Household Waste Handling Tips

What’s in Your Bin?

What’s in your bin? It might sound like a rather personal question, but what we really want to get to the bottom of is people’s rubbish disposal habits! Many of us throw away our rubbish without really putting much thought into it. We might chuck the occasional tin into the recycling box and the odd handful of vegetable peel into the compost, but it’s easy to forget or get confused as to what goes where. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about recycling or our environment – just that we’re busy people with other things on our minds!

That said, because we care about our environment, we know deep down that it’s worth putting a little more care into what we do with our waste! A ton (well, tons!) of waste gets disposed of incorrectly and even those of us who pay a great deal of attention to our rubbish disposal are bound to get it wrong sometimes. After all, there’s a lot to remember, right? So here’s a handy guide to what can be recycled and what can’t. Remember, rubbish disposal and recycling procedures vary from county to county and borough to borough, so always check your local council’s rules.

Throw Away

  • Unusable clothing and other textiles
  • Unusable toys
  • Cooking fat
  • Pet waste
  • Plastic bags
  • Lightbulbs
  • Polystyrene
  • Nappies
  • Sanitary products
  • Glassware, except for bottles and jars
  • Plastic food packaging, such as chocolate bar wrappers
  • Pens and non-paper stationery
  • Kitchen towels

 Compost

Recycle

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Tinfoil
  • Aerosols
  • Tin cans
  • Plastic bottles, containers, and lids
  • Metal lids
  • Paper shredding
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Paper cartons
  • Card and cardboard packaging

Compost, Food, and Garden Waste

  • Vegetable peelings
  • Leftover foods
  • Egg shells
  • Teabags
  • Bones
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Leaves
  • Branches
  • Bark
  • Twigs
  • Weeds
  • Dead plants and flowers
  • Grass cuttings

Special Disposal

  1. Low-energy and fluorescent lightbulbs – many electrical shops will take old bulbs.
  2. Electrical goods (non-working) – take to your local recycling centre or have it collected by a rubbish disposal company.
  3. Paint – take to your local recycling centre or have it collected by a rubbish removal company.
  4. Batteries – many public shops and centres have recycling boxes for used cartridges.
  5. Plaster, tiles, and other DIY/construction waste – take to your local skip or have it collected by a building waste removal company.
  6. Larger items, such as furniture – take to your local skip or have it collected by a waste disposal company.
  7. Gas canisters – use the number on the canister to have it collected.
  8. Medicines (tablets, capsules, and liquids) – return to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.
  9. Printer cartridges – many public shops and centres have recycling boxes for used cartridges.
  10. Old mobile phones and tablets – find an online recycling centre especially for mobile devices.

Weeds

It would be impossible to make a fully exhaustive list, but this certainly works as a guide. And if you have an item not on the list that you’re not sure what to do with? Try contacting your local council to find the best method of house clearance – many have handy guides on their website. It’s worth bearing in mind that rubbish disposal should be a last resort for many items; always donate or recycle where you can!

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