Recycling can sometimes be confusing and it can be difficult to know whether you are following all the right rules. Improve your recycling efforts by learning some recycling rules and check out which type of collection is best.Recycling collection schemes aim to, firstly, divert more waste from landfill and, secondly, facilitate efficient, profitable recycling.
How can I improve the way I recycle?
To reduce contamination and improve recycling efficiency, wash and squash!
Wash – Scrape out any food remains/pour away excess liquid. Rinse the container (use your washing-up water)
Squash – Crush metal cans. Squeeze plastic bottles flat to expel as much air as possible.
These steps help prevent contamination and reduce the volume of recyclate, making collections more energy efficient.
What about lids, rings and labels?
If you can remove labels and lids from glass jars and bottles, that’s great, but don’t worry too much because, in the recycling process, the items are re-washed. After crushing, any non-glass objects are removed.
Removing the caps and lids from plastic containers is more important. Plastic caps are often made from a different polymer type, and therefore have a different melting point when compared to the plastic used for the bottle itself. Too many lids will contaminate the load, so remove and throw away plastic caps where possible. The plastic ring around the neck of the bottle can be left on – a minimal amount of contamination is tolerated.
Remove paper clips, staples and plastic envelope windows from paper. Also remove excessive amounts of tape and labelling from cardboard packaging. Small amounts won’t affect the recycling process unduly.
Can I recycle soiled paper?
Paper fibres cannot be recycled if they are contaminated with food. Here are a few tips – Put greasy wrappers into your compost/main rubbish. Tear out contaminated portions (e.g. a cheesy pizza box lid), and recycle the clean remainder. Use tissues as compost, as their dense fibres make them unsuitable for paper recycling.