Recycling Advice

This recycling advice is basically prepared in order to give basic guidance to all who wish to recycle more efficiently and effectively. This is a living post in as much as I will be adding to it as I gain more up to date advice and knowledge. This recycling advice has come from many sources and the facilities I advise people to use are not always available throughout the country and may be regional in nature. I do hope that you find this information useful.

Aerosols

Empty aluminium aerosols can be placed in your green recycling bin, or put in one of the can banks at your nearest bring site or recycling centre. These items are used in metal smelters and made into new metal products.

Do not squash or pierce your unwanted aerosols as it is dangerous to do so.

Aluminium Cans and Foil

Remember to wash and squash your aluminium cans.

These can be placed in your green recycling bin.

These items are used in metal smelters and made into new metal products.

Please try to reuse foil containers where possible, for example when freezing your leftover food. They also make great seed trays.

Clean foil items can be placed in your green recycling bin and can banks at your nearest bring site or recycling centre.

These items are used in metal smelters and are made into new metal products.

Antifreeze

Please take your bottles of unwanted antifreeze to your nearest recycling centre and put them in the chemical waste container. Ask the site staff for help if you are unsure where this is.

Asbestos

All asbestos is considered to be hazardous waste and as such all asbestos waste is only to be removed as waste by professional licenced contractors who can provide a certified chain of disposal.

Ash

Wood ash can be added to your compost heap a little at a time and it contains useful potash for plant growth.

Coal ash can be disposed of in your black rubbish bin. Please wait until it is cold and bag it up before putting it in your bin.

Baby Goods

Please remember that good condition baby clothes, toys and equipment can be passed on to friends, relatives, and neighbours or donated to your local charity shop. Your local nursery or playgroup may also be pleased to receive them.

If you are throwing out old baby clothes, toys and equipment, please donate them to a local re-use organisation. They will re-use them, helping those in need.

Bags

Remember to take out a shopping bag or few carrier bags with you so that you don’t need to accept anymore.

Save money by using carrier bags as bin liners at home.

Carrier bags, bread bags and stretchy fresh or frozen fruit and vegetable bags can be recycled in your green bin.

Batteries and Car Batteries

Please try to avoid using household batteries by buying solar powered equipment or using rechargeable batteries.

Single cell household batteries, for example, AA or AAA can be taken to collection points at most retailers where batteries are sold and to many council premises, such as libraries, sports centres, Community Hubs and schools. They can also be recycled at some bring sites and all recycling centres.

You can take your car batteries to your nearest recycling centre. Please take care when handling car batteries as they contain acid.

Bedding

This section includes, blankets, duvets, sheets, pillows and quilts, and sleeping bags

Please consider donating your unwanted good quality bedding, duvets, sheets and blankets to local homeless charities.

Duvets, blankets and sheets that are not good enough to be used again can be donated to the local RSPCA centre, or to the local Dogs Trust or local animal rescue centre for use as bedding for rescued animals.

You can also put these items into a textile bank at your nearest bring site and recycling centre. Ask staff at these locations if unsure.

Beverage Cartons and Other Cartons

Food and beverage cartons (Tetra Paks) are used to carry products such as milk, soft drinks and fruit juices and can be recycled in your green bin. They should be washed (rinsed) and squashed before disposal.

The fibre from the cartons is recycled in to coreboard which is then converted into industrial tubes and cores. The plastic is recycled into new polymer products such as children’s play mats and the aluminium is used in products such as breeze blocks.

Bicycles

Please try to pass your unwanted bicycle to friends, relatives or neighbours so they can be used and enjoyed by someone else.

 Alternatively, you could put them in the re-use container at your nearest recycling centre where they will be collected and repaired by a local charity.

If your bike is not good enough to be used by someone else, please put it in the scrap skip at your nearest recycling centre. It will be used in a metal smelter to make new metal products.

Books

Using your local library will help you to reduce the amount of unwanted books you have.

Books can be taken to any charity shop for resale or you can put them in the book banks at your nearest recycling centre.

The books put into book banks are sold in charity shops or else if damaged,  recycled into new paper and cardboard products.

Bottles and Jars

Washed and clean glass jars can be used again for storing homemade jam, pickles, herbs and other foodstuffs. Wine and beer bottles can be re-used in home brewing.

Empty glass bottles and jars can be recycled at your nearest bottle bank, bring site or recycling centre. Most glass is sent to be recycled into new products.

Bricks, Rubble, Hardcore, Ceramics, China

Bricks can be cleaned and used for a wide variety of projects around the house or garden for example paths, edging, raised beds, compost heaps or barbeques. It may be possible to pass bricks, rubble and hardcore to a local builder if they can use it in projects. Never pay a contractor to remove waste unless they have a licence to move waste. Take details of the licence prior to arranging the contract and if you have any doubts, contact your local authority. If your rubbish is subsequently fly tipped you can still be held responsible and face a heavy fine or worse.

