By Claire Bell
We recently heard first hand from the people who run the facilities that sort your kerbside recycling concerning the big problem waste items they receive over the holiday season. There are materials that cause major issues when put in the recycling bin and in some cases can even be dangerous.
To help spread the word about what you definitely should NOT be putting in your recycling bin, here’s a list of five items to keep out:
- Batteries – these can create sparks that could start a fire in the truck or at the recycling materials facility. Batteries are also contained in other items that do not belong in the kerbside recycling bin such as e-waste like phones and toys. In this period of particularly hot and dry weather, the threat of a fire starting is greatly increased. Find a safe recycling drop off location for batteries near you.
- Butane aerosols – these are the kind you might take camping to cook with. Once again if there is any flammable liquid left in these canisters they pose a significant fire risk. These should never be put in the recycling bin, instead, dispose of them safely through your local household chemical collection service.
- Clothing – this is problematic as clothing and other textiles get tangled up in the processing machinery. THis can cause the whole process has to be halted to sort out the issue. Find reuse or recycling option for clothing near you.
- Decorations – unfortunately, most Christmas decorations aren’t recyclable because they are made up of several different material types including glue, glitter, paint etc, and come in various sizes and shapes which makes them impossible to process. Old decorations can be donated to charities or reuse centres or swapped with family and friends. If they are broken then they need to go in your waste bin.
- Pillows – we were interested to learn that many people buy new pillows in January and put their old ones in the recycling bin! Unfortunatly this is ‘wishcycling’ as pillows cannot be recycled. Most animal shelters do not accept pillows and doonas for health and safety reasons. Once again if you can’t find a reuse option then they need to go in your waste bin or collected by your council clean up service.
To find out what other items can or can’t be recycled search RecyclingNearYou.
About the author:
Claire is Planet Ark’s Recycling Campaign Manager. After working in the communications industry and raising a young family, she joined Planet Ark to follow her passion for helping the environment.