In Leeds, the local council provides an excellent household recycling service and accepted items include paper, cardboard, cans, tins, and plastics 1, 2 and 4.
However, several items in particular confuse a lot of householders. Can they be recycled or not?
We all live busy lives, and this can mean we don’t always check the numbers on plastic against the list provided by the local authority.
Some people may not stop to think about what to do with an item if it can’t be recycled kerbside, either.
This results in items ending up in the recycling bin when they shouldn’t, and items being sent to landfill when they could have been recycled.
Below are five things that can’t be recycled kerbside in Leeds.
There currently isn’t a single council in the country that collects crisp packets for recycling.
The packaging is recyclable, but the UK’s local councils don’t have the equipment required to do it.
However, Walkers has teamed up with TerraCycle to provide the UK’s first crisp packet recycling scheme.
You can now either drop any brand of crisp packet off at a collection point or start your own local collection point in agreement with TerraCycle.
Toothpaste packaging causes a lot of confusion for householders the country over, as parts of it look recyclable — the cardboard box, for example.
However, none of it can be recycled kerbside because the required facilities aren’t available.
Instead, TerraCycle joined forces with Colgate.
Much like the crisp packet scheme, you can drop your toothpaste packaging off at drop-off points or start your own collection point.
Accepted for this scheme are toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, toothpaste tubes, toothbrush packaging, and toothpaste packaging.
Some food products are sold in black plastic packaging, and this cannot easily be recycled.
This is primarily because the sensors can’t spot it on conveyor belts at the recycling centres.
Manually sorting the waste isn’t an option and so most black plastic ends up being sent to landfill.
The main reason for the use of black plastic is that it is more aesthetically pleasing than alternatives.
Another reason is the cost of it compared to other plastics.
Luckily, due to an increase in eco-awareness in recent times, many manufacturers are moving away from using black plastic.
If you do come across black plastic in the meantime, unfortunately, it will have to go in your general waste bin if you don’t reuse it.
Yoghurt containers look and feel like they would be easily recycled.
However, they are often made from plastic-type 5, and that is a plastic that Leeds City Council cannot recycle.
Instead of placing pots in your black bin, as advised, you could consider reusing them.
They’re great for loads of projects; from making bird feeders to growing plants from seed.
Tetra Paks & similar
The packaging that often contains your fruit juice and milk is recyclable; however, not universally.
If you throw these in your recycling bin in Leeds, they won’t get recycled — in fact, they may very well contaminate the recycling.
So, instead, you need to collect them up at home and drop them off at a local Tetra Pak collection site.
You can find all the details of your local sites here.
If you don’t use many Tetra Paks in your household, it might be beneficial to join or set up a local collection point.
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