Posts Tagged ‘recycle’


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

There are three key factors when thinking about how to recycle – The 3 R’s:


Recycling Different Materials

Plastic Bottles


Glass Bottles

Mobile Phones

You can find out how to recycle different materials such as GlassBatteries and Mobile Phones by simply using our list on the right hand side.

Recycling Etiquette

Recycling can sometimes be confusing and it can be difficult to know whether you are following all the right rules. Improve your recycling efforts by learning some recycling etiquette rules and check out which type of collection is best and why different areas recycle and collect in different ways.

What’s in your Rubbish Bin?

A large percentage of UK household’s still do not recycle enough and throw everything that they consider ‘rubbish’ into their ordinary bin.

Much of this waste can be recycled and should be disposed of separately to general household waste. Look inside this rubbish bin to see how much of the contents should actually have been recycled.


Recycling facts and figures

UK households produced 30.5 million tonnes of waste in 2003/04, of which 17% was collected for recycling (source: defra.gov.uk). This figure is still quite low compared to some of our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling over 50% of their waste. There is still a great deal of waste which could be recycled that ends up in landfill sites which is harmful to the environment.

Recycling is an excellent way of saving energy and conserving the environment. Did you know that:

  • 1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
  • 1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • 1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled.
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours.
  • The largest lake in the Britain could be filled with rubbish from the UK in 8 months.
  • On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish.
  • As much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be composted.
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.
  • 9 out of 10 people would recycle more if it were made easier.


  • 24 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually, 51,000 tonnes of which ends up as packaging in the UK.
  • If all cans in the UK were recycled, we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
  • £36,000,000 worth of aluminium is thrown away each year.
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks.


  • Each UK family uses an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually.
  • The largest glass furnace produces over 1 million glass bottles and jars per day.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.
  • Glass that is thrown away and ends up in landfills will never decompose.


  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials.
  • 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK.
  • The average person in the UK gets through 38kg of newspapers per year.
  • It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of newspaper.


  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.

Recycling is Important

Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. Recycling is important to both the natural environment and us. We must act fast as the amount of waste we create is increasing all the time.

The amount of rubbish we create is constantly increasing because:

  • Increasing wealth means that people are buying more products and ultimately creating more waste.
  • Increasing population means that there are more people on the planet to create waste.
  • New packaging and technological products are being developed, much of these products contain materials that are not biodegradable.
  • New lifestyle changes, such as eating fast food, means that we create additional waste that isn’t biodegradable.

Environmental Importance

Recycling is very important as waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment.

  • Harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses are released from rubbish in landfill sites. Recycling helps to reduce the pollution caused by waste.
  • Habitat destruction and global warming are some the affects caused by deforestation. Recycling reduces the need for raw materials so that the rainforests can be preserved.
  • Huge amounts of energy are used when making products from raw materials. Recycling requires much less energy and therefore helps to preserve natural resources.

Importance To People

Recycling is essential to cities around the world and to the people living in them.

  • No space for waste. Our landfill sites are filling up fast, by 2010, almost all landfills in the UK will be full.
  • Reduce financial expenditure in the economy. Making products from raw materials costs much more than if they were made from recycled products.
  • Preserve natural resources for future generations. Recycling reduces the need for raw materials; it also uses less energy, therefore preserving natural resources for the future.

Waste and recyling targets

The need to recycle has been recognised by the government and environment agencies who have set a number of realistic targets over the approaching years. District councils aim to achieve these recycling targets with the aid of government funding.

Government Targets

The Landfill Directive states targets for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites in the UK. The targets are:

  • By 2010, the waste sent to landfills should be 75% of that sent in 1995
  • By 2013, the waste sent to landfills should be 50% of that sent in 1995
  • By 2015, the waste sent to landfills should be 35% of that sent in 1995

In order to achieve this directive, ‘Waste Strategy 2000’ introduced the following targets for waste recovery.

  • Recover 40% of waste by 2005
  • Recover 45% of waste by 2010
  • Recover 67% of waste by 2015

The government has also published national recycling targets in ‘Waste Strategy 2000’.

  • 25% of household waste should be recycled or composted by 2005
  • 30% of household waste should be recycled or composted by 2010
  • 33% of household waste should be recycled or composted by 2015
  • The recycling targets for individual local authorities is 30% by 2005/2006

The government has issued a ‘Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant’ of £260 million to aid local authorities in waste reduction, increased recycling and diversion from landfills.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency works to protect and improve the environment in England and Wales. They provide a huge number of environmental services and work with local authorities and government agencies to reach their targets.

The Environment Agency aim to:

  • Continuously improve air, land and water quality.
  • Encourage conservation efforts regarding animals, plants and natural resources.
  • Implement pollution control efforts.
  • Reduce the amount of household waste by encouraging people to reuse and recycle.
  • Improve standards of waste disposal.
  • Educate and inform people about environmental issues.

Where can you recycle?

As well as home recycling bins, there are many recycling banks across the UK that can be used to recycle different materials.
They are located on streets across the UK as well as in supermarkets and outside housing estates.
Most recycling banks are emptied on a regular basis. However, if you do come across one that is over-flowing, contact your local council who will arrange for the bank to be emptied. You can also contact your local council to report vandalism to the recycle banks.

Source : recycling-guide.co.uk

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