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Recycling dangers and how to avoid them

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There is a danger that we try to recycle absolutely everything these days, when realistically not everything can be recycled.  We are also predispositioned to recycle all our household waste, but there are a few dangers we should all be aware of.

 

We recycle paper, glass, plastic, tin cans, cardboard, food, electrical items, clothing, footwear and plenty of other consumables.  However, some of these items can not be recycled, so keep an eye out for the following:

Glass

Broken glass is not accepted when recycling, neither is coloured glass, food contaminated glass, engraved glass, embossed glass, ovenware, dishware or mirrored glass.  Double check before you throw into the glass bin to make sure you are recycling correctly, or research ways that you can reuse your empty coloured glass bottles at home.

 

Image credit: Eeshan Garg via www.unsplash.com

Plastic

Plastic lids from tubes (such as squeezy cheese) are not accepted when recycling, neither is bubble wrap, plastic sweet wrappers or plastic and paper combination juice cartons.  All plastic bottles that can be recycled have the recycling sign on them.

Cardboard

Cardboard that has been soiled by food substances (such as takeaway pizza boxes) are not accepted when recycling, and neither is wet cardboard as it can clog automated cardboard sorting machinery.  Use a professional if you intend on packing boxes, they will show you how to pack properly, effectively, and in a way that will reduce cardboard recycling.

Electricals

Electrical items will not be collected by the council recycling team, they are required to be taken to a waste site for recycling.  Some components of electricals can be both dangerous to transport and hazardous to health, so be aware before you embark or drop off to your local waste disposal site.

Image credit: Janaya Dasiuk via www.unsplash.com

Food

Not all councils collect food waste, and for those that do you need to be careful that you are disposing of the correct food waste such as tea bags and egg shells, you can check via your local council website as to what they take food-wise.  An alternative would be to start your own compost bin, perfect for reusing in your garden throughout the year.

Metal

Most households don’t have too much metal to recycle (other than aluminium cans and steel cans which can both be recycled), however if your home does have lots of larger metal objects such as vehicle parts or building components then speak to a scrap metal merchant as they may offer money for your scrap.  Always dispose of metal wisely.

Material

Charity bags are often posted through household doors to help recycle unwanted clothing and homewares.  You should note however that certain items won’t be accepted for Charity as they can be considered dangerous, these include electrical items, food produce, and opened cosmetic or beauty goods.  

Image credit: Christian Fregnan via www.unsplash.com

 

Remember that not everything can be recycled, so keep an eye out for rogue coloured glass bottles you usually recycle, or wet cardboard you automatically put in the paper bin and pop them in your kitchen bin because sometimes it is the correct place for them.

 

Finally, be aware that landfill across the world needs to be reduced, and the more you can recycle the better it will be for everyone.  

 

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