To recycle, or not to recycle? That is the question – and it’s a pretty confusing one. While many recyclables are obvious, like soft drink cans and cardboard boxes, there are other items that you might throw in the recycle bin, when you shouldn’t. Or visa versa – you toss them in the regular bin when they should be sent to recycling.
In a bid to clear things up, we’re delving deep into the world of recycling – what can’t be recycled, and what you can do with the non-recyclables. Here goes.
What Are Non-Recyclables?
These are items that you can’t recycle in the traditional way – that’s not the say they can’t be recycled at all though. Many of the things people toss in their yellow-lid bin are actually contaminating the other items – which means, the entire bin is now non-recyclable. The following are non-recyclables:
Plastic bags and wraps: While these can be recycled, they can’t go into your yellow bin. Instead, you need to take them to your local supermarket and dispose of them in the Redcycle bins.
Cans, cardboard, etc – within plastic bags: Although it’s much easier to transport your recyclables to your yellow bin from the house in a garbage bag, you can’t put the garbage bag in the bin as well. If you do, you’re wasting your recycling efforts.
Nappies: Too many people put dirty nappies into the recycle bin – which contaminates the entire bin. Not only that, but they make their way into the recycle plant and contaminate everything there as well. Bin them properly.
Food and soils: Got some pizza boxes you need to bin? You can only put them into the yellow bin if they don’t have any pizza leftovers inside, and if they aren’t TOO greasy or cheesy. Small amounts of residue are fine in your recyclables – a bit of sauce left in the jar. But big chunks of food should be binned separately.
Cords and string: If you have anything that can get tangled around other items in the bin, you shouldn’t be putting it in there. That includes Christmas lights and headphones, garden hoses and wires. They actually cause the equipment at the recycle centre to snag, shutting down operations.
Toxic materials: Anything that is ignitable, toxic or corrosive should not be recycled. This includes things like oil paint and motor oil, poisons and petrol. If the bottle is empty that’s been holding these, throw it in the trash – not the recycling. If you have large amounts, you might consider a rubbish removal company to take them away for you safely.
Cleaning products: Like the above, you should also not recycle your cleaning products and containers. Check the label and if they are water-soluble, you can generally wash it down the drain. If it’s solid, such as sponges, bin it. And anything containing bleach should be flushed in small amounts.
Batteries: These are corrosive by nature and the ingredients in batteries are hazardous, so it’s important that you dispose of them properly. You shouldn’t put these in your general trash either, but rather take them to a recycling facility where they can be disposed of properly.
Chip packets: This might surprise you, but any type of multi-layer bag cannot be recycled. That means, any bags or packets that you can roll up into a ball should not be put in your recyclables. That even includes baby food pouches and chocolate wrappers.
Electronics: Computers, TVs, phones, keyboards, even your smoke detectors – these are all unsuitable for your yellow bin and need to be disposed of properly. Take them to the local recycle centre yourself or have a rubbish removal company pick them up for you.
Clothing: If you have clothes you’re not wearing anymore, rather than putting them in the yellow bin or the general trash, consider donating them instead. There are people in need all over the country and if they’re in good condition, you’ll be helping someone else with your unwanted goods.
Wood: It might surprise you, but wood is actually not recyclable and shouldn’t be put in your recycle bin. That includes paddle pop sticks! If you have a large number of wood items you want to recycle, see if your local community has a program for timber recycling.
Light bulbs: If you put light bulbs into your recycle bin, you risk them cracking and glass contaminating the other items in there. You can either take them to your local recycle centre, or dispose of them in your regular rubbish – just be sure to wrap them in paper first.
Our top tip: when in doubt, leave it out.
What To Do With Your Non-Recyclables
So, what can you do with all those non-recyclables? There are a few options.
Try to salvage as much of the item as possible and repurpose them. For example, if your pizza box has too much grease for recycling, see if you can pull it apart, get rid of the bits that still have food on them, and use the scraps for crafts instead.
Get your creativity hat on. If you have broken glass, learn how to make a mosaic decoration and design your own photo frames or Christmas decorations. If you have Styrofoam, cut it into egg shapes and get the kids to paint it for Easter – it’ll save a bundle on Easter decorations.
Other creative ideas include reusing paper coffee cups for growing plants! Poke a hole in the bottom, fill it with soil, add a seed and watch it grow! And using old milk or water bottles for creating ice packs. Simply clean them out, fill them with water, and freeze them. They’re perfect to put in your esky for a summer barbecue at the beach.
When it comes to repurposing, the options are only limited by your imagination. If you prefer to get rid of all your rubbish, however, that’s where a rubbish removal specialist can help.
Rubbish removal Sydney, and beyond
Rubbish removal companies are there to do the dirty work for you. It doesn’t matter if you have a large amount of recyclables you need taken away, or a small box, rubbish removalists are trained to deal with it. They’ll come to your house and pick up anything you don’t want anymore, then they’ll take it straight to the local recycle centre. If it’s donatable, such as furniture, they’ll instead take it to a local charity. With rubbish removal services, you can rest assured your recyclables are going to the right place. And there’ll be no mess left behind.
Cheapest Load of Rubbish are your rubbish removal Sydney specialists so if you need advice or to make a booking, get in touch today.