UK Recycling Minister Robbie Moore has announced the introduction of a simpler recycling collection to boost recycling rates in England. 

The announcement was made on 9 May 2024. This initiative is part of broader efforts to increase recycling and reduce waste.  

It follows the introduction of restrictions on single-use plastics, which came into effect on 1 October 2023, targeting items such as plastic plates, cutlery, and polystyrene food containers. 

The new system will standardise the materials collected from homes, workplaces, and schools, thereby eliminating the current confusing variety of localised approaches. 

Councils will be permitted to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper, and card in a single bin under all circumstances.  

This uniformity is expected to alleviate confusion about what items can be recycled, as the same set of materials will be collected regardless of location.  

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The change aims to simplify the process for councils and waste collectors while maintaining the flexibility to manage recyclable waste as per local needs. 

In addition, the UK government is advocating for more frequent and comprehensive bin collections.  

Councils will be required to collect general waste at least every two weeks, with food waste collections occurring weekly.  

Moore said: “We all want to do our bit to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill – but a patchwork of different bin collections across England means it can be hard to know what your council will accept. Our plans for Simpler Recycling will end that confusion: ensuring that the same set of materials will be collected regardless of where you live.” 

The streamlined recycling regulations will apply to all residential properties in England, including flats, and will extend to non-residential municipal premises such as businesses, hospitals, schools, and universities.  

The scope of these requirements has also broadened to include places of worship, penal institutes, charity shops, hostels, and public meeting places.