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by Craig Pryce March 04, 2022

Purple wheelie bins for recycling are rising in popularity across the UK, with many councils looking to introduce them to local households.

Eliminate any confusion surrounding your new purple bin and learn how to recycle properly. Continue reading for a quick guide on their usage, as well as purple bin collection information.

What goes in the purple bin?

Purple recycling bins are primarily used by local councils to collect paper and cardboard household waste only. These materials are then taken to a dedicated paper mill and turned into re-used paper and card.

The recycled items must be clean, dry and loose. Do not recycle items that have heavy grease or food stains, such as takeaway boxes.

Items you can put into the purple recycling bin include:

  • Paper (no glue/paint)
  • Cardboard tubes and boxes
  • Clean food packaging boxes
  • Cardboard egg boxes
  • Envelopes with/without plastic windows
  • Junk mail
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Household packaging
  • Greetings cards (no glitter)

Any other recyclable items must be placed in your regular recycling bin.

Don’t put the following items into the purple recycling bin:

  • Takeaway pizza or food boxes
  • Tissues
  • Books
  • Shredded paper
  • Cigarette packets
  • Wrapping paper with glitter or foil


Where is the purple recycling bin used?

The purple recycling bin is currently only used in a few areas in the UK, however more councils are looking to introduce them to local households in the future.

Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Glasgow and Dundee all use the purple bin, however their uses vary across the cities.

In Liverpool, for example, the purple bin is used for household waste and food waste, including pet food. The colour was chosen as it’s a mix of Liverpool red and Everton blue, the city’s two major football clubs. Purple bins quickly became synonymous with identity of Liverpool – you can now even buy a miniature purple bin from the Museum of Liverpool and Utility gift shops!

Meanwhile, in Ayrshire, purple bins are reserved for recyclables like glass, plastics, cans, and cartons, while Wolverhampton council uses purple bins for garden waste – the purpose of a purple bin really depends on where you are in the country.

However, where purple bins are being introduced to new places, they are being solely used for cardboard and paper recycling.

Some homes across Lincolnshire began trialing the purple bin recycling scheme in 2021, with over 7,000 households taking part.

The town of Boston, also in Lincolnshire, recently began using the purple bin for recycling cardboard and paper waste too.

Purple bin collection

 Paper and cardboard prepared for recycling.

How often and when your purple bin is collected depends on your location.

Always check your local council website for your purple bin collection days. This will also provide more details on what you can and cannot put in your bin.

How to order a purple wheelie bin

In locations where the purple bin is being used for cardboard and paper waste, you must contact your local council to request one.

If your area is not taking part in the scheme, you unfortunately cannot currently request a household purple recycling bin.

Wheelie Bin Solutions offer robust and quality purple wheelie bins for domestic and business use for a range of purposes – even if you just want to add a pop of colour to your garden storage!

Craig Pryce

Craig Pryce

With over 17 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, Craig is passionate about making recycling easier and reducing the negative impact of litter. He has been the managing director of Wheelie Bin Solutions (WBS) since January 2016, and prides the company on his expert knowledge, top-quality products, and customer service. His proudest moment was when WBS supported the 2012 Olympic Games, working in partnership with Contenur UK to supply over 9000 bin containers to all Olympic venues. Craig is always keen to share his knowledge, so whether you need advice about the benefits of a wheelie bin lock, or ideas for alternative uses for your wheelie bin, Craig will ensure your recycling and waste disposal habits are gold medal worthy.