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Free way to recycle the 'unrecyclable'

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Free way to recycle the 'unrecyclable'

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
11 replies 3.9K views
MSE_SarahMSE_Sarah MSE Staff
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
Most of us have mastered the art of sorting and recycling our household waste. But what about those annoying items that can't be collected and recycled by your local council? From crisp packets to contact lenses, there are (literally) tons of items we still throw in the rubbish bin.

Read the full blog: Free way to recycle the 'unrecyclable'

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  • The_Green_HornetThe_Green_Hornet Forumite
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    What we really don't need is yet another recycling channel.

    It would be far easier, and probably more successful, if the local councils collect and recycle these items along with everything else, with the extra cost being funded by the companies who make the products concerned.

    But as this will require some joined up thinking by our politicians it will never happen..
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    It's a pity there are no recycling points anywhere near me.


    The trouble is, there are now so many different plastic/cardboard/metal mixes that are technically recyclable, but only at a special facility for that type of packaging.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • As the owner of a moggy who gets through 3 pouches a day (fussy eater it's the only brand he'll eat!) I was hating having to put them in the normal bin. Quite happy to set aside another recycling bin and then have a trip to halifax or trawden to drop them off (my nearest points) - I might have a word with our local Cat Charity who has a shop and ask if they might like to become a recycling point too..
  • Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    What we really don't need is yet another recycling channel.

    It would be far easier, and probably more successful, if the local councils collect and recycle these items along with everything else.

    Really? How would you propose a local council should collect contact lenses?

    The biggest problem with recycling collections is deciding whether to collect mixed or separated materials, and where materials are mixed then separating the materials back into separate commodities.

    Asking the consumer to separate these low weight / low volume materials is the most efficient way.

    And in the end we are paying for our waste to be treated. We either pay as Council Tax payers, or as consumers.
  • edited 31 January 2019 at 4:14PM
    BlueBell47BlueBell47 Forumite
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    edited 31 January 2019 at 4:14PM
    I have being a member of Terracycle for several years. I recycle crisp packets, sweet biscuit wrappers, trigger sprays, I fill my boxes, print the prepaid label, it is then collected from my house and it costs me nothing. I then receive my points which I exchange for a voucher to be sent to my chosen charity. My charity is an Orangutan Protection Scheme and so far I have raised £50+ to help them, what is there not to like about the scheme.
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  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    Too hard, only 3 people will give a toss and do it.

    It's not that we don't want to do it, but if these schemes are so great then why don't the local Councils have the conversations with the organisers and agree to collect those items and separate them as part of what they do for their recycling as it is.
  • Nick_CNick_C Forumite
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    ... but if these schemes are so great then why don't the local Councils have the conversations with the organisers and agree to collect those items and separate them as part of what they do for their recycling as it is.

    What technology would you use to separate a crisp packet from a paper bag? And a trigger spray from a plastic bottle? Even tetrapaks are commonly sorted by exception (you pull everything else out and what is left is tetrapaks - in theory)

    As for contact lenses :rotfl:
  • SpudseySpudsey Forumite
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    I'm collecting empty crisp packets at work - I have a few issues. One is what I am using to collect them in.....currently cardboard boxes, with over 100 employees at work they get through a lot of crisps! So I am getting a bin bag a week at present. Looking at some kind of letter box recycling bin to post them into.


    Also got an issue with what is going in the bin, I am also getting other snack wrappers with the crisp packets, and sometimes uneaten food, chewing gum, chocolate wrappers are being put in the packets. Taking me about 20 minutes a week to sort.
    Any suggestions?
  • ObukitObukit Forumite
    670 posts
    I would buy a cheap laundry basket with a lid - we got these when they were half price in Homebase - and they are quite sturdy. We use them to separate recycling and non-recyclables.

    1551650469220-429780611.jpg

    As for stopping people putting general rubbish in, unfortunately I think that is near impossible. I had bright blue recycling bins put in at work and a lot of people just don't care. If you had a robust bin you could just cut a thin letterbox so people can only post crisp packets, but you might find people don't bother to use it. Or you could put up a sign saying how much you've raised, then a polite note underneath saying that other waste contaminates the packets and may earn less money.

    There was a study done for hotels a while back about the most effective way of wording the "please consider reusing your towels" sign. They found the most people reused their towels when the hotel said that they had already made a £xxxxx donation to an environmental charity, and thanked everyone for reusing their towels to enable it. It sounds like this is the situation you are in already.
  • SpudseySpudsey Forumite
    160 posts
    Obukit wrote: »
    I would buy a cheap laundry basket with a lid - we got these when they were half price in Homebase - and they are quite sturdy. We use them to separate recycling and non-recyclables.

    1551650469220-429780611.jpg

    As for stopping people putting general rubbish in, unfortunately I think that is near impossible. I had bright blue recycling bins put in at work and a lot of people just don't care. If you had a robust bin you could just cut a thin letterbox so people can only post crisp packets, but you might find people don't bother to use it. Or you could put up a sign saying how much you've raised, then a polite note underneath saying that other waste contaminates the packets and may earn less money.

    There was a study done for hotels a while back about the most effective way of wording the "please consider reusing your towels" sign. They found the most people reused their towels when the hotel said that they had already made a £xxxxx donation to an environmental charity, and thanked everyone for reusing their towels to enable it. It sounds like this is the situation you are in already.

    Thanks for this! Apologies I didn't realise anyone had replied!

    There is a poster by my crisp packets that thanks people for their contributions, and lets them know how much was raised. And also a note about not putting in the other items as that can cause contamination to no avail. I think I'm going to put another poster up with a tick and cross against certain items. Today I sorted through seven bin bags and found soup packets, mouldy teabag, a plaster and lots of bl00dy clingfilm with food in......yuk!

    Now have a sturdy box with letterbox so hoping that will help with collecting them.
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