Bricks and rubble can be taken to your nearest recycling centre and put in the skips marked Bricks and Rubble. These items will be used for roads and surface cover on landfill sites.

Charges may apply for disposing of some types of rubbish at most household recycling sites including bricks and rubble. To find out more contact your local authority..

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is useful in the garden as it can be used to protect plants from frost.

Bubble wrap can be recycled by putting it in your green recycling bin or taking it to your nearest bring site or recycling centre. It is recycled into new plastic products.

Bulk Waste

Please consider donating large furniture items that are in reasonable condition and working electrical appliances to local re-use organisations (please note mattresses and three piece suites will need a fire label). Many of these organisations will come and collect them from your home.

Freecycle is also another way to pass your unwanted items to others who may need them.

If your unwanted items are not suitable to be used again, you can take them to your nearest recycling centre. If you are unable to do this, you can book a bulky waste collection through your local authority.. These items will be recycled where possible.

CD / DVDs

If your unwanted CD / DVDss are pre-recorded and still work, you can donate them to your local charity shop.

There are also many online companies that offer a CD /DVD recycling service and may offer you a little cash.

Cans

Rinse and squash all cans (steel and aluminium) and recycle them through your green recycling bin.

These items are used in metal smelters and made into new metal products.

Cardboard and Paper

The guidelines within this section covers brochures, cardboard, cards, some Christmas waste, comics, greetings cards, junk mail, leaflets, magazines, newspapers, office paper, telephone directories.

Cardboard sheets can be used in the garden as a mulch to suppress weeds or ripped up can be added to your compost heap. It can also be shredded and used for animal bedding.

All cardboard such as brown card, cereal boxes, egg boxes and toilet roll tubes can be placed in your green recycling bin.

Larger corrugated cardboard boxes could be donated to people who are about to move. Contact your local Freecycle initiative. If they are going for disposal, they should be flattened and deposited in the cardboard skips at your nearest recycling centre.

This is recycled back into cardboard products such as packaging materials, cat litter and more.

Greetings Cards, Christmas waste – Remove any glittery or metallic parts from cards and recycle the rest in your green bin. You could reuse glittery or metallic parts by making them into gift tags.

Again these items are recycled back into cardboard products such as packaging materials and cat litter.

Magazines and comics can be passed on to friends and neighbours or else passed on to doctor’s surgeries, or dentists surgeries, or any other places where people have to wait around prior to appointments. It may be that some comics may have a monetary value

Paper, brochures, telephone directories, office paper, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, comics – all these items can be put into green waste bin or else into dedicated paper banks at recycling centres. Any wrappings on brochures, magazines, and junk mailings should be removed before disposal.

At no time should shredded paper be put into the recycled paper / cardboard  bins. It will compromise the waste stream. 

Carpet

Why not hire an industrial steam cleaner or use a local carpet cleaning firm to clean and spruce up your carpet so you can continue to use it?

If you have a homemade compost heap, pieces of carpet are ideal as an insulating material to place on the top of the heap to keep the heat in. It will eventually rot down.

Unwanted carpets and rugs can be sold or given to charity shops.

As a last resort unwanted carpets should be taken to your nearest recycling centre and placed in the general waste skips. These will be sent to landfill for disposal.

Cars

If your car is beyond repair, you should take it to a local scrap metal merchant for disposal. Please note that scrap has a value so shop around for the best offer.

Chemicals

There are many chemicals used in the home that are hazardous substances, for example paint, white spirit, bleach, antifreeze, brake fluid, engine oil, household and garden chemicals, and pesticides. Please try to use non-toxic alternatives instead.

Always keep chemicals in their original containers or packaging. If a chemical has to made up for use, clearly mark up any containers being used with what the contents are. 

Never dispose of chemicals down your sink or drain. Please take them to your nearest recycling centre so that they can be disposed of correctly. There is a household chemical container on all the sites.

These chemicals will be re-used within the chemical industry wherever possible, incinerated or turned to a solid material for disposal at landfill.

Christmas Trees and Christmas Waste

Re-useable artificial trees can be donated to charity shops.

Real Christmas trees should be taken to your nearest recycling centre and put in the green/garden waste skips. They will be composted and made into soil conditioner for use in land restoration projects.

Please ensure that all decorations are removed before putting your tree in the skip.

Reduce your Christmas waste by buying cards made from recycled card and reusing good quality wrapping paper.

