But CAN Recycle in other ways!
Collectively, the nation’s recycling habits seem to be on the up with more of us demanding less packaging but also recyclable packaging. Unfortunately, there are many things that you can’t recycle at the kerbside but there are ways of making sure it doesn’t end in landfill.
1. Coffee pods
Coffee machines that allow us to taste good quality coffee first thing in the morning adorn many a kitchen counter but the plastic pods are not recyclable at the kerbside. Nespresso runs a scheme in which you recycle empty coffee pods back to them through the post. Check out what other coffee machine manufacturers offer.
2. Light bulbs
If you haven’t already, it’s worth taking a look at what some of the more recently available bulbs can offer in the way of saving money on your electricity bills. Better still, they last longer so struggling to recycle them is a thing of the past.
When the time comes, however, the new energy-efficient light bulbs are recyclable but the older, incandescent ones will need to put into general waste (ouch!). Other light bulbs such as the newer fluorescent bulbs can be recycled at your local recycling centre.
If you don’t have a centre close by, you may find that some larger stores such as Tesco and IKEA will recycle them on your behalf.
3. Printer cartridges
We may be encouraged to only print things when we need too, but printer cartridges still run out and need replacing.
Unfortunately, because of the ink residue inside, plastic cartridges cannot be thrown in kerbside recycling. Instead, you can mail them back to an ink cartridge recycling company.
Free to use, you will often receive a % off your next ink cartridge order too, making it more than worth your while to recycle ink cartridges. This service is offered on most, if not all, ink and toner cartridges and to domestic and commercial customers too.
4. Food pouches
They may be slimline and convenient but the biggest issue with food pouches is that they are not recyclable at the kerbside.
And so baby food pouches to pet food pouches will need to be placed in general waste. However, the manufacturers behind the packaging are taking action.
TerraCycle is a company funded by manufacturers and was set up to make recycling hard-to-recycle objects like food pouches, easier. It works on a community aspect with you, your school, organisation etc. setting yourselves up as ‘collection points’ for items such as food pouches, aerosols etc.
You mail the recycling to certain companies, earning rewards for your school, not for profit organisation etc. It’s a worldwide initiative too!
5. Plastic bags
The number of plastic bags should, in theory, start to reduce with the 5p plastic bag charge. Using a bag for life with supermarkets is one solution but there comes a time when you have other plastic bags that need to be recycled.
Supermarkets will often have collection bins at their entrances. Or, you could take a look at RecycleNow, the online list of places where you can deposit your plastic bags, confident they won’t end up in landfill.
5 other things you can’t recycle kerbside
- Some makeup packaging can be cardboard covered witha thin layer of plastic film, making it non-recyclable at the kerbside. However, manufacturers are running their own schemes such as recycle six MAC items direct with them and you’ll get a free lipstick.
- Reducing plastic by not buying milk in plastic bottles is also a movement taking shape. Although recyclable at the kerbside, why add use more plastic than you need to? Have your milk delivered in bottles by the local dairy company.
- Foil is recyclable at the kerbside but only if it is clean. Scrunched up foil with food residue on it will end up in landfillor the incinerator. Clean it and flatten it.
- Juice ‘cardboard/plastic’ containersare recyclable but rarely at the kerbside although what can be recycled at the kerb and what can’t variesfrom one local authority to the next. Check the RecycleNow website for more information.
- Styrofoam packaging is not uncommon but it is made with oil is considered to be highly flammable. Most recycling centres won’t handle it so you may find you need a specialist carrier to come and collect. Or opt for Styrofoam free packaging!