Last week, I got stuck behind the rubbish truck on our one-lane drive. I was waiting for quite a while, as the bin man rushed around trying to empty all the recycling and compost bins as quickly as he could. I had just finished dropping Ben off at school, and I didn’t bother to take my phone that morning, so I was paying more attention to what was happening before my eyes.
First, I noticed that the amount of recycling from each household varried quite a bit, despite the fact that I knew some households had the same number of people and probably a similar income. Also, the bin man was picking out a lot of non-recyclables.
2/3 of all UK households are not sure which bin to use for one or more items”
This got me thinking; maybe families aren’t exactly sure what can, and can’t, be recycled. So, I did some research and made a handy list for you. I have to admit, there are a few things on the list that surprised me.
Over 2/3 of all UK households put things in the recycling, which can’t be recycled”
Things you can’t Recycle
- Straws (plastic)
- Coffee cups
- kitchen roll
- Plastic bags
- Greasy takeaway boxes
- Laminated foil packaging
- Nail varnish bottles
- Crisp packets
- Food containers and personal care product bottles (lotion, shampoo, deodorant) that have NOT BEEN RINSED OUT
- Plastic toys
- Mirrors and glass (wine glasses, window panes)
- Cutlery, pots and pans, including glass cookware lids
- Sticky notes
- Any type of paper that is shiny or glittery (look for less embellished gift wrap). Basically if you scrunch it, and it stays in a ball, then you can recycle it.
50% all UK households throw away items that can be recycled”
Things You Might Not Know You CAN Recycle
- Metal lids
- Empty aerosols with the plastic cap, but you must separate the cap
- Aluminium tubes (tomato puree) with the plastic cap REMOVED
- Plastic spray cleaner bottles with the trigger
- Food tins (chocolate tins, biscuits tins, tomato tins – but pop lids inside)
- Aluminium foil (if it’s still pretty clean)
For more about recycling, visit Recycle For London.
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