I’ve seen recycling teams mixing red and purple recycling bags together: why are we asked to separate them?

This is a question we are asked from time to time on Twitter from residents who feel a dismayed that their efforts to separate recyclable materials are going to waste.

Clare from our recycling team (@MonCCRecycling on Twitter) explains:

“The bags are put into the collection lorry together but reduced compaction levels on vehicles mean, in large, bags don’t split open. This means when they go through the sorting process glass (in purple bags) is kept separate from paper (in red bags).  Luckily with this system, there is very little contamination. We think it’s very important to keep materials separate and in two bags as it increases their value.”

We hope this answer helps put your mind to rest that the materials are indeed being sorted and put to good use.




  1. Nope, sorry. I’ve tweeted this question before. When the lorries compact the waste the bags are ripping open – be that from the glass breaking or the lorry itself. You cannot use general refuse truck for this.

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