Recycling in the UK

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFR) in June 2012 residents recycled approximately 43 percent of their household waste. There are several ways that recyclable items are collected by the recycling agency. Your waste collection agency may offer skips, sacks and wheeled bins to place your recyclable items in. Some agencies allow businesses to rent bins from them.

Recycling bins can vary in size and color but are typically blue, green or brown. If a second recycling bin is needed residents and businesses should complete the proper documentation provided by their local collection agency in order to submit a request.

During the holidays the recycling collection dates and times are subject to change. Businesses and residents are usually notified in advance. If your bin has been missed by the collection agency you should report this information to your local collection agency immediately.

Top Recycling Councils in the UK

According to England’s WasteDataFlow database the top five most recycling councils in the UK for fiscal year 2011/2012 were: Surrey Heath Borough Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Darlington Borough Council, and Uttlesford District Council.

England’s newspaper The Guardian stated that separate food waste collections and alternative week pick-ups were the methods being used in some of the top recycling councils. Recycling agencies are implementing several programs to encourage recycling. Many of these programs are effective and recycling has increased over the past few years.

What, Where and When to Recycle

Many items can be recycled a few are: glass and plastic bottles, soda cans, jars and newspaper. Waste Items such as hot ashes, garden waste, metal, or corrosive substances can’t be placed in a regular recycle bin. There are special collection agencies which collect these items. Check with your local collection agency for more information. Recycling collection agencies usually collect residential items by kerbside and business recyclable items are collected on site. Businesses should check with their local collection agency in order to determine which recycling bin would be appropriate for their business.

Am I Charged for Recycling Services?

Yes, both residents and businesses are charged for recycling and waste management services. If a business would like for their recyclable commercial goods to be recycled by their local waste management agency they have to pay a fee. The fee that each business has to pay depends on the collection agency that they chose to utilize. A recycling agency can charge each business a fee depending on the quantity or weight of the waste produced. Many companies have been denying small businesses their recycling services for years which force them to rely on private contractors.

Private contractors tend to charge a lower fee. You should check with your collection agency to see if they offer a business discount. Some businesses offer a discount for charities, hospitals and schools waste collections. Your business may also be eligible for free recycling collections.

Can a Business Recycle?

Recycling business products in the UK is mandatory. It is highly recommended that businesses recycle legally. Due to the high recycling rates some businesses tend to dispose of their waste illegally. The process of dumping waste illegally in the UK is called “fly tipping”. All businesses are required to complete a trade waste agreement to confirm proper disposal of waste.

In order to reduce their recycling rates businesses have decreased the amount of waste that they produce. Many UK businesses have not yet implemented a recycling program for their business and don’t bother to separate their regular waste from recyclable waste. Please remember that a collection agency is required to collect all waste and recyclable items. It is also important to remember that commercial waste can’t be recycled at the owner or employee’s residence.

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