Many of us try to recycle, but sadly a lack of knowledge can lead to many recyclables being sent to landfill, which is bad for the environment, writes Lucy Ravenhall of http://www.forgerecycling.co.uk/.
What to place in your household recycling bin – especially the plastics – can be baffling. In this article, I explain what you can and cannot place in your household recycling bin, and what to do with those common recyclables that aren’t collected at the kerbside.
Leeds City Council accept the following recyclables in their green household bins and bags:
This includes junk mail, brown envelopes, newspapers, magazines, windowed envelopes, telephone directories, and letters. Shredded paper cannot be recycled and needs to be placed in your black bin.
This includes cereal boxes, cardboard egg boxes, cardboard sleeves, cardboard fruit and vegetable punnets, and toilet roll tubes. Please note: foil lined cartons such as Tetrapaks are not accepted, but can be recycled at the Meanwood, Wetherby or Yeadon recycling sites.
All food and drink cans.
As long as they are empty, you can recycle all of your aerosol cans: hairspray, deodorant, air freshener, furniture polish, and so on.
LCC recycle aluminium foil, and foil trays.
Leeds City Council recycle plastic types 1 (PET/PETE), 2 (HDPE/PE-HD) and 4 (LDPE/PE-LD). These numbers can be found in a triangle on plastic items. Items you can recycle include plastic milk bottles, plastic drink bottles, cleaner and detergent bottles, shampoo and toiletry bottles, carrier bags, and plastic food packaging. Always check your plastic for the numbered triangle to make sure.
Kerbside recycling tips
• Always wash and squash your drinks and food cartons before placing them in your green bin.
• Ensure items you place in your recycling bin aren’t wet, as wet cardboard and paper can’t be recycled.
• If you have more recycling than you can fit in your green bin, place the extra in a clear or green sack next to your green bin on collection day. Don’t use a black sack, as this won’t be collected.
What about recyclables that aren’t collected at the kerbside?
Bottles aren’t collected at the kerbside in Leeds, but this doesn’t mean you should just chuck them in your black bin; there are bottle banks all around your local area. Supermarket carparks usually have them, so just drop bottles in when you’re doing your weekly shop. Otherwise, your local recycling site will take them.
You can recycle batteries in many retail outlets and public buildings, such as supermarkets and libraries. Collect them up in a jar, and you can drop them off annually or whenever your jar is full.
Broken electronics (WEEE) can be disposed of at your local recycling site, where their parts will be recycled. Electronics you no longer want which are still in working order can be sold, given away on a site like Freecycle, or donated to charity.
This article was brought to you by Lucy Ravenhall from local waste management company, Forge Waste & Recycling.