National Recycling Week: Your A-Z Guide
National Recycling Week is the one week in the year where various organisations, businesses and ordinary people come together to promote a common goal. According to the organisers WRAP, it’s not just about recycling, but recycling more of the right things and more often. This year, it runs from September 20th to 26th.
Companies like CBS Waste are committed to recycling and we aim to keep landfill to a minimum by recycling at least 80% of the waste that we take away from customers. We’re also fully licensed and provide customers with Waste Transfer Notices.
But given some of the alarming statistics, there’s still a lot of work to do to help the planet. The day’s focus centres around the need to recycle correctly and more regularly, but things can be confusing. Some items are obvious green bin items, while others should never be in a bin other than a black one.
So we’ve produced a comprehensive A-Z Guide. Different councils have different policies when it comes to recycling certain items and you should always check with your local authority if you’re in doubt about any items. But here is some handy information to help you get into good habits:
Aerosols are considered hazardous waste so most local authorities will tell you not to put them in the general waste bin. But there are recycling points which can accept them. You should not crush, pierce or flatten any cans and dispose of detachable parts such as lids separately. Aerosols are made from tin plated steel or aluminium – both of which are recyclable.
Bubblewrap helps to keep items safe, so you should be smart when it comes to recycling it. Generally speaking, local authorities say to avoid putting bubblewrap into kerbside recycling bins. But some councils will collect recycling bins with bubblewrap in. But there are specialist collection points in supermarkets or you could reuse it when you next wrap up gifts.
Got a pair of jeans that are torn beyond salvation? Or is your shirt stained to the point that no chemicals will clean it? Putting them in recycling bins is not only wrong, it is also costly to local authorities. In some cases, the cost can be as high as tens of thousands of pounds. Unwanted clothes and textiles should be given to charities if possible or put in clothing banks.
These can generally can go in recycling bins, but there will be some exceptions.
Unlike other packaging products, paper envelopes can be recycled in some kerbside collections. More intricate envelopes such as bubble bags and poly mailers can be taken to recycling points. There are some envelopes however that cannot be recycled.
Disposable face masks have become commonplace throughout the last year and a half and ensuring they are being dealt with properly is extremely important. Cutting the strings off and then placing the masks in a separate sandwich bag/plastic bag before being disposed of helps with the hazardous aspect.
Glass is one of the most simple items that can be recycled. All you have to do is place it into a recycling bin, or if it is a glass bottle, take these to bottle banks located at most supermarkets. It’s as simple as that.
Hairdryers and any personal grooming appliances can be recycled. The rule of thumb is that anything with a battery, cable or plug is able to be recycled.
Inhalers are not made to be thrown away and be picked up by kerbside collection services. Instead, inhalers should be returned to your GP or pharmacy, to which they can be disposed of properly, destroying the greenhouse gases.
Juice cartons are able to be effectively reused and recycled. The cartons, however, should be completely emptied and dried before doing so.
Although most kitchen knives will last you an extremely long time, it is good to know what to do if you need to bin an old one. They cannot be recycled so instead, they should be packaged extremely carefully so people are aware of the contents, and then placed at the top of a general waste bin.
Like knives, lightbulbs are not directly recycled, instead they should be placed inside of a separate bag and placed into your black bin for general waste or taken to a Civic Amenity site, which will correctly dispose of your old lightbulbs.
Mirrors can be recycled, but should not be placed in waste bins especially if they’re not whole (shards of glass shouldn’t go in a bin either). The best way to dispose of your unwanted mirrors is to take them to a Civic Amenity site, where they can be recycled properly.
Nappies have always been a grey area when it comes to recycling, with there being alarming stats about their degradability. Disposable nappies cannot be recycled, but to effectively dispose of them, you should be using your general waste bin.
When it comes to recycling ornaments there are a handful of options. The best being to take these things to a charity shop where they might be able to find a new home. If the ornament in question is of no use to anyone due to damages or the like, placing them in your general waste or black bin or taking them to a CA site is the best way to deal with them.
Although it is found in most packaging of high value items alongside plastic, polystyrene can not actually be recycled. But before you bin it, you should look at finding another use for it first.
Unfortunately most bedding is unable to be recycled. You might be able to donate them to good causes, including animal charities, but otherwise they have to go in the general waste bin.
Following suit along with knives, razor blades unfortunately can not be recycled. They should be wrapped and labeled accordingly, being placed at the top of your rubbish in your general waste bin.
Sanitary products are unable to be recycled and so should be disposed of in the correct manner. Any products that fall under sanitary should be placed in a bag before being put in your general waste bin.
Generally speaking, they belong in the general waste bin although some local authorities have special schemes which collect them and donate to charity in return for every collection they make.
Umbrellas are always bound to break due to the weather that they are to shield you from and for the most part they can be recycled. But the metal parts are the most suitable components for recycling.
Vegetable peelings are biodegradable which means you are usually able to put them in your green bin along with garden waste.
Washing up liquid bottles
Washing up bottles can be recycled and like all other plastic containers you wish to recycle, they need to be washed out and dried before being placed in your relevant bin.
Whilst artificial trees are bought to be kept for many years, real trees can be chopped and made into mulch at recycling facilities. Or if you are looking to keep hold of your tree, you can plant this in your garden or see if this can be done locally to be pulled back up for re-use next Christmas.
Plastic yoghurt pots are able to be recycled. These should be placed in your recycling bin and like bottles, pots should be rinsed out and dried before being recycled.
Zips are able to be recycled separately from their clothing and accessories. In some places, these can be taken to recycling sites or placed into your dedicated bin. These can also be donated to local businesses that deal with clothing or kept for replacements.