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4 common household items you didn’t know you can recycle

21 September 2021

In honour of this year’s Recycle Week (20 –26 September), we’ve shared some interesting facts about recycling (and why it’s so important to recycle where possible), as well as four household items you probably didn’t know you could recycle.

Some facts about recycling

According to Recycle Now, almost nine out of ten people in the UK are already recycling, however 55% of households still put items in the general rubbish that could be recycled.

WRAP is a charity that promotes and encourages sustainable resource use through product design, waste minimisation, re-use, recycling, and repurposing of waste materials.

Their figures show that recycling saves a total of 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year in the UK. It takes less energy and fewer emissions to recycle items rather than make things from scratch, which is why it’s more vital than ever to ensure we’re recycling wherever possible.

Four items you’ll be surprised to learn you can recycle

It’s not always easy to know what can and can’t be recycled. Different areas have different rules about what’s suitable for recycling, and people can also get confused by the different recycling symbols on packaging.

Here are four common household items that often get thrown away with general waste when they are actually widely recycled.

Aluminium foil and trays

A lot of people don’t realise that foil can be recycled, so this very often ends up going in the bin. Clean aluminium trays and sheets of foil are widely recycled, just be sure to wipe off any crumbs or food residue.

Shampoo, detergent, and shower gel bottles

Make sure your bottles are completely empty and have the lid attached. This will prevent any leftover liquid from leaking out and contaminating the rest of your recycling.

Aerosol cans

Many people are surprised to learn that aerosol cans are widely recycled. This includes things like deodorant and hairspray. Simply make sure the can is empty and the lid has been removed.

Takeaway pizza boxes

In the past, there has been some confusion about whether or not takeaway pizza boxes are suitable for recycling. This is because some believed that the grease and food residue would contaminate the cardboard. According to Recycle Now, grease and stains are fine, as long as the boxes are empty.

So, as long as you pick off any stuck-on cheese and throw away your leftover crusts first, your pizza boxes are safe to be added to the recycling bin. Now that debate’s been settled, you’re free to discuss the most important and controversial pizza issue facing the nation today: does pineapple go on pizza? For the record, we vote yes.

How W&S can help you recycle your trickier items

When it comes to household recycling, we are very fortunate that so many items can be disposed of in our regular recycling bins. However, there are some items that can be trickier to recycle safely (for example, batteries and old electrical items). For these items (and more), we’re here to help.

Our recycling centres can help you safely dispose of a wide range of household and commercial waste. This includes, but is not limited to, WEEE (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment), metal, hazardous waste (including batteries, paints and pesticides), plastic and glass. We also offer confidential document shredding.

Find your nearest recycling centre here, or get in touch with us today on 01202 675564 if you have any questions.

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Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.

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