Knowing how to recycle correctly using your recycling bin at home, in public places or at work helps increase the amount of material that can be recycled.
If you place waste and recycling items in the wrong bin, it causes ‘contamination’. High levels of contamination means materials are not recycled and are instead sent to landfill.
- Don’t put your recycling in plastic bags - recyclables must go straight into your recycling bin
- Read any bin stickers, flyers and signs on or around your bins to make sure you place materials in the right bins
- Make sure recyclable items are not heavily contaminated with food or non-recyclables
- Fold cardboard boxes down flat
- Clean your takeaway food containers to enable them to be recycled
- Empty food tins can be recycled if they are cleaned
- Take the lids off bottles and empty out any residual liquid
- You can recycle empty aerosols like deodorants and air fresheners
- Only certain plastics are recyclable in different recycling bins - plastics have identification code symbols on the bottom or side of the bottle/container.
- Generally plastics , and are recyclable, however some councils also recycle numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7 plastics. Check your recycle bin sticker to see what plastics are accepted in your area or call your local council.
- If you are unsure, ask us or your local council – you may save some materials from ending up in landfill.
Things you CAN’T put in your standard council co-mix recycling bin
Other ways to recover, recycle, reuse
- Plastic bags
- Polystyrene foam
- Syringes and sharps
- Clothes and shoes
- Garden waste and dirt
- Electronics - computers, phones, radios, headphones
- Batteries and car parts
- Waxed cardboard
- Broken crockery and tableware
- Cooking oil, chemicals or liquids
Many items you can't put in your standard recycling bin can be recycled, reduced or reused through other means:
- Plastic bags can sometimes be recycled at your local supermarket
- Some retailers offer recycling for items such as mobile phones, cartridges and other electronic waste
- Take clothes, shoes and toys to your local charity bin or shop
- Reusable shopping bags can be used to avoid plastic bags
- Use rechargeable batteries in household items
- Compost your kitchen scraps or use a worm farm
- Reuse scrap paper as notepaper
- Only print items when absolutely necessary and use double sided printing
- Look for products with less packing – buy in bulk and avoid items with unnecessary packaging to help reduce waste
- Choose recycled products, products with recycled content and products that can be recycled after use