Recycling is easy and most of us are recycling as much as we can. Follow our simple steps and start recycling today.

If your unsure of where you can recycle an item, check out your local councils website or enter your postcode in Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator to find out where and how to recycle specific items such as mobile phones, computers, textiles, batteries, light bulbs and paint. Find the link for this below.

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Steps to start recycling at home

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Find out what you can recycle at home – check your local councils website to find out what you can put in your home recycling bins.

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Make sure you have suitable containers, such as a bin, box, bag, or caddy. Nine out of ten of us have household recycling collections so contact your local council if you don’t already have the above.



To keep track of recycling collection, check your local authority’s schedule for weekly, fortnightly, or monthly pick-up dates and mark them on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.



Find a place to store your recycling. Find a convenient place to store them before you take them out to the bin. Remember recyclables from your bathroom and other rooms at home.

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Make sure everyone in your house knows – encourage family and housemates to check whether items can be reused or recycled before they are thrown away.



If recycling is not collected at your home, check your local council website for information on the nearest recycling drop-off point and how to recycle specific items that cannot be recycled at home.


Recycle on the go

Look out for designated recycling bins when you’re out and about. Check the signs and labels, and take care to place your item in the correct bin.

If you don’t spot a recycling bin or the one you find is full, consider taking your waste home and recycling it

Don’t stop at kerbside recycling – here’s some more handy hints

Local community waste recycling sites take many unusual and larger items that can’t go in your household recycling. Enter your postcode in Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator to find out where and how to recycle specific items such as mobile phones, computers, textiles, batteries, light bulbs and paint.

Look out for plastic bag collection points in supermarkets. You can recycle all polythene bags there, including carrier, bread and frozen veg bags, magazine plastic sleeves and bubble wrap (but not cling film).

By switching to a “Bag for Life” you can prevent plastic bags ending up in landfill sites.

Here are a few handy hints to help you remember to use your bags:

  • take bags with you every time you go shopping
  • keep spare bags in your car or at work so you’re never without
  • let the check-out staff know you’ve brought your own before they pack for you – some shops offer rewards for bag reuse

Many of the things we throw away haven’t always reached the end of their useful life. Something that you don’t want any more can still be used by someone else.

Discover the positive effect of re-use by:

Having a clear out? Donate good quality clothing, books and unwanted gifts to charity shops. Alternatively use the clothing banks at your local recycling centre.

Many of the things we throw away haven’t always reached the end of their useful life. Before getting rid of them, think of reaping or upcycling them.

Avoiding throwing out food will save you money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some ways to avoid throwing out food include:

  • planning meals ahead of time to avoid unnecessary buying
  • freezing perishable food, such as part loaves of bread, to prevent waste
  • perfecting portion sizes – only cooking what you need
  • storing and freezing leftovers
  • always writing a shopping list
  • using up leftovers

Love Food Hate Waste is a national campaign providing handy tips and advice to help everyone waste less food.

Reducing the amount of junk mail you receive reduces the amount of waste paper that has to be disposed of and recycled.

Here are some ways you can help to reduce your junk mail:

  • join the Mail Preference Service to have your name removed from Direct Mailing lists
  • reduce unaddressed junk mail by joining the Royal Mail Door to Door service (further details can be found by contacting Royal Mail)
  • refuse leaflets and flyers – display a “No Junk Mail” sticker on your door or mail box
  • avoid joining mailing lists or leave mailing lists – When filling out forms or surveys, tick the box stating that you do not want to receive further information or offers

Recycling myths busted

“There is no point recycling, it doesn’t make a difference”

Recycling stops tonnes of waste being buried in landfill. In the UK, recycling saves about 10-15 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, the equivalent of taking 3.5 million cars off the road.

“My recycling will end up getting thrown away with the rubbish anyway”

Your recycled material is a valuable resource. Once it has been collected from your doorstep it is then sorted, bailed and transported to reprocessors to be made into new products.

“Paper can only be recycled a few times”

Whilst it is true that paper fibres start to break down once they have been recycled five-six times, even then they can still be put to good use in egg cartons, loft insulation, paints and even new road surfaces.

“Recycling metal uses more energy than extracting the raw material”

This is not true. Mining and processing metal uses huge amounts of resources and energy. Recycling cans saves up to 95% of the energy needed to make new cans from raw material.