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Biggest recycling mistakes you're probably making

14 February 2018

The UK is ranked the lowest ranking country in Europe on the annual global league of household recycling, out of 24 participants! We have previously discussed how England recycling rates are flatlining at just over 11 tonnes per year, but could this be due to UK residents not understanding what can actually be recycled? 

A recent study conducted by Anglian Home Improvements found that 99% of Britain “actively recycles”, but 70% of us are unaware of what we can and can’t recycle. Over 67% of the nation understands the recycling basics of aluminium cans, glass bottles and cardboard products can all be recycled, but 27% incorrectly think chocolate wrappers, greasy pizza boxes and crisp packets are recyclable too. Understanding which everyday products your family can correctly recycle is essential in decreasing the landfill crisis the UK are currently experiencing. 

The UK is coming close to being on the verge of burning more waste than it recycles, this is catastrophic for our planet in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas levels. Help preserve our environment by learning the correct way to recycling your waste your household products, our experts have put together some of the biggest recycling mistakes we make. 

Paper and old clothes

Most paper and cardboard products can be recycled, but if they are contaminated with food waste this means they’re rejected and sent to landfill. Many households do not know this and still continue to put these items into their recycling bins, spreading awareness of this fact not only saves time for recycling centres but will make people think to make more eco-friendly purchases. According to “One-quarter of clothes in the UK end up in the bin”, although throwing out your old clothes is an easy option it’s damaging to the environment as they're sent to landfill. Instead of binning your clothes why not sell them online or donate to a local charity shop? If the items are too damaged then many local councils offer clothes and textile collections to ensure they’re recycled correctly. 

Food waste 

Composting your food waste not only helps the environment, it could possibly save you money when food shopping! Julian Kirby, who is a waste campaigner at Friends of the Earth, which is an environmental campaigning community states “things such as eggshells, vegetable peelings and fruit skins really don’t need to be put in the general waste - they’re full of minerals that can help fertilize soil. If you don't have a garden, many local authorities will run separate food waste collections to create compost for local parks and gardens, and the act of separating your food waste into a recycling caddy has been proven to make people more aware of what they’re wasting so they can save money by avoiding buying it next time.” 

Want to read more of our news posts about this topic? 

We are an experienced team of recycling specialists based in Dorset and Oxfordshire, with expertise in all areas of recycling and waste disposal ranging from cardboard recycling and End of Life Vehicle Collection, to trade waste disposal and metal recycling. For more information about our recycling services, or for further advice on how you can make a difference at home, contact our team on 01202 675564 today.  

Branch Finder

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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