Don’t let your good recycling go to waste

28 February 2014

Written by: Campaigns Team

News and announcements

More people than ever are recycling in Lambeth, which is better for the environment and expected to save up to £2 million through reduced disposal costs.

Unfortunately, some recycling bags collected contain items that cannot be recycled, which means that the whole bag cannot be processed.

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Don’t let your good recycling go to waste

Did you know you can recycle the following?162x116_Wash-Squash-Lids_Off

Aerosol sprays
Bleach and shampoo bottles
Envelopes (even those with windows)

Juice/milk cartons
Phone Directories
Yoghurt pots.

But you can not recycle:

Pizza boxes (or any other cardboard that has soaked up grease or food)
Crisp packets
Pencil shavings (or any wood)
Shredded paper
Wrapping paper

What happens when a recycling bag contains the wrong items?

Bags containing non-recyclable items have to be removed from the recycling process so that they don’t contaminate other items going into the recycling plant’s machines.

Thousands of bags are processed at the plant every day. It would be too time consuming for bags wrongly filled to be re-sorted, especially where the incorrect items have spread all around the bag.

These rejected bags are instead sent to a Waste to Energy plant, where they are used to generate electricity from the heat produced. While this is better for the environment than landfill, it is not as efficient as recycling. It also costs Lambeth more as the bag is processed twice.

How to find out more

View the Council’s Recycling from home – guide

Visit the Western Riverside Waste Authority website for more information of what can be recycled, how and where.


8 Thoughts on “Don’t let your good recycling go to waste

  1. Sol Barauskas says:

    Is there any advice on disposing of packaging foam (e.g. used to pad out packaging for computer monitors, furniture, etc). It is bulky, non-degradable so does not seem like something to put in with the regular rubbish, but it is listed among non-recyclable items.

  2. Kieran Casey-McEvoy says:

    The link to Western Riverside Waste Authority is wrong, should be

    • Olivia, webteam says:

      Hi Keiran, sorry about that, thanks for spotting the broken link. It’s fixed now 🙂

  3. John Proctor says:

    We’ve just moved and have loads of boxes and paper etc. the guide above was very useful but what about bubble wrap?

  4. Anna Pitt says:

    It would be great to see information about where the items you don’t want in your recycling bags could be sent to for recycling rather than the implication that they can’t be recycled.
    It is great that you point out issue of contaminated bags having to be diverted to Energy from Waste rather than landfill and the extra cost this involves, but I think we have a great need to help people understand that there are more options for recycling than only their council collection bags e.g. supermarkets, school schemes, charity shops etc.

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