Wrapping paper should be given the scrunch test:- scrunch it up before disposing,. If it stays scrunched up recycle it, if it comes undone put it in the general waste stream.

Recycle your Christmas cards and paper in your green recycling bin or in the paper bank at your nearest bring site or recycling centre. These are recycled back into cardboard products such as packaging materials and cat litter.

Remove any glittery or metallic parts from cards and recycle the rest in your green bin. You could reuse glittery or metallic parts by making them into gift tags.

Clothing

Donate clean clothing that is good enough to be re-used to your local charity shop where they will be resold. Alternatively, you could organise a jumble sale or local swap shop event to pass on items that you no longer want. These days there are a growing number of Cash for Clothes centres springing up where good clothing and footwear are weighed and then money changes hands.

All textiles, even if they are ripped and paired shoes can be recycled by putting in the textile bank at your nearest bring site or recycling centre.

These items will be used as second hand clothes if good enough quality, or shredded and used as filling material for example mattresses, to make recycled products or to become wiping cloths for industry.

Coffee Cups

Hot drinks paper cups are used in high street coffee shops, fast food outlets and supermarkets. These cups are lined with several layers of polyethylene (plastic). Because of this they are not suitable for recycling along with normal cardboard. Why not try a reusable cup?

However there are a growing number of ‘recycling on the go’ bins for coffee cups in many of towns and cities.

Compost

Try to avoid using peat based compost as rare peat bog ecosystems are destroyed to make it. Instead why don’t you make your own compost from fruit and vegetable peelings, and garden waste which includes grass cuttings, clippings, hedge prunings and small branches. This is definitely the most environmentally friendly way to deal with your garden waste.

The best way of managing waste from large hedges, trees and shrubs is to invest in a wood chipper, which allows the production of a mulch material. This can be added to your compost heaps/bins or used directly on your garden as a weed suppressant. Mulch is also very effective at retaining moisture in the soil. By composting and creating mulch, householders even with very large gardens should be able manage their garden waste.

At the time of writing this, (March 2020), around 65%of local authorities are imposing a charge for collecting garden waste. These charges are an annual rate, ranging from £22 per annum to £96.00 per annum. They are also making a charge for leaving garden waste at recycling centres. The councils are also selling off the compost that they produce from the garden waste they collect.

Most councils are unwilling to take compostable bags in their compost bins because under testing it has been found they do not fully decompose in garden waste within 12 weeks. These bags can be home composted or should be put in your black household waste bin.

Computers and Peripheral Equipment / Business Equipment

There are re-use organisations around the country that are always looking for donations of unwanted computer equipment.  They refurbish them for use by other not-for-profit and community organisations or recycle the materials.

There are companies that will take in “redundant” electronic equipment in exchange for money.  They tend to only take computers and not any peripheral equipment   

Computers from your home, and peripheral equipment  can also be taken to your nearest recycling centre. Please put them in the electronic equipment skip. Materials such as plastics and metals are recycled into new products.

Cooking Oil

Please remember that used cooking oil can be recycled and made into biodiesel. Please do not pour it down the drain.

To recycle your cooking oil please take to your nearest recycling centre and put it in the used cooking oil container. It will be used to create bio-diesel or as a fuel in an energy from waste facility.

Electrical Appliances

These guidelines refer to the likes of fridges and freezers, hair dryers, straighteners, irons, kettles, lamps and light fittings, microwaves, record players and music centres, radios, televisions, toasters, Tumble driers, washing machines, and any other household electrical appliance not previously referred to.

 If possible, please consider repairing your electrical appliances. If you are throwing out old and out-dated electrical equipment that still works, please donate it to a local re-use organisation. They will re-use them, helping those in need.

If you are replacing a broken appliance, the retailer supplying your new appliance should offer you a take back service. Alternatively you can take your broken appliances to your nearest recycling centre.

When taken to a recycling centre, all electrical appliances should be put in the appropriate designated storage area or the electrical equipment container. Ask the site staff if you are not sure where these are.

If you are unable to take your fridge or freezer to your local recycling centre, you can book a bulky waste collection online.

Fridges and freezers will be sent to a recycling plant where harmful CFC gases will be removed for incineration.

Materials such as plastics and metals will be recycled into new products.

Engine Oil

Please do not pour engine oil down the drain.

To recycle your engine oil, please take it to your nearest recycling centre and put it in the used engine oil container. It will be used to create bio-diesel or as a fuel in an energy from waste facility.

Fluorescent Tubes

You can take your fluorescent tubes to your nearest recycling centre. Please put them in the appropriate collection container. These will be recycled and the mercury that they contain will be recovered.

Food Waste

Try to reduce the amount of food waste that you produce by planning meals, making your portions smaller (if you tend to throw away a lot of cooked food) and freezing spare portions.

