So you have finally encouraged all the family to take part in recycling. Thats a step in the right direction so well done to you.
However you now find you might have to re-educate everyone as to what can exactly be recycled. Quite a shock isnt it? I was shocked when I found out all of the things that cannot be recycled in your normal recycling bins.
Recycling it seems is full of do’s and dont’s and putting the wrong things in a recycling bin can create havoc with your recycling companies plans.
And to top it all most councils have different recycling plans based upon the market for selling the recycled materials in that area.
The best thing to do is write an easy to follow list of the things that your own council will recycle and in which bin and stick it firmly on top of your recycle bin so everyone can read it clearly.
So what are the most common objects that you need to think clearly about before you put them into your recycling bins?
How many people will empty a squash bottle and replace the lid before recycling? It is an automatic assumption that because the lids are also plastic that they are recyclable. But most of the time this isn’ t the case.Many lids are made of they type of plastic which needs a much higher temperature to melt down and be recycled as a new product. The chances are that your local council may have bottle lids on your list of don’ts for recycling. The only thing you can do with them is either throw them in the landfill waste bin which is definitely NOT being green and Eco, or save them all up separately in one bag or container to be taken to somewhere that will recycle them. Watch out for your local charity or school collection drives for bottle lids too.
What about your envelopes? My son likes to help by recycling the envelopes after I have read my mail, however he does not always take the plastic film out of the envelopes. There are reasons for the removal of the plastic. The plastic film is usually non-recyclable, and as soon as your recycling company sees envelopes with plastic film they don’t have the time or the inclination to separate them and simply put them through for landfill. So basically, take time to separate the two components or better still give them a second life with recycled stickers for the new address. And why not send a note to the company who uses window type envelopes asking them to think green and use standard all paper envelopes? We can but try and watch out for their updated ethical policy.
Just because it is glass, does not mean that you can recycle it. I found this out when my son was a baby. I would recycle my cooking sauce jars after I had washed them out, but the baby’s glass food jars could not be recycled. Why? They are still glass aren’t they? They want glass to recycle? What is the problem? Baby food jars are made from a different type of glass than cooking sauce jars. In fact they are made out the same glass as drinking glasses which is a specially toughened glass which contains certain chemicals. These chemicals in the glass create the need for a different melting point to glass bottles and jars you would normally put in your green recycling box or bin.
You need to make sure that you are clear of the differences in the types of glass that your item is made from. Never put glass from picture frames, windows, glasses and light bulbs into recycling as all of these are made from a completely different grade of glass which is not only unusable, but can be dangerous for the collection workers.
Yes it can be hard work all of this recycling, knowing what can and can’t be recycled, and it would be great if the job could be done for you. But at the end of the day, some effort should be made to help save our planet. So maybe it’s time to think about reducing that packaging, stopping junk mail, and getting bills etc on line.
There are mistakes to be made when recycled, so check you have your facts right first. If you want to make your recycling efforts easier visit www.nowrecycle.co.uk and see what options are available for your home or office.