Last July they did their own research by auditing 20,000 refuse collection rounds throughout the UK and found that only 6% of households recycled their waste correctly as per guidelines. 6%! That means 94% of us are getting it wrong and it results in extra work and costs, and could even result in whole loads being rejected at the recycling plant.
Getting it right means:
- All refuse correctly separated according to local authority regulations (Redbridge here)
- Glass, plastic bottles and foil food trays rinsed or washed
- Lids removed from jars and plastic bottles
- Metal cans and plastic containers crushed
Now, if you have a look at the recycling symbols on plastic milk bottles and their lids you will find they are both type 2 HDPE. But there are different types of HDPE – it’s not that simple, so when Redbridge say no lids, they mean no lids, into the black bag with them. I know that will put the bloke with the “take the lids off job” at the recycling plant out of work but that’s life.
And of course rinsing out, or even washing, used containers should be obvious from a hygiene viewpoint (while it’s sitting there for up to a week in your recycle bin) but it also removes contamination making the recycling process much more energy efficient, saving on costs.
And squashing means that the lorries can take more material before they get full up and have to return to the depot to unload, meaning less fuel used and less pollution on our streets.
All together now, repeat after me, wash and squash and bin the lids.