Recycling is now compulsory in many areas of the country. It is no longer something that just a few people do that are conscious about the environment. Recycling is now a prerequisite for many householders and is often enforced with fines or a refusal to collect rubbish.

But is can be a confusing issue, especially considering the different schemes that run up and down the country where different materials are accepted for recycling. Often there is a lot of disparity in the number of recycling bins and what items can go in each too which adds to the confusion.

However, if recycling is compulsory then local authority recycling bins should be provided to most householders with instructions as to what can be placed in each. In general recycled materials can be summed in the following categories:

Different Recycling Materials:

Metals – both ferrous and non ferrous, often both can be placed in the same recycling bin.

Plastics – Many local authorities can’t yet recycle plastic but there are a few that do and plastics these would therefore have to be separated from the general household waste that would go into the conventional rubbish bin.

Paper – Paper and card are recycled by most local authorities. Sometimes large tubs or containers are used rather than  paper recycling bins doesn’t cause smells of other environmental hazards.

Food/organic waste – This can’t really be recycled by your local authority but you can do so at home by composting. Food waste rots anyway so it doesn’t pose too much of an environmental hazard.

Ceramics – Again, not all authorities will recycle ceramics and some will combine it with glass recycling too.

Clothing/fabrics – A lot of clothes that aren’t worn can be distributed to needy causes but fabrics can be recycled too so enquire to what schemes are on in your area.

Glass/bottles – Some authorities expect you to go the bottle bank, others will provide you with a recycling bin for glass

Garden Waste – this can be used by local authorities and recycled and often gardening bins are provided to recycle grass cuttings and the like.

In some local authorities many of the above items can be placed in the same recycling bin, in others separate recycling bins are provided (in one local council in the UK – nine different recycling bins have been supplied to residents) so it is important to check what can go in each bin.

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