Great news! We’ve launched a fantastic new A to Z guide on how you can reduce, reuse, recycle or dispose of almost 180 different materials.
The easy-to-use guide gives detailed explanations of what to do with everything from aerosols to mattresses and nappies to Tetra Paks, to ensure we’re all being as environmentally friendly as possible.
The A to Z also gives advice on what to do with materials like rubble, plasterboards, asbestos, bathroom fittings, furniture, white goods, batteries and metal.
The guide launches our new drive to help residents recycle the correct things far more. In turn, this will help reduce the large number of recycling bins that we collect which are contaminated with non-recyclable products.
Why a guide is very helpful
We all want a cleaner city and a better world, and recycle as much as we can and with the best intentions. We all know we can recycle items like plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and glass.
But if you’re unsure about what to do with specific items or materials, and put the wrong ones in your recycling, this can lead to your bin being contaminated and possibly being taken to waste rather than be recycled.
Using the guide, which can be easily accessed online by phone, computer or tablet, means contamination of your recycling can be avoided.
It also means items and materials can be reduced, or reused by yourself or someone else.
Cllr Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “I’m sure many of us have been in the situation where we don’t know what to do with a certain material or item. Do we put it in our recycling? Bin it? Give it away?
“Now, armed with our new A to Z, we’ll all be able to do the right thing and help protect our city and our planet better, and ensure we’re making the best use of the materials we no longer want or need.”
How to use the guide
The guide uses what’s called the ‘waste hierarchy’, starting with how to firstly reduce the use of a material or item, then how to reuse it, then recycle and finally, when none of the others can be done, the best way to dispose of it.
In the case of plastic bags, first of all the A to Z suggests using a reusable bag rather than a plastic one. If that can’t be done, the next suggestion is how to reuse the plastic bag, for instance as a bin liner.
If that’s not possible, we say whether it can be recycled – plastic bags cannot – and then how it should be disposed of.
Other items and materials
As materials vary enormously, the use of reduce, reuse, recycle, dispose varies also.
For instance, we only say that styrofoam, which is used in packaging, cannot be recycled but should be disposed of in your household rubbish. However, textiles can be reused or recycled.
Cllr Mitchell added: “Although our recycling rate is the highest it’s ever been, we must aim much higher. We’re hoping this guide is a game changer in helping us all to recycle more and reduce contamination.”