect odd bits of paper and random bits and bobs  in hope that one day they will come in useful. That day has come, all the hoarding was for this one day – Christmas Day!

Instead of buying wrapping paper and decorations, why not have a go at making your own or use things around your  home?

Here are some ideas…

  • Reuse boxes and gift bags

Whenever I get a present in a gift bag, I always keep them so I can use again.  I also kept some fancy shoe boxes which I use for storage.  Boxes can also be used  to put awkward shaped presents in –also  it makes it harder for the person to guess what the present is!

  • Reuse old Christmas cards to make gift boxes

Here is a quick and easy way of making gift boxes. If you saved your Christmas cards from last year you can turn them into boxes, which can be used for small gifts such as sweets and chocolate.  I also like using these boxes to keep bits and bobs in like buttons and paperclips.

Here is the quick guide from Crafty Pod

  • Make hanging decorations from old leaflets or paper

I have been addicted to making these paper decorations- they are quite easy to make.  Mine are made out of old leaflets, a calendar and some red envelopes I saved from Chinese New Year.  They look great hanging in my front room, or you can make mini ones for the Christmas tree!

Watch this ‘how to’ video.


  • Reuse packaging 

    Things to reuse

    Things to reuse

You be surprised how much stuff round your house you can use to put your presents in.   I ordered some clothes that came in a box shaped like pizza box once! You can use things like plastic cartons you get supermarket vegetables in, jam jars, takeaway containers…the list is endless!

Do you have any Christmas craft ideas to share with us? Send us a message!

Baby on a budget – part one

17 Dec

Tina, our office Mum-To-Be has been in nesting mode- even in the office… here she shares her preparation  for the new arrival.

At 30 weeks pregnant, I am now in true nesting mode-  even the freezer has  been cleaned out – don’t worry  I’m not planning to put the baby in there…

After reading an article (New mums spending £1,000-plus on ‘baby essentials’… or costly gimmicks?)  I got a bit panicked.  Being a first-time Mum – I had no idea what a baby really needed, the cost of baby stuff and how to cope with a reduced household income whilst on maternity leave .  So I decided to ask the experts – MUMs!

I am very lucky to be surrounded by Mums at work – even though they have shared some horror stories,  they all have given me invaluable advice and unanimously agree the sleepless nights are worth it!

I have also been inundated with very kind offers from friends and family who have given me a lot of their little one’s toys, pram, cot, car seat, Moses basket, blankets and a mountain of clothes!

As well as the generosity of others, I am also saving money by:

  • Using cloth nappies

    Cloth nappies! - my favourite is the yellow one with clouds!

    Cloth nappies! – my favourite is the yellow one with clouds!

I have recently purchased a cloth nappy kit from Baba and Boo, which includes 20 washable cloth nappies and all the essentials.  By using these I am hoping to save up to £1000 and even more if I decide to have baby number two.   By not using disposable nappies, this will also reduce the amount of rubbish in my general bin.  I can’t wait to start using them – just look how cute they are!

  • Using rechargeable batteries

Some of the toys I have been given need batteries  (usually the noisy ones) so I will buy a range of rechargeable batteries and a charger – again this will save money in the long term and also I don’t have to worry about dead batteries.  If you use disposable batteries, you can take them to your local supermarket for recycling – they should have a battery box  located near the tills.

  • Repurposing

    Laundry basket used for toy storage

    Laundry basket used for toy storage

If you don’t have anything lying around the house you can repurpose, check out your local furniture reuse organisation who have a great selection of quality second hand furniture.  Alternatively, check out NCT’s nearly New Sales and car boot sales.

To keep on top of your expenses, check out The Money Advice Service baby costs calculator to estimate costs.

So I just got 10 weeks to go now…there is still a lot of cleaning to do.

Wish me luck!

ReThink Fashion Show 2014

3 Dec Featured Image -- 2241


Last week we hosted our ReThink Fashion show in Manchester, a fantastic night or creativity and innovative design from designers and stylist across Greater Manchester. The media interest in our 4th fashion show has been unprecedented. Have a look at this great blog by fashion stylist Evie at wearevierose.

Originally posted on wearevierose | style blog:

Last week I attended the ReThink Fashion Show held at the Museum of Science and Industry. The event was set up by Recycle for Greater Manchester and was the fourth year they had hosted the show. The concept behind the event was to create awareness about what you can create using recycled materials. The show was truly inspiring.

The evening began with a mooch around a few of Manchester’s unique upcycled and vintage accessories, fashions and homeware stalls. Amongst them were the likes of Emmaus and Junk Shop. There were also exhibits from Manchester Metropolitan- again all related to recycling materials.

photo 5

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On to the highlight of the night- the fashion show. Showcasing collections from local vintage stores, and couture designer, Adnan Bayyat, the fashion show was incredible. Adnan Bayyat was the one who stood out to me; every garment from the collection was uniquely impressive. You would not believe from looking at these…

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Top upcycling tips from our #ReThink Fashion experts

21 Nov

It is all hands on deck for the Recycle for Greater Manchester’s Communications team as we count down to our sell out Re -Think fashion show at the MOSI on 27th November.

Re-Think Fashion Events banner

We have asked the fashion show designers and our upcycling experts to give us a few of their upcycling tips. Manchester based Stakkabridge an independent, vegan clothing company and Debi Harcourt-Whiting who creates unique, bespoke, steel boned corsets for bridal and special occasions,  have come up with some simple and sensible suggestions.


Q: What can I make from an old t-shirt that requires very little actual sewing?

A : Debi Harcourt-Whiting – A vest or tank top.

A : @stakkabridge – Maybe cut off the sleeves or cap them and potentially the neck line too. I drew a character using a permanent marker which has survived many washes now :).

A : Debi Harcourt-Whiting  – T shirts if in good repair could have lace, sequins, ribbon, appliqué, crystals, beading etc. applied to them.

Q: What are the essentials I should have in my make do and mend sewing kit?

A : @stakkabridge – Sharp scissors make altering a lot easier. Chalk for marking, needles and thread!

A : Debi Harcourt Whiting – Bondaweb to make any quick fix repairs and can be used for quick stitch free hemming, a sharp pair of scissors, dye, embellishments.

Q: If I need to shorten a skirt how do I ensure that the hem is straight?

A : @stakkabridgeMeasure it from the bottom eg.10cm upwards all the way around and draw a line with chalk to follow when you sew.

A : Debi Harcourt Whiting – Remember to measure up from the hem and pin to mark before cutting.

Q: What can I do with the growing number of odd socks that I have?

A : Debi Harcourt Whiting Dye them?

Q: Party /Friday night emergency, any suggestions for a quick ways to deal with a loose hem, broken zip or a hole?

A : Debi Harcourt Whiting – A loose hem can have a quick few stitches to hold it in place or use bondaweb for a more permanent fix. A hole may be fixed using bondaweb also, or use a brooch or an appliqué. Broken zips could perhaps be held together with a pin or 2 if not visible.

#ReThinkFashion Twitter hour

We’ve  got some great tweets from our #ReThinkFashion twitter hour…..

For a sneak preview of what to expect on the catwalk and at the upcycled marketplace have a look at some of our twitter hour tweets!

If you are coming along to the ReThinkFashion show remember to join the conversation and tell us what you think @recycle4gm using #ReThinkFashion


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