In late September, WRAP celebrated its 18th annual Recycle Week – 7 days of the celebration and promotion of the benefits of recycling and effective waste management. Although the message remains the same – Recycling is highly important & each year WRAP also dedicates a theme to their Recycle Week, this year it was ‘Step it Up’, encouraging us all to go the extra mile when it comes to recycling and reducing climate change impacts. Recycle Week is celebrated across the globe, yet here at Cromwell this love and passion for recycling is a year-round event. Many tips were shared during the waste management awareness week, but these shouldn’t be limited to one week in September – they can all be applied 365 days of the year. Here are Cromwell’s year-round recycling tips:
Rinse & Crush
When it comes to recycling, many think that placing it in the correct bin is the only thing they must do, however, if the rubbish item is dirty, or still has food/drink residue, then it can cause serious contamination – which can interrupt the recycling processes, and in extreme cases prevent the recycling from taking place. Before placing an item into the recycling bin, plastic, metal, foil, etc, make sure it is clean and clear of all excess.
Crushing and flattening your recycling is also a great recycling method we should all actively do. You can do this for cardboard, paper, foil, metals, plastics, and more, this not only helps with the recycling and reprocessing of the waste – but also leaves more room in your bin for additional recycled items!
Remove labels and tape
A lot of the products we use contain labels, stickers, or tape – many of these are not recyclable and as such, should be removed before the item is placed into recycling. Cardboard boxes which are used to deliver packages are a great example, as much of the time, they include tape to seal them. Whilst the card itself is recyclable, the tape and stickers are not, so should all be removed and placed into the general waste before flattening the box for disposal.
Separate and segregate
Different waste materials have differing methods of recycling, mixing a batch of recycling can cause major problems during this stage of the reprocessing and often cause contamination within the entire batch. Whenever we are ready to dispose of waste, we must ensure we are correctly segregating and separating everything into the correct bins. If you are ever in doubt about an item, place it into the general waste bin, as contaminated recycling batches are a far greater issue.
Check your labels
Every container, or product, no matter if it is paper, plastic, or metal should have instructions on how to dispose of it when it gets to the end of life. Some products need to be separated as different components could have varying material types and thus disposal strategies. The labels, stickers, or instructions that are provided (usually on the packaging) will give the customer guidance on how this can be tackled and correctly dispose of it.
Have a bin in every room
We create waste in every room of the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom. The majority of these items can be successfully recycled if disposed of correctly, which is why it is important there are measures put in place to capture this waste, and why we would recommend having a bin in every room. This will increase the chances of items being captured in the first instance and then going on to be correctly recycled. Studies show that rooms without bins produce higher general waste levels, whilst many items in the batch could have been recycled, this is due to the waste being handle-less frequently, and thus when it is time to dispose of it, the quick and easy route of general waste bins is chosen.
Take pride in your waste management and adopt these recycling tips to help reduce waste being sent to landfills and increase recycling rates. Make Recycle Week – a year-wide initative.