National Recycling Week

It’s National Recycling Week this week so I’m going to make a special effort. I do try to recycle wherever possible but some stuff does slip through the net.Recycling facilities outside my flat

These are the recycling facilities provided outside my block of flats – nice and handy.

As you can see, there’s a fair bit you can recycle here, but there’s also lots you can’t. Excluded are: yoghurt pots, cling film, margerine tubs, broken glass, food packaging, window glass, Pyrex, lightbulbs, Tetra Paks, and kitchen and garden waste. Which means there’s a heck of a lot of our weekly rubbish that doesn’t qualify.

And then there’s the grey areas. Those cardboard/plastic hybrids like the sandwich cartons you get somewhere like Pret – can that go in as cardboard? And what about the metal screw-lids on glass jars – do they count as aluminium or are they a different metal entirely?

I’ve just been down with a big blue Ikea bag of tins, jars and wine bottles, plus a smashed pint glass (a casualty of the weekend).

Only after I’d emptied everything into the bin did I read the sign that said smashed glass is not allowed. I once read somewhere that putting the wrong thing in the wrong recycling bin contaminates the whole batch and none of it can be recycled. God, the pressure!

The Recycle Week website asks you to choose one thing to pledge to do to better your recycling credentials. I opted to pledge to look out for new recycling labels when I’m shopping – that should be a good excercise in what can and can’t be recycled. I’m also going to do a bit of research on what else I could recycle nearby, so watch this space.

In the meantime, if that broken glass has indeed contaminated everybody else’s good work, apologies. I was trying!

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