Aspirational recycling, wish-cycling, optimistic recycling…call it what you will but unfortunately, much of the time it leads to a perfectly good bag of recycling becoming contaminated.
If you’re not in the know, these terms are all referring to the moment you hover over the recycling bin with an item you think you can recycle…but you’re just not quite sure! Many of us are guilty of optimistically placing the item in the recycling bin hoping that it’s the right choice. However well intentioned, this can unfortunately result in the whole bag of recycling being rejected.
The team at Wales Recycles has put together a list of items that they have struggled with in the past.
Why not share the items you struggle with, and we’ll endeavour to get an answer to your question? Get in touch @WalesRecycles on Twitter and Instagram or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/walesrecycles
Pizza Boxes Clean cardboard can be recycled, however pizza boxes that are stained with grease and/or oil should be placed in your bag or bin for non-recycled waste.
Plastic net packaging These items should be placed in your bag or bin for non-recycled waste.
Sticky tape on cardboard boxes Sticky tape must be removed from your cardboard and placed in your bag or bin for non-recycled waste. Large cardboard boxes should then be flattened, cut it into smaller pieces and placed in your home recycling.
Tissues and Kitchen Towel All used tissues, kitchen roll or paper towels should be placed in your bag or bin for non-recycled waste.
Broken glass Broken glass should be wrapped safely (you can use old newspaper or kitchen roll, or double-bag them, to ensure our collection crews aren’t harmed when collecting them) and placed in your bag or bin for non-recyclable waste.
Drinking glasses Some drinking glasses can’t be recycled using the same process used for common glass bottles and jars, which mean they can’t be recycled together. If you have drinking glasses you no longer want, but are in good condition, consider giving them to a charity shop or a local community group.
Paper Coffee Cups / Lids / Sleeves Paper coffee cups are not normally accepted by your local authority as part of your kerbside recycling collections and should be placed in your bag or bin for non-recyclable waste – unless specifically asked for by your local authority.
Recycling technology is developing in this area and there are some facilities that can recycle paper cups. However, unless your council use these facilities, the paper cups cause problems within the traditional paper and card recycling process. Check with your local council to find out if you can take them to your local household waste recycling centre.
Coffee Cup Lids should be placed in your bag or bin for non-recyclable waste.
If your coffee cup’s cardboard sleeve is dry and free from stains, it can be put in your recycling container for cardboard.
Plastic toys Plastic toys are made from a material known as ‘hard plastic’, which can’t be recycled in the same way as the plastic bottles, pots and trays that are collected as part of the recycling collection service.
If you have plastic toys or games that are in good working condition, please donate them to a charity shop or a local community group.
If your plastic toys and games are beyond repair, it may still be possible to recycle some of the parts, if you dismantle them. This includes batteries and battery packs from remote controls which should be removed and recycled – find out how to recycle batteries here.
Any hard plastics that cannot be reused should be taken to your local recycling centre.
Decorated Paper Paper marked with crayons, paint or pens can be recycled.
However, any glitter, fabric, metal, or plastic embellishments, such as bows, foil and ribbons must be removed. They can be reused or placed in your bag or bin for non-recyclable waste.
Don’t forget to share the items you struggle with, and we’ll endeavour to get an answer to your question. Get in touch @WalesRecycles on Twitter and Instagram or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/walesrecycles