Recycling does not just save lives and the planet but also saves valuable space in our landfills and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When we recycle, we also have to use fewer resources like water and energy to turn that item into another usable item. Recycling is great for us, the planet, and it can also save you plenty of money.
With this in mind, in this blog, we discuss some of the basic household waste that you might not be aware of and how you can recycle it. Read on to discover more about the essentials of recycling!
Paper and Cardboard
Newspapers can be saved in its own bin, this is a type of material which goes directly back into newsprint recycling. Recycling a four-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree.
Glossy magazines, printed flyers or newspaper inserts, phone books, envelopes, computer printing paper, old paper letters, and paper packaging can be saved together in one bin. Staples in the paper are acceptable, but remove rubber bands or plastic wrap. Don’t include the following in your paper recycling: carbon paper, stickers, cardboard, laminated paper, laminated cardboard.
Plastic-Lined Paper Drink Cartons
You may not realise it but plastic-lined paper drink Cartons are recyclable! Many recycling centres will now accept these items; ask them directly. Discard fast-food wrappers which are made from plastic, dirty or food-stained paper tissues or napkins too.
Corrugated cardboard is highly valued and also very much recyclable. Most curbside collectors will ask you to bale the cardboard together and tie it with string. Query this and see if there are the size and weight limits to how much you are allowed to bale together. The most crucial thing to remember is to keep it dry. Plastic as well as waxy coated, and wet or greasy cardboard, for example, pizza takeaway boxes, cannot be recycled because it clogs sorting machines.
Plastic does not break down when putting in landfill sites, and since it can be recycled to make many diverse products, effort should be made to recycle all plastic waste. To make the best use of plastics, consumers should choose the types of plastics that lend themselves most to reuse and recycling options. To learn about the recycling options for different types of plastic. Recycling centres do vary in the types of plastic they accept. Check with your local recycling centre, and take care to purchase plastic goods that are recyclable.
Plastic goods are given different numbers to grade them for recycling in different categories for example, for containers, for plastic bags, for mixed plastics such as polycarbonates that are not recyclable. Almost all recycling centres accept plastics.
Plastic bottles are often made of PET plastic, a valuable recyclable material. As well as many other items, this plastic can be “spun’ into fleece fabric. The lids should be removed before recycling, and put in with your general plastic items. Polycarbonate baby bottles and are not recyclable. Because it is difficult to clean PET plastic without releasing harmful chemicals, bottles made of PET should not be reused.
Plastic Shopping Bags
Most shopping bags you get are made of high-density polyethene, a Type 2 recyclable plastic. Most supermarkets and recycling centres now have bins where customers can drop off used plastic bags for recycling.
Polystyrene, this is used for cups, food trays, egg cartons and so on. This does not biodegrade. Ask if your recycling centre accepts polystyrene for recycling; many now accept this material. Try to reduce your use of this material.
Plastic – Polypropylene: One of the Least Recyclable Plastics
Seen as one of the safest plastics, plastic can be used for packaging items such as yoghurt, cream cheese, margarine and vitamins, and is contained in food wrapping and bottle tops. It is one of the least costly plastics to make. However, the process of recycling plastic is less efficient than other plastics, and the end result has little market value. To prevent the waste associated with choosing products packaged with plastic, many companies, especially those selling organic food, have switched to recycling plastic, a better (but more costly) alternative.
Glass is recycled in accordance with colour: clear, green or brown. Recycling centres like it when the glass is separated this way. Collectively, these versions of glass are referred to as “container” glass, and widely accepted for recycling. Paper labels can be left on the glass. Shop bought light bulbs, sheet glass, mirrors and pyrex separately from bottles, since they have a different composition and melting points, and are not accepted by many recycling centres. Compact fluorescent light bulbs can often be recycled at your local IKEA store.
Aluminium, Steel and Copper
Food cans must be rinsed and have lids, as well as labels, removed. It helps if they are flattened, although many new cans are difficult to flatten; they should still be recycled.
Aluminium cans are highly valuable as recyclable items. Many recycling centres request they not be crushed flat. Check locally. Aluminium foil and foil packaging are also important to recycle; they are reprocessed into aluminium mechanical components, such as engine parts.
Paint Cans and Aerosol Cans
Paint cans and aerosol cans can be recycled, but are considered hazardous waste and need to be kept separate from other metals. It is important to leave labels on these cans, as recyclers need to know the former contents. Try to return the lids along with empty paint cans.
Copper is one of the most widely recycled and recyclable of metals. In fact, copper is 100 per cent recyclable, as are all its alloys, such as bronze and brass. The recycling of copper requires only 15% of the energy or consumed in mining, milling, smelting and refining.
Computers, Printers and Hardware
The easiest solution to recycling your old computer is to give it away to a charity shop or sell it. Ask at a local school or put a notice on a local bulletin board offering your computer free for the taking. Many people without a computer will still find it handy with the word processor and basic programs.
Here at Brewsters Waste Management, our policy is simple. Recycle wherever possible and dispose of waste in the most environmentally safe way. We provide everything from wheelie bins and residential skip hire to commercial Roll-on-Roll-off hire, we can provide containers that allow you to dispose of your waste quickly and easily. We try to recycle as much of the waste that we collect as possible, minimising our carbon footprint. For larger-scale clients, our experienced team also provides consultancy services to advise on the best way to streamline and optimise your waste strategy. Over the years, we have worked on large-scale projects across London, including hotels, office builds and restaurants. We hold a number of accreditations and the Royal Warrant, so you can be sure that you’ll be receiving services of the highest possible quality. To find out more about the various services we offer, please take a lot at our website or get in touch, we would be happy to help you.