Can it be recycled?

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As one of the country’s leading authorities on waste management and recycling, there’s one sort of question we get answered the most: “What bin do I put this item in?” – “Do you take this?” – “Can this be recycled?”

Sometimes it’s perfectly obvious what bin a particular item goes into – food waste into the food waste bin, cardboard and paper into the cardboard waste bin, and so on. However, there are particular types of waste that are a mystery to many, especially when they’re made from a mix of materials.

The answer to most questions about recycling these days is “YES”, but there’s often a little bit of leg work involved to make sure the right item gets into the right bin.

Thankfully, the Recycle Now website has a page which lists items that can be recycled, and tells you precisely what you should do and where your waste should go. With a postcode-driven interface, it will even show you where the nearest facilities are.

For example, a simple search for aluminium foil tells us that we should ensure that foil used for cooking should be thoroughly cleaned of food waste, that metallic crisp packets are usually plastic, and that we have no less than eleven suitable recycling sites within five miles of our office.

Even more unusual items, such as asthma inhalers are listed. Some 73 million are used in the country every year, and they are environmentally damaging if sent to landfill due to the propellant gases. The good news is that participating pharmacies can now return them to the manufacturers, and if all inhalers were treated this way, it’s estimated at half a million tonnes of CO2 gas emisions will be offset.

So, it always pays to check whether an item is recyclable or not. Advances in recycling technology means that your conventional wisdom may be outdated, and refuse that went to landfill only a couple of years ago may now be fully recyclable. And if you’re a business with any amount of recycling needs, do get in touch and we’ll be able to help you sort it, bin it, remove it, and turn it into something else.

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