You can compost your vegetable peelings and cooked food in your compost bin (but not meat and fish). Food waste can’t be put in your brown bin as it may have been subject to pesticides which could contaminate the rest of the waste.

For tips on how to reduce the amount of food waste you produce, recipe ideas, shopping lists and menus please see the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Foreign Coins

Most charity shops will accept them. Alternatively why not keep them to pass on to friends and relatives for their holidays.

Furniture

The guidelines within this section covers for beds, chairs, chests of drawers, cupboards, sideboards, sofas and suites, tables and wardrobes.

If your unwanted furniture is good enough to be used by others, donate it to a local re-use organisation. Mattresses, armchairs and sofas should all have a fire label, and be free of stains. Your local re-use organisation will pick up furniture it re-uses.

 Alternatively, put your furniture in the reuse container at your nearest recycling centre.

If your furniture is not good enough to re-use, please take it to your nearest recycling centre. Wooden, MDF and chipboard furniture can be recycled in the timber skip, and metal furniture in the scrap metal skip. Mattresses and other soft furniture should be put in the non-recyclable waste skip.

If you are unable to take your furniture to your local recycling centre, you can book a bulk waste collection through your local authority.

Garden Waste

Garden Waste includes grass cuttings, clippings, hedge prunings and small branches.

Please see Compost, Composts Bins and Compostable Bags for more information.

Gas Bottles and Cylinders

Gas bottles and cylinders can be extremely dangerous when in the wrong hands, so should not be left around after use. You should not put unwanted gas cylinders or bottles in your general waste stream. Generally gas cylinders are not accepted at recycling centres. Most gas bottles and cylinders remain the property of the supplier. The supplier’s name will be printed on the item – the most common ones are Calor, BOC and Flogas.

  • Calor gas bottles can be returned to any Calor Gas stockist. If you have the original receipt, you can claim your deposit back. If you are unable to return them yourself, you can arrange a collection free of charge by calling Calor Gas, or contacting via the internet.
  • BOC will collect their cylinders free of charge. Please call 0330 162 1291 to arrange collection
  • Flogas will collect their cylinders free of charge. Please call 0800 574 574 and hold to arrange collection

If you have a gas bottle or cylinder that is unbranded or you are unsure of its contents, you can email a picture of it to email@synrec.co.uk for identification and advice on disposal or telephone National LPG and Industrial Gas Cylinder recovery on 0800 083 9652.

Glass Sheets or Windows

You can re-use sheets of glass by using them to make row covers (cloches) for gardening.

Please do not put sheets of glass into bottle banks. You can dispose of sheet glass by taking it to your nearest recycling centre where you should put it in the non-recyclable waste container.

If you are unable to do this you can request a bulky waste collection online through your local authority. Please wrap the glass sheets to protect the collection crew. This will then be disposed of to landfill.

Glass Jars and Bottles

Washed and clean glass jars can be used again for storing homemade jam, pickles, herbs and other foodstuffs. Wine and beer bottles can be re-used in home brewing.

Glass is endlessly recyclable, but not in your black or green household bins. Take your empty bottles and jars to a glass bank or recycling centre and you can leave caps and lids on as they will get recycled too. Look on your local authority web site for details of where bottle banks are.

Glass items such as drinking glasses and Pyrex containers should not be put into bottle banks. If these items are good enough to re-use, please take them to your local charity shop. If they are not, wrap them in paper and throw them away in your black rubbish bin.

Most glass is sent for remelt and is recycled into new products.

Glasses (Spectacles)

Many opticians collect unwanted spectacles for re-use in the Developing World. Please ask your local optician about this.

Hair Dryers and  / or Straighteners

If your unwanted hair appliance is in good working order, please donate it to a charity shop or local re-use centre

If you are replacing a broken hair appliance, the retailer supplying your new appliance should offer you a take back service.

Alternatively, you can recycle your hair appliance by taking it to your nearest bring site that has a WEEE bank or to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the small electrical waste container.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste should be dealt with appropriately.

Please see Asbestos for more information on this.

Please see Chemicals for more information on these.

You can also contact the Environment Agency on 0870 850 6506 for advice on disposing of hazardous waste.

Hearing Aids

Help the Aged recycle hearing aids. Please ensure units are in working order and send them to:

Hearing Aid Appeal

Help the Aged

FREEPOST, LON13616

London,

EC1B 1PS.

Hypodermic Needles

Please return used hypodermic needles to your doctor’s surgery or health centre for safe disposal.

DO NOT put these in your rubbish or recycling bin.

