Don’t let your recycling go to waste!
It’s the 17th annual Recycle Week, and as a Local Authority we are fully supportive of helping to raise awareness of recycling.
This year’s theme focuses on recycling contamination. The nation’s recycling rates have been increasing year on year and Wales is currently ranked 2nd in the world for its household recycling rates. This is great news, however our recycling contamination levels have unfortunately been increasing also.
This is bad news, because the higher the contamination rates, the less recycling we can recover from your recycling bags. So all that effort of putting the recyclable items in your recycling bin could go to waste!
What is recycling contamination?
Recycling contamination refers to the presence of any unwanted items, being placed in the recycling bins or bags.
Common contaminants are:
- Plastic carrier bags
- Dirty food containers
- Cling film
- Used paper tissues
- Food or food residue (use our food waste collections instead)
- Electrical items
Some of these items can be recycled, but not through the collection of the green bins and clear bags. All of our recycling goes to a Material Reclamation Facility (MRF) which is only set up to deal with certain recyclable items and materials. A list of these items can be seen on our recycling posters, found on the Recycling section of our website.
Any dirty items such as unwashed food containers or used paper towels cannot be recycled as they are not clean. It is too difficult and expensive for Re-processors to clean these items, so they are not recycled.
How can we reduce contamination?
Aside from the obvious “don’t put the wrong items in the bin” we have the following suggestions:
- Wash out your plastic and metal food containers. The residue food on these could spoil other recyclables!
- Put up our Yes/No recycling posters around the workplace (found here)
- Challenge colleagues who are refusing to recycle
- Sign up for our single stream recycling collections!
Separating your recycling at source is the best way of reducing risk of contamination, and produces the best quality recycling. We can provide your business with separate containers for glass or cardboard and by collecting these separately, it will allow us to bypass our MRF and ensure none of these recyclables are contaminated.
Further details can be found on our Recycling Section of the website.