How can we recycle?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether something is recyclable or not, but in more recent years we have been able to know what can and can’t be recycled easily. Whenever you buy food or an item in a packet you can check the wrapper to see if it can be recycled! Most food packets have a little picture like the ones below.

“Widely Recycled”

This means that this packet is recycled in the majority of areas around the UK, including where you are!

“Check Locally”

This means that this packet is only recyclable in some local areas around England, ask your parents or teachers to check online to see if it can be recycled in your local area. 

“Not Yet Recycled”

This means that this packet is not yet recycled in the majority of areas around the UK, including where you are. These packets need to be put in general waste.

Recycle more effectively

Recycling has firmly taken root in all of our lives as a must-do, with many of us having an idea on what to recycle and what not to recycle. We also enjoy doing out part to help the environment. Here at Collingwood this is important to us to stay motivated about recycling and remind our students the importance of recycling. 

What you may not know is that the quality of the rubbish we recycle might affect if it does actually get recycled! With widely recycled objects like aluminium, steel, paper and plastic all able to be contaminated and forced into landfill. This isn’t good, so here we aim to give you some tips on how to be even more effective when you recycle.

Recycle plastic bags separately

Plastic Bags can be unpredictable when it comes to recycling. When recycling bags are brought to a recycling plant they usually end up being recycled separately to everything else, this means when people recycle cans and rubbish tied into a plastic bag a human at the plants needs to empty out all of the rubbish out of the bag so it can be recycled, this slows down the automated process of recycling and forces humans to intervene to dispose of these bags. Plastic bags are a problem in the environment as they cause damage to the landscape and wildlife, instead of recycling them in the same bin as the rest ask a parent to check online to see if your local council has any programmes on recycling these bags.

Compress bottles

Here in Northumberland and in most other parts of England we are able to recycle our plastic bottles with the lids on! In the past we were told to take the lids off as they were seen as a health hazard for recycling plant workers as when an uncompressed bottle of air with a lid on got unscrewed the bottle would blast away at high speeds because of the air inside it!

However now that the recycling process has improved we are able to keep the caps on and we are actually recommended to, this is because lids handed in separately might be placed into general waste accidentally and sent to landfill when they could easily be recycled! The best way to recycle your bottles is to squash the air out of the bottle and then put the lid back on to make sure no air or water gets inside. 

Keep cardboard and other recyclables clean

While cardboard is recyclable, it can be rendered impossible to recycle if it is damaged with grease, because of this you need to make sure to avoid placing things like foods, liquids and animal waste into the recycling bin as it could contaminate the rest of the recyclable materials.

Newspapers used to hold your order of chips and most cardboard take-away boxes are normally better to put into a normal or compost bin. 

If you are unsure about any other materials on whether they can or cannot be recycled the best option is to look up your local councils recycling guide, these guides will give you detailed guidance on what and how to recycle in your local area so you can make the environment a better place!