Inkjet Cartridges / Toner Cartridges / Printer Cartridges

You can refill and re-use inkjet cartridges by buying a refill kit or visiting your local cartridge retailer.

There are many charities that want unwanted ink cartridges and provide Freepost envelopes so that you can send them your cartridges. These are often available in your local supermarket or other retailer or can be found by entering a search on the internet.

Irons

If your iron still works, please donate it to a charity shop or your local reuse organisation.

You can recycle your iron by taking it to your nearest bring site that has a WEEE bank or to your nearest recycling centre,  where you can put it in the small waste electrical container. The metal and plastic will be recycled into new products.

Jewellery

Unwanted jewellery can be taken to charity and second hand shops.

Jigsaws

Donate complete jigsaw puzzles to your local charity shop.

Junk Mail

You can stop junk mail by registering with the Mail Preference Service:

Telephone 0207 291 3310.
MPS
Freepost 22
London, WE1 7EZ.

Junk mail can be recycled using your green recycling bin. Please remove all plastic packaging before recycling.

Kettle

If your kettle still works, please donate it to a charity shop or your local recycling centre.

You can recycle your kettle by taking it to your nearest bring site that has a WEEE bank or to your nearest reuse centres, where you can put it in the small waste electrical container. The metal and plastic will be recycled into new products.

Kitchen Roll

Try to always use kitchen roll made from recycled paper.

If it is just wet, used kitchen roll can be added to your compost bin/heap where it will rot down to produce compost for the garden. The middle can also be put in the compost bin to rot for compost.

The cardboard inner tube can also be reycled by putting it in your green recycling bin. It will recycled into new cardboard products.

Knives

You can recycle your old, unwanted knives by taking them to your nearest recycling centre and putting them in the scrap metal container.

Lamp and Light Fittings

If these are still in working order, please donate them to your local charity shop or reuse organisation.

If they are not good enough to reuse please recycle your lamp/light fitting by taking it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the small electrical waste container.

Leaflets

Please recycle your unwanted leaflets and flyers in your green recycling bin, your nearest bring site or nearest recycling centre. They will be recycled into new paper products.

Lightbulbs

Try to buy low energy lightbulbs, particularly for rooms where lights are left on for long periods of time. This will save money on energy and by not replacing lightbulbs so often.

Low energy lightbulbs can be recycled at your nearest household waste recycling centre.

Other types of (incandescent) lightbulbs cannot be recycled at present. These should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in your black household bin.

Magazines

Try to re-use magazines by donating them to your friends, relatives, colleagues or your local doctor’s surgery.

They can be recycled in your green bin or at your local bring site and recycling centre. Recycled magazines will be made into new paper products.

Medical Waste

There may be a free collection of medical waste available within your local vicinity.

What can be sent:-

  • bandages
  • plasters
  • wound dressings
  • swabs
  • renal bags
  • colostomy bags – empty
  • surgical gloves, aprons, shoe and hair covers
  • needles- housebound patients only (excludes housebound patients who live with someone who is able to return these to a doctor or pharmacist)
  • clinical body wash and cleaning agents

What cannot be returned

needles, syringes and pens (general) – return these to your doctor or pharmacist

  • incontinence pads – bag these and put it in your black bin
  • medical implements
  • excrement and bodily fluids
  • medication, tablets and creams – return these to your doctor or pharmacist
  • blood, human or animal waste
  • general household waste – bag this and put it in your black bin.

Medicines

Unused medicines and the empty bottles should be returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal. Please DO NOT put medicine bottles in bottle banks.

Metals

You can take scrap metal to your local recycling centre. Metal will be recycled into new metal products.

Microwaves

If your microwave still works, please donate it to a charity shop or your local reuse organisation. You can recycle your microwave by taking it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the small waste electrical container.The metal and plastic will be recycled into new products.

Milk Containers

If your milk containers are made from glass, you should return them to your milk man.

If they are made from plastic, wash them (rinse) and squash them and   then they can be put in your green recycling bin, taken to your nearest bring site or recycling site.

Mobile Phones and Accessories

Some charities run postal collection schemes for unwanted phones or else there are now several companies that will exchange your mobile phone for cash.. You will be able to find out more information on the internet.

Most supermarkets and phone shops have collection facilities for unwanted mobile phones. You could also put them in your nearest WEEE bank.

Monitors and Televisions

You can recycle your old style monitor or flat screen monitor and televisions by taking it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the television/monitor container. The metal and plastic will be recycled into new products.

Nappies

Please consider using real nappies. Real nappies are re-useable and washable. They are easier to use than you might think and can work out cheaper in the long run than disposable ones.

If you would like to try these, some local authorities have a real nappy incentive scheme to encourage parents to try real nappies. Go to  Google to see if your local authority is running such a scheme.

