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Top Recycling Mistakes In The UK

At Cardiff and Caerphilly Skip Hire, we are very concerned about sustainability and recycling. We believe it is one of the main reasons why our customers pick us to hire their skip; we recycle as much as possible from all of the rubbish we collect, and we even have our own specialised processing facilities on site. Because many people are confused about recycling, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the most prevalent misunderstandings about various recycled materials.

What Cannot Be Recycled?

When it comes to recycling, there is a school of thinking that says if you’re not sure if something can be recycled, just place it in your best guess of a recycling category and cross your fingers that it will be handled. Personally, we don’t believe it’s a horrible idea in theory – after all, it’s always better to try! The goods listed below are ideal candidates for this situation and are frequently recycled by well-intentioned members of the general public. Unfortunately, they cannot be recycled for a variety of reasons.

Recyclable Materials

Plastic that is black or dark in colour – This sort of plastic cannot be recycled due to its colour. The dark colouring is primarily due to the pigments employed, and these pigments make it extremely difficult for automated recycling equipment to recognise and sort plastic using normal procedures. Unfortunately, there is no easy method to repair this other than to avoid using black plastic objects as much as possible.

Plastic or cardboard that is filthy – Takeaway boxes made of cardboard are an example of this type of object, and they are regularly recycled. However, most councils will only accept plastic and cardboard that is clean and unsoiled in order for it to be processed and turned into new products, so any type of food packaging that is still stained with food or grease will often be put in for landfill.

Miscellaneous plastic products – You probably knew some form of this point was coming – after all, plastic is notoriously hard to process! Amongst the products that can’t be recycled are:

  • Hummus pots
  • Soup pots
  • Yoghurt pots
  • Fruit and vegetable punnets
  • Takeaway containers
  • Tetra packs

If you have not heard of a tetra pack before, chances are that you are using them far more than you think. Essentially, they are composite forms of food packaging, for example like the kind you would find protecting takeaway sandwiches. The mixture of materials used often prevents them from being suitable for recycling.

What Can Be Recycled?

Contrary to popular belief, some household objects can be recycled, which is a happy side effect of the fallacies. These are some of them:

Empty deodorant cans, aerosols, and hairspray – Though these items are commonly thought to be non-recyclable, a surprising number of authorities and public services will take them if they are fully empty. Thankfully, determining when this is the case is usually simple: simply hold down the relevant button until they stop hissing, which indicates that they are empty and ready to be properly recycled.

Bleach Bottles And Trigger Cleaners!

While the term “bleach” has a negative connotation when it comes to environmental concerns, while the material itself can be extremely dangerous if overused, the plastic bottles themselves are generally OK for recycling. This is especially true if they are fully empty (and you may want to rinse them out too, just to be doubly sure). Surface and window cleaners are in the same boat.

Foiled Again!

This one needs a bit of care and thought, to make sure you do not fall afoul of the ‘no soiled substances’ rule that we mentioned above. But as long as there is no food remains, fats or oils hanging off the metal surfaces, in the vast majority of cases they are fine to be recycled and processed into new products further down the line.

Cardiff Skip Hire

If the post has not listed the item you are curious about, or you have still got any questions, you can always ask one of our friendly experts when it comes to the hire your skip.

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