When carried out correctly, the recycling process can benefit the environment enormously and save valuable materials that would otherwise be wasted by incorrect disposal.
In an earlier Waste Truck Web blog, we discussed that local authorities and different regions set their own rules when it comes to what should and shouldn’t be put into your recycling bins, rather than a national model which could make it a lot simpler.
Contact your local council if you are in any doubt about what you can and cannot recycle in the bins that they provide. Here are some handy general tips surrounding the guidelines of recycling.
Recycling Do: Squash your items
By squashing your plastics and cardboards down before you put them in the recycling bin, you will be able to fit more in for each collection. This makes the process of recycling and each collection more worthwhile and economical both for you and for your local council.
Recycling Don’t: Leave labels on recycled packaging
Don’t let your recycling efforts go to waste by mistakenly thinking these labels can be recycled along with their containers! You can peel them either by hand or through soaking them off prior to placing the pieces of packaging into the recycling bin. Labels are made of different materials to the cardboard boxes, plastic cartons or glass bottles upon which they are stuck, and are predominantly not recyclable themselves.
It’s not just labels which need to be removed. Plastic caps on plastic bottles are often made from a different polymer type and therefore have a different a 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.
Remove paper clips, staples and plastic envelope windows from paper and get rid of excessive amounts of tape and labelling from cardboard packaging.
Recycling Do: Rinse your empty containers before recycling
By rinsing out your containers yourself you’re able to speed up the operations at the recycling facility, which saves them time and money in the process. Without rinsing recyclable items, food particles can clog up operations and cause expensive damage to the recycling machines.
As well as this, be sure to remove existing food within containers. For example, placing a cardboard pizza box into recycling that still has slices of pizza within it can make the recycling properties of cardboard obsolete.
Be mindful when placing materials such as glass and cardboard into recycling that this is all that is going in the bin; make sure your bottles are empty and that they don’t leak out over your recyclables and leave you with a smelly bin.
Recycling Don’t: Use black bin bags
Do not use black bin bags within your recycling bin as these cannot be recycled!
Generally, anyone whose recycling bin contains a black bin bag will not have the waste taken away by authorities. Instead it will be left within the bin which causes waste to build up causing inconvenience the home or property owner to whom the bin belongs.
Recycling Do: Place loose items into your recycling bins
To continue from the previous point, bin bags and refuse sacks are generally not made from recyclable materials. This can mean that the authorities will not collect your rubbish and leave you with a backlog of waste. Materials that can be recycled such as cardboard and glass products can simply be placed directly into the bin.
If you’re still unsure of your recycling provisions, contact your local authority for more details or visit the Government’s Website on how to tackle waste.
Visit The Waste Truck Web’s Blog for more recycling help and industry news.