If you are using disposable nappies, please bag them up before you put them in your black bin.

Newspapers

Old newspapers have many uses. For example, it can be used for animal bedding or art projects (papier mache) in local schools.

You can recycle your newspaper by putting it in your green recycling bin or taking it to your nearest bring site or recycling centre. It will be made into new paper products.

Paint

It can be difficult and dangerous to dispose of unwanted paint. It should not be poured down the drain or put in your black rubbish bin.

There may be local organisations to which you can donate unwanted paint and varnish that is still useable. Contact your local authority for details.

You can also take your unwanted paint to your local recycling centres and put it in the paint skip.

Paper

Paper can be recycled in your green bin, and at your nearest bring site, or nearest recycling centre.

Please note that most local authorities are not able to accept shredded paper for recycling (please see shredded paper).

Peat

Peat bogs are rare habitats that are being destroyed to produce peat, so try to avoid buying or using it.

If you have unwanted peat, it can be added to your compost heap or spread on your garden.

Photographs

Photographs and photographic paper cannot be recycled due to the plastic laminate on them being difficult to remove at paper pulping plants. If plastic is mixed into the process the recycled paper become unusable. Please dispose of these items in your black bin.

Plasterboard

You can take plasterboard to your nearest recycling centre.

Please put it in the container for plasterboard. Plasterboard is used as a soil conditioner and blended with organic waste in the manufacture of compost.

Note that many local authorities are charging to leave waste such as plasterboard at recycling centres. You are advised to check to see if your local authority is one that imposes such a charge..

Plastic Bottles

All the following types of plastic bottles found around the home can be recycled in your green bin:

  • drinks bottles
  • cooking oil bottles
  • milk bottles
  • skincare and soap bottles
  • bleach bottles
  • washing up bottles

Caps, lids, pumps and triggers can all be left on as they will be recycled too.

Where possible you should wash and squash plastic bottles to take up less room in your recycle bin.

Plastic Cups

Please try avoid using plastic cups by using drinking glasses instead.

They can be put in your green recycling bin if the cups are made from plastic types 1 (PET/PETE), 2 (HDPE/PE-HD), 4 (LDPE/PE-LD) or 5 (PP). These numbers can be found in a triangle on the cup.

Plastic Packaging

See also Plastic Trays, Plastic Bottles, Plastic Yoghurt Pots.

Please try to buy loose fruit and vegetables and meat and fish from shops that don’t over-package their goods. A large proportion of plastic packaging is difficult to recycle.

Carrier bags, bread bags, toilet and kitchen roll wrappers, and stretchy fresh or frozen fruit and vegetable bags can all be recycled in your green bin.

As a general rule, if a plastic bag or wrap is stretchy (rather than tear-able), then it can be recycled in your green bin. For example, the stretchy plastic wrap that comes around food tins and drinks cans multipacks is normally recyclable in your green bin, but the tear-able film lids from fresh fruit and veg trays isn’t recyclable and should go in your black bin.

Please do not put any black or brown plastic in your green bin as this cannot currently be recycled.

Plastic Trays

All your plastic fruit, meat and vegetable trays (except those made of black or brown plastic) can be recycled in your green bin.

Plastic Wrap

A large proportion of plastic wrap packaging is difficult to recycle as it is not clear which type of plastic it is.

As a general rule, if plastic wrap is stretchy (rather than tear-able), then it can be recycled in your green bin. For example, the stretchy plastic wrap that comes around food tins and drinks cans multipacks is normally recyclable in your green bin, but the tear-able film lids from fresh fruit and veg trays aren’t recyclable and should go in your black bin.

Large supermarkets now provide collection containers for a wide range of plastic packaging e.g. bags and film from pasta, dried fruit, paper products, salad, fruit and vegetable products etc. They will be recycled into new plastic products.

Plastic Yoghurt Pots

Please try to re-use these where possible for example as plant pots and for school projects.

Clean empty plastic yoghurt pots can be recycled in your green bin.

Plastics – Compostable and Biodegradable

Plastic products labelled as biodegradable or compostable cannot currently be recycled in your green recycling or brown garden waste bin. This type of plastic should be disposed of in your black general household waste bin.

Biodegradable and compostable plastics must be dealt with separately to non-biodegradable plastics such as food containers, drinks and shampoo bottles, as they cannot be recycled in the same way.

Although the garden waste from your brown bin is composted, compostable plastic bags do not break down quickly enough in the process, resulting in a poor quality compost.

