West Leeds: How to recycle the ‘unusual suspects’


The bathroom is a hotspot for bathroom recyclables. In the first of a quarterly column on recycling, Lucy Ravenhall of Forge Waste and Recycling in Armley puts the focus on ‘The Unusual Suspects’…

The 13th national Recycle Week runs 12-18 September and this year’s theme is ‘The Unusual Suspects’, which refers to all the items in our homes which we forget can be recycled.

People are just as guilty of this in West Leeds as elsewhere in the country – from Bramley to Birmingham to Brighton, we all need to learn what is and isn’t recyclable, and save recyclables from being needlessly sent to landfill.

The bathroom in particular is a hotspot in the home for forgotten recyclables – whether that is because we don’t have a separate recycling bin in the bathroom, it just doesn’t enter our heads when we are bathing, or we don’t know what can and can’t be recycled.

Either way, here is a reminder of some of the ‘forgotten items’ in the bathroom that are widely recycled, but often end up in landfill:

  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Shower gel bottles
  • Shampoo & conditioner bottles
  • Bath product bottles, such as bubble bath
  • Toiletries, such as cleanser, toner & moisturiser containers
  • Packaging from boxed items such as hair dye and toothpaste
  • Toothpaste tubes
  • Toothbrushes
  • Liquid hand-soap containers
  • Bleach bottles
  • Deodorants, air fresheners, and other aerosols
  • Tissue boxes
  • Bathroom cleaning products
  • Perfume bottles

In fact, when you think about it, most disposable items in your bathroom are recyclable! Why not use your bathroom bin for these recyclables, and pop other items in a general waste bin?

The easier you make it for yourself to recycle, the more likely you are to stick to it. Which, in turn, leads to less waste in landfill, and a healthier environment for everyone in West Leeds and beyond.

If you are unsure if a certain item in your home is recyclable, pop it to one side, and check it against this handy list by Recycle Now.

If you would like to cut down on the amount of bathroom waste you are producing, then this article I wrote earlier in the year containing top tips for a zero waste bathroom could be a great place to start.

Lucy’s next column for the Dispatch will be in December.

Would you like to become a volunteer writer for the Dispatch? Email us news@westleedsdispatch.com.



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