We all know the importance of recycling. It’s a big part of looking after our environment and something that we can all do to help. Here are our top tips for doing it properly in your student house!
A lot of things can be recycled, but they need to be cleaned out first (e.g. jars, yoghurt pots, containers that ready meals come in and packed meats). Give it a rinse and a wipe...if there’s a lot of contamination it costs more to be processed at a recycling centre, which means it’s sent to landfill or to incinerators to be disposed of. Not good!
Take away the guesswork - the packaging very often states whether it can or can’t be recycled, or says which parts of it can and can’t.
After collection, recycling has to be sorted and anything extremely small cannot always be sorted properly. Those items may end up contaminating the correctly-sorted recycling as a result. A good way of thinking about it is to think "if it's smaller than a post-it note, it can't be recycled".
Most supermarkets offer recycling collections points for used batteries. You can also take your old electrical items, clothing and garden waste to recycling waste centres. Better still, donate your clothes. Opticians will also take old glasses and contact lenses for recycling.
Unfortunately, broken glass can't be put in your green recycle bin. Always wrap it in an old newspaper or a tea towel before putting in your general bin to prevent injury to you and whoever is handling it afterwards.
Recycling facilities sort plastics by bouncing a beam of light off them and since black plastic absorbs light, it can’t be sorted and goes straight to landfill. Thankfully, a lot of supermarkets are doing away with it.
You might have seen that there's more than one recycling symbol - in fact, there are many! Each provides slightly different information in relation to recycling. Check out our infographic below to find out the meaning of the different recycling symbols you might find on your used packaging.
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