One Trafford take home National Recycling Award for improved paper recycling

The One Trafford Partnership, a collaboration between Trafford Council and Amey, has won a coveted National Recycling Award for Best Small Campaign of the Year

One Trafford ran the award-winning recycling campaign, Paper Blues, from July to October 2020 to encourage residents to improve their paper recycling. The campaign was developed because in the first 6 months of 2020, a total of 276 tonnes of collected paper and cardboard had to be rejected at the sorting centre as they contained too many wrong items. These wrong items, which were hidden in blue bins, included carpets, plastic refuse bags and even a whole cake!

When the lorry load contains more wrong items than recyclable items, it is treated as general waste which has an increased disposal fee. The cost of 276 tonnes of waste came to £24,800 in taxpayers’ money – this could have been used to fund other essential public services like adult social care or libraries.

To address this and make residents more aware of this cost, Paper Blues was launched to actively engage residents in areas where rejected lorries were consistently high. Some residents received letters or leaflets to make them aware of some of the wrong items found in their collection round.

During the campaign period, Paper Blues supported a 73% decrease in the number of rejected lorry loads in targeted areas; with some localised areas consistently achieving no rejected lorry loads. The campaign was also replicated in other localised areas where recycling could be improved.

Trafford Council’s Executive Member Environmental and Regulatory Services, Cllr Stephen Adshead, said:

“Congratulations to the One Trafford team for this fantastic win. Achieving a National Recycling Award for Best Small Campaign of the Year couldn’t have been done without the brilliant efforts of Trafford residents, who took quick action in changing their habits. When we spoke to and surveyed residents, 73% of residents remembered seeing their letter, while 40% remembered seeing their letter and changing what they put in the bin.”

An annual comparison of 2020 and 2021 showed a 63% reduction in rejected paper and cardboard. The continued messaging has supported an improvement in paper and cardboard recycling across Trafford as a whole. We all know that recycling the best we can is better for the environment and the wider world, but it also benefits us all closer to home. By recycling correctly, you are helping the Council to save money which can be spent on vital local services.”

Materials Recycling World’s (MRW) National Recycling Awards bring together recycling and waste management professionals to recognise and celebrate best practice in the industry.

Corin Williams, Editor of MRW said:

“The judges were bowled over this year by the breadth and depth of the entries. It is amazing to see just how inventive and committed people can be. In the wake of COP26 and a growing worldwide push to conserve, reuse and recycle our resources, the NRAs 2021 winners are showing what can be achieved.”

To discover more about Paper Blues and what goes in the blue bin visit

Posted on Friday 14th January 2022