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General Recycling - Frequently Asked Questions

These are a few of the most frequently asked questions that the council receives from residents about recycling and refuse. We hope that the answers below will help, but if there is still something you are unsure about please contact us on  01978 298989 or email contact-us@wrexham.gov.uk.

General Recycling Questions

How clean do the recycled materials have to be?

It is advised that food tins are rinsed using the water that you have washed your dishes in, but take care with sharp edges. There is no need for these containers to be thoroughly cleaned using fresh running water, as long as any large amounts of food residues are taken out. Labels can be removed but it doesn’t matter if they aren’t as this is part of the reprocessing stage.

Why can’t we recycle plastic bags?

Most leading supermarkets offer recycling points for plastic bags, however three different types of plastic bags exist: biodegradable, non- biodegradable and compostable. There is no easy way to separate these and the three types cannot be recycled together. The best solution is to use re-useable or ‘bag for life’ shopping bags, which reduces the amount of carrier bags in circulation.

What time should I put my refuse or recyclable materials out?

To ensure collection, refuse and recyclable waste must be available for collection by 7.30 am on the scheduled day, at the normal collection point. It should not be put out any earlier than the previous evening.

Do you collect waxed cartons e.g. Tetra-Pak?

No, as Tetra Pak is packaging used to store liquid food and drinks (e.g Juice and milk cartons). They are made from layers of cardboard, plastic and foil. At present in the UK there are few re-processors that are capable of recycling tetra-pak. However they can be taken to carton banks at and all three Household Recycling Centres.

Does the Council offer to clean my wheelie bin?

No, we do not offer this service. You can either clean the bin yourself using a long handled brush and some soapy water or find a private company by looking in your local telephone directory.

Can I have another green garden bin?

If you require an extra green garden waste bin there is a charge of £15.00. Just ring the contact centre on 01978 298989 to make a purchase. Only two green garden waste bins allowed per household.

What goes in my green garden waste bin?

Grass cuttings, hedge shrub prunings, dead flowers and weeds.

Please ensure corrugated cardboard is no longer placed in your green garden waste bin.

Why have you stopped taking corrugated cardboard in the green bin?

Unfortunately too much shiny cardboard which cannot be composted was being placed in the green garden waste bin. This type of cardboard is not compostable. This effects the quality of the compost produced and we were under increased danger of losing our Pass 100 which we require to enable us to pass on the free compost to the general public. 

Can I put dog mess and cat litter in the green bin?

No. This must still go into your residual rubbish bin, ideally in a tied up carrier bag.

What happens to the contents of the green bin once it has been collected?

It is taken to the In-vessel Composting Unit on Wrexham Industrial Estate where it is turned into a soil conditioner and is now available free at all the Household Waste Recycling Centres for residents to collect. Some of the compost will also be used for landscaping projects and landfill restoration.

What is an in-vessel composting unit?

The in-vessel composting process allows for food waste (including meat) to be composted alongside garden waste and corrugated cardboard. The process occurs in a sealed tunnel compared to the technique previously used called open windrow composting which occurred outside.

The IVC process begins with the material being shredded and screened for contamination. As the waste is enclosed the composting process can be speeded up by pumping air into the waste, by either increasing or decreasing the water content of the waste and by increasing or decreasing the temperature within the tunnel or vessel.

The amount of air or water that needs to be added to the waste during the composting process depends on the composition of the green waste going in to it. For example, if the waste load has a high content of food then less water will be needed during the process because the food itself will have a lot of water contained inside it. All IVC plants are regulated by the State Veterinary Service this is because they fall under a regulation called the Animal By-Products Regulations. This regulation is in place because the IVC process enables the composting of meat and fish.