When recycling common household rubbish, many people believe that what you can and can’t recycle is very straight forward. Materials like plastic, cardboard, paper and tins go in the yellow bin, and the rest for the red bin. This is a common misconception people have, causing many to incorrectly recycle items.
1. Pizza Boxes
Pizza boxes that have large amounts of grease and food residue cannot be recycled. Grease and oil are problematic in that they can interfere in the heating and water processes used in recycling. However, they still can be recycled if they have minimal amounts of oil and food scraps have been removed.
2. Used napkins and paper towels
Similarly to pizza boxes, used napkins and paper towels are not suitable for recycling. Although they are still classified as paper products, food and grease that has been absorbed is extremely disruptive to the recycling process.
"Many items you think you can recycle, you actually can't. Dump It Bins has a variety of waste options for non recyclable items."
3. Plastic bags and wrap
Plastic bags and wrap (cling film) contaminate recycling and can interfere with machinery at sorting facilities. Many households use plastic bags to store a variety of recyclable goods and then placing that bag as well in the recycling bin. Most of the time, these will not be sorted through, meaning that the entire bag ends up in landfill rather than its contents being recycled.
4. Bottle Lids
Although they are made of aluminium, loose metal caps such as those from beer bottles are far too small to be placed in the recycling bin as they often fall through the sorting equipment at the facility. Instead, save them together in an empty tin, crimp the lid shut and then pop them into a recycling bin.
5. Wet Paper
Wet paper is not a recyclable material because once wet, the paper fibres deteriorate and shrink, losing any value it may have for the recycling process.
6. Coated Cardboard
Coated containers such as juice boxes, milk cartons, tissue boxes with a plastic rim and chip bags cannot be recycled.
Styrofoam is made of petroleum, a highly flammable chemical that is not accepted by recycling facilities. These items may include coffee cups, take away food containers and meat trays. In general, the usage and consumption of styrofoam should be avoided for it is extremely detrimental to the environment and takes more than 500 years to break down.
8. Heavily Dyed Paper
Paper that is heavily dyed cannot be recycled as the dye can bleed and contaminate the other paper when it is being processed through a paper mill.
For any further questions on what you can and can’t recycle, please reach out to our expert team. At Dump It Bins, we ensure that 99 per cent of the waste we collect is recycled.