Common Recycling Mistakes

We should all be recycling and reusing as much as possible. When you hire a skip, you might think it’s all going to landfill but skip companies aim to recycle as much of the waste as they can. For Skip Hire Swansea, visit

Not sure what you can recycle? It can feel a bit like a minefield. Here are some common mistakes that many people make when it comes to recycling:

These items are almost never recyclable

Many people are guilty of just throwing an item into the recycling, even if they’re unsure of whether that material is recyclable or not. They do it and simply hope that item will be dealt with sustainably. It’s a better mindset than simply not bothering but these items are often put into recycling by the well-intentioned but cannot, for various reasons, be recycled:

Dark and black plastics

If you have plastic that is dark in colour or black, this cannot be recycled because of its colouring. The dye pigments that make it coloured confuse automated recycling machinery that are set up to identify and sort in a certain way. Sadly, there is no easy fix for this problem and so, as it stands, such items cannot be put forward for recycling.

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Dirty cardboard or grubby plastic

People often place carboard takeaway packaging into recycling assuming that because it’s cardboard, it’s recyclable. However, almost