Recycling: A Simple Guide

Recycling: A Simple Guide

With so much emphasis lately on climate change, sustainability and preservation, recycling is in the spotlight more now that ever before. 

People often get confused as to what can and can't be recycled, so here at Kollect, we have put together a simple guide to recycling to help you get it right.

Generally, we are taught these golden rules of recycling:

  1. Recycle all bottles, cans and paper.
  2. Keep items relatively clean.
  3. Separate all items by material. 
  4. Place all items in the bin loose.

Things That Can Be Recycled

Rigid Plastics

Plastic bottles

Plastic drink bottles, plastic cleaning bottles, butter, yoghurt and salad tubs, plastic trays for fruit and vegetables, plastic milk containers, plastic bottles for liquid soap or shampoo.

Paper and Cardboard

PagesNewspapers, magazines, telephone books, office paper, junk mail, cereal/snack cardboard boxes comics and light cardboard.

Drink Cartons

Milk carton graphic

Milk cartons, juice cartons, Tetra Paks.

Tins and Cans

Soup cans, pet food cans, drink cans and food cans can all be recycled.

Glass

Empty beer bottles

Food containers or jars, soft drink and beer bottles, wine and liquor bottles.

Things That Can't Be Recycled

Loose Plastic Bags

plastic bag

Plastic shopping bags, stretch wrap, cling film and plastic packaging.

Polystyrene

Polystyrene Tray 

Cups, containers and packaging.

Soiled Items

Soiled food containers, paper products, heavily soiled take out containers

Other

  • Broken glass
  • Opal glass
  • Porcelain, pottery, ceramics
  • Carpet, rugs, mattresses
  • Waxed papers, for example, paper cups

Recycling Symbols

There are 2 main recycling symbols that companies use on products and packaging. However, while they are placed on products and packaging. It is important to know what each means and be able to distinguish between the two of them.

Mobius Loop

Mobius Loop

This is the most common recycling symbol found on products and packaging. This means that the packaging or product is recyclable, or has some recyclable content.

The Green Dot

green recycling dot

The Green Dot is a pan-European symbol that appears on some products packaging. The Green Dot is not a recycling symbol.

It does not mean that a product or packaging can be recycled or contains recyclable material, but a symbol to show that the supplier or manufacturer of the product is committed to protecting the environment by funding the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.

What Happens to Recycled Items?

This is a question we often get asked - just what exactly happens to items that go out for recycling?

When recycling is collected, it is brought to sorting centres all over the country. While in the sorting centre, items are sorted by material.

Glass

Glass is sorted by colour to avoid contamination. The glass is then crushed, turning it into “cullet. When making new glass, up to 40% of the new material can be cullet.

Aluminium

Aluminium is a very valuable waste material. Items such as cans, foil takeaway containers, food containers and tin foil can all be recycled. When being processed in recycling centres, these aluminium materials are baled, smelted, rolled and made into new cans and other products.

Paper

Most types of paper can be recycled. When being processed, the paper is sorted, milled and recycled into new paper.

Plastic

Recycling plastic is slightly more complicated due to the code used for labelling the different types of plastic. The types of plastics mostly found in the home are made from HDPE, LDPE, PVC or PET. Recycled plastic has many uses, for example, fencing, garden furniture, plastic bags, PVC pipes and for flooring.

At Kollect, we are always conscious of the impact that we have on the environment and take the necessary steps to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible. We can all take steps to help the environment where we can. 

We provide many options for removing and disposing of waste, and all waste is disposed of in an environmentally conscious way. To find out how we can help you ethically dispose of and recycle your waste click here, or give us a call on 051-364495.