Collecting mixed recycling in sacks instead of boxes brings with it a host of advantages, Hackney Council has found.

From March 1st, the local authority will switch to the mixed bag option and has shared why it has done so – higher recycling rates, quicker collections and much lower costs.

A representative from the organisation said: “Less than one per cent of materials collected from green boxes are rejected at the recycling plant. Currently, around four-five per cent of materials in the orange sacks are rejected.

“Taking this into account, Hackney will still recycle about 26 per cent more using recycling sacks. Borough-wide use of the recycling sack scheme could save taxpayers £12m by 2020.”

The move may mean that people only need to use one recycling bin at home, which can then be emptied into the sack. A trial in Hackney’s Cazenove ward saw recycling collected 55 per cent quicker and 68 per cent of residents were in favour of the 60-litre capacity sacks.

According to, the outgoing green boxes are provided for houses and low-rise properties that face out on to the street. Guidance on the website indicates that aerosols, batteries, car batteries, cardboard, cartons, clothes, foil, tins, cans, newspapers, plastic, glass, paper, shoes, textiles and used engine oil can all be recycled in the new sacks.

Once collected, it can then be separated at a materials-recycling facility. Previously, the council had contracted the collection work to May Gurney, but it will be taking the service in-house from March onwards.

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