Plastics 1,2,3,4 and5

You can put the following types of plastic in your green recycling bin – types 1 (PET/PETE), 2 (HDPE/PE-HD), 4 (LDPE/PE-LD) and 5 (PP). These numbers are be found in a triangle on plastic items. These items include plastic bags, plastic shampoo bottles, soft drink bottles, detergent bottles and plastic milk containers.

Please wash, remove the lids and squash all bottles before putting them in your recycling bin.

Polystyrene

Please try to re-use polystyrene chips if possible or pass them on to someone who will.

Polystyrene can’t be recycled, so dispose of small amounts in your black household waste bin. Larger pieces can be broken down or placed in the general waste skip at your local household waste site.

Pop Bottles

If your pop bottle is plastic, you can wash and squash it and put it in your green recycling bin.

Please take glass bottles to your nearest bring site or recycling centre.

Radiators

If you have an electric oil-filled radiator that is in good working order, you can donate it to a local reuse organisation..

If you are replacing a broken electric radiator, the retailer supplying your new appliance should offer you a take back service.

You can recycle your electric radiator by taking it to your nearest recycling centre. If you are unable to do this, you can book a bulk recycling pickup through your local authority, .

If it is a radiator from a central heating system, you need to take it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the scrap metal container.

Radios

If you have a radio that is in good working order, you can donate it to a local reuse organisation.

If you are replacing a broken radio, the retailer supplying your new appliance should offer you a take back service.

Alternatively, you can recycle your radio by taking it to your nearest bring site with a WEEE bank,  or to your nearest recycling centre where you can put it in the small electrical waste container.

Record Player

If you have a record player that is in good working order, you can donate it to a local reuse organisation.

Alternatively, you can recycle your record player by taking it to your nearest bring site with a WEEE bank or to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the small electrical waste container.

Records and Tapes

Please donate these to your local charity shop.

Sawdust

Sawdust produced from untreated timber can be re-used as animal bedding. Small quantities can also be added to your compost bin/heap. It can be recycled in your garden waste bin, or taken to your nearest recycling centre and put in the garden waste container.

Sawdust produced from MDF, chipboard or other treated timber should be bagged up and put in your black rubbish bin.

Sawdust containing animal waste should be put in your black rubbish bin.

Scrapstores

You can donate a wide range of items such as cards, papers and textiles to centres for use in community craft activities and projects.

There are social enterprise groups which collect unwanted objects, rejects and damaged stock from businesses to distribute to community groups and schools. Speak to your local authorities or else search on the internet to contact them.

Shoes

If your shoes are good enough for someone else to use, please donate them to your nearest charity shop.

If your shoes are not re-useable, please tie pairs together and bag them up before taking them to your nearest bring site with a textile bank or to your nearest recycling centre. They will be repaired for re-use in developing countries.

Shredded Paper

Councils do not collect shredded paper in the main.  This is because  they are unable to process it due to the small fibers which can interfere with the machinery creating costly maintenance issues.

If you shred documents to protect against identity theft you can minimise the amount of shredded paper that you produce by only shredding the parts of documents that contain your personal details e.g. name, address etc.

It is recommend that you place shredded paper into your home composter as it rots down quickly to create good garden compost. You can also use it as pet bedding. If you aren’t able to compost or reuse it then place it in your black rubbish bin. It can’t go in the recycling bin or garden waste bin.

Sideboards

If your sideboard is in good condition, you can donate it to a local reuse organisation.

If your sideboard is not good enough to re-use, please take it to your nearest recycling centre. Wooden, MDF and chipboard furniture can be recycled in the timber skip. Other furniture should be put in the non-recyclable waste skip.

If you are unable to take your furniture to your local recycling centre, you can book a bulk collection through your local authority.

Sofas

If your unwanted sofa is good enough to be used by others and has a fire label, donate it to a local reuse organisation.

Alternatively, put your sofa in the reuse container at your nearest recycling centre.

If your sofa is not good enough to re-use, again please take it to your local recycling centre. Wooden, MDF and chipboard furniture can be recycled in the timber skip, and metal furniture in the scrap metal skip. Mattresses and other soft furniture should be put in the non-recyclable waste skip.

If you are unable to take your furniture to your local recycling centre, you can book a bulky waste collection via your local authority.

Stamps

Many charities collect used postage stamps. Please keep a margin of paper around the stamps when you tear them off envelopes.

Do a quick search on the internet to find a charity to support with your used postage stamps.

Tables

If your unwanted table is good enough to be used by others, donate it to a local reuse organisation.

 Alternatively, put your furniture in the reuse container at your nearest recycling site.

If your table is not good enough to re-use, again please take it to your nearest recycling site. Wooden, MDF and chipboard tables can be recycled in the timber skip. Other furniture should be put in the non-recyclable waste skip.

