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Avoid contaminating your recycling

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People in Wales do a great job of recycling their household items every single week and we thank you for continuing to be mighty recyclers! In fact, 94% of Welsh citizens recycle on a regular basis, but did you know that some of us still put the wrong items in our recycling containers?

Putting our waste into the correct recycling containers is really important and when we get this wrong, it’s called ‘contamination’. When too much contaminated material is put into the wrong containers it can prevent our household items from being recycled, which means our recycling is lost forever.

Common items that we get wrong

Most of us are getting it right and placing the right items into the correct recycling containers. However, the most common mistakes people make is putting the following items in with their recycling:

  • Animal waste;

  • Candle jars;

  • Ceramics;

  • Clothes hangers;

  • Cotton buds and cotton wool;

  • COVID-19 waste and PPE;

  • Disposable nappies;

  • Drinking glasses;

  • Food and drink pouches;

  • Glass cookware and ovenware;

  • Glass windowpanes;

  • Plastic film lids;

  • Plastic toys;

  • Sticky tape;

  • Tissues;

  • Toothpaste tubes;

  • Wet wipes.

Tips to avoid contaminating your recycling

Here are some great tips to help you avoid contaminating your recycling and ensuring that all the effort you put in is rewarded and not wasted. With this extra effort to put our recycling in the right containers every time, will help to get Wales to number one in the world at recycling.

  • Check our Recycling Locator tool to see what you can recycle at home;

  • Visit our Recycle an Item pages to check how to recycle items you’re unsure about;

  • Check your local council’s website for specific instructions about how to recycle certain items, for example, whether you should leave on any lids on bottles and jars or remove them.

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