Although you have the best intentions to reduce, reuse and recycle, the war on waste requires constant and concerted effort. We’ve debunked some recycling myths to make it easy for you to get recycling right. Once it’s been collected, it gets taken to a materials recovery facility. It gets sorted in various ways through a mixture of machinery and technology, and manual workers take out some of the contamination that might appear in your bins. Once those materials are separated – like hard plastics, bottles and aluminium cans – they get sent off to various facilities that actually process those materials.
Items that can’t be recycled:
1. Dirty pizza boxes – The oil and food will contaminate the cardboard, which degrades the end product
2. Pringle Chips containers – These are made of multiple materials and can’t be separated in the recycling process
3. Plastic bags and soft plastics – Putting a plastic bag or soft plastic wrap (like cling film) in the recycling can wreak havoc with the machinery. This includes any recyclables placed inside plastic bags
4. Foil wrappers – The type of wrappers you get on muesli and chocolate bars cannot be recycled
5. Coffee cups – Most councils won’t recycle coffee cups because their waterproof lining can contaminate paper and cardboard items. It’s reported that one billion cups will end up in landfill this year
6. Polystyrene – This material won’t be accepted by your council recycling service. If you have a large quantity, arrange for a special collection.