If you are unable to take your table to your local recycling centre, you can book a bulky waste collection via your local authority .

Telephone Directories

You can recycle your unwanted telephone directories by putting them in your green recycling bin.

Televisions

If you have a flat screen or portable television that is in good working order, you can donate it to a local reuse organisation.

If you are replacing a broken TV, the retailer supplying your new appliance should offer you a take back service.

Alternatively, you can recycle your TV by taking it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the TV container.

Textiles

Please donate re-useable textile items such as clothing, bedding, curtains and towels to your local charity shop.

If items are ripped or torn and not good enough to be used by someone else, they can still be recycled by taking them to your nearest bring site with a textile bank or to your nearest recycling site. These are reused and sold in charity shops or shredded and reprocessed into industrial strength blankets for protecting equipment during transport.

Tiles

If you have any surplus tiles, these can be broken up and used in garden projects.

You can dispose of tiles by taking them to your nearest recycling centre and putting them in the Bricks and Rubble container.

These will be used for cover and to create roads on landfill sites.

Many councils now make charges for disposing rubble and other building materials at household recycling centres including tiles. To find out more please speak to your local council.

Timber

Try to re-use surplus timber wherever possible.

Please remember that offcuts of clean timber can be used in wood burning stoves.

You can take untreated and treated timber to your nearest recycling centre and put it in the timber container. Low grade wood is shredded and composted. Higher grade wood is sorted and processed for chipboard manufacture.

Toasters

If your toaster still works, please donate it to a charity shop or your local recycling centre.

You can recycle your toaster by taking it to your nearest bring site that has a WEEE bank or to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the small waste electrical container. The metal and plastic will be recycled into new products.

If you are replacing a broken appliance, the retailer supplying your new toaster should offer you a take back service.

Tools (Electrical)

If your electrical tools are in good working order, you can donate them to a local reuse organisation.

You can also take them to your nearest recycling centre and put them in the reuse container.

If you are replacing a broken electrical tool, the retailer supplying your new equipment should offer you a take back service.

Alternatively, you can recycle your radio by taking it to your nearest bring site with a WEEE bank or to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the small electrical waste container.

Tools – Non Electrical

You could offer unwanted tools to friends and family or they can be sold to scrap metal merchants. You may even be able to sell them.

You can take them to your nearest recycling centre and put them in the scrap metal container.

Toys and Games

Toys and games suitable for re-use can be donated to your local charity shop.

Tumble Dryers

If your dryer is in good working order, you can donate it to a local reuse centre.

If you are replacing a broken dryer, the retailer supplying your new equipment should offer you a take back service.

Alternatively, you can recycle your dryer by taking it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the electrical container. If you are unable to do this, you can book a bulky waste collection by your local council.

Tyres

When new tyres are fitted to your car, the old tyres should be disposed of safely by the garage.

A maximum of four tyres per visit can be taken to your nearest recycling centre for recycling.

Tyres are shredded and sent abroad as fuel for cement kilns and are also used in the creation of landfill schemes.

Most councils make charges for the disposal of tyres. .

WEEE Banks

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Banks (WEEE banks) where used electrical appliances can be left, are being set up throughout the country. For details of where your nearest WEEE bank is located, speak to your local council.

Wardobes

If your unwanted wardrobe is good enough to be used by others, donate it to a local reuse centre.

Alternatively, put your wardrobe in the reuse container at your nearest recycling centre.

If your wardrobe is not good enough to re-use, please take it to your nearest recycling centre. Wooden, MDF and chipboard wardrobes can be recycled in the timber skip. Other furniture should be put in the non-recyclable waste skip. If you are unable to take your furniture to your local recycling centre, you can book a bulky waste collection with your local council.

Washing Machine

If your washing machine is in good working order, you can donate it to a local reuse centre..

If you are replacing a broken washing machine, the retailer supplying your new appliance should offer you a take back service.

Alternatively, you can recycle your washing machine by taking it to your nearest recycling centre, where you can put it in the electrical container. If you are unable to do this, you can book a bulky waste collection with your local council..

Windows (UPVC)

Please take your windows to your nearest recycling centre and put them in the general waste container.

Wool

Please donate unwanted balls of knitting wool to your local charity shop.

Any old or damaged wool can be composted in your compost bin/heap.

Wrapping Paper

With the exception of the shiny metallic and glitter varieties, wrapping paper can be recycled in your green bin.

To find out if paper is recyclable try the scrunch test, paper that is recyclable stays in a ball when it is scrunched.

Writing Paper

You can put writing paper into your green bin.

Yoghurt Pots

Please try to re-use these where possible for example as plant pots and for school projects.

Empty plastic yoghurt pots can be recycled in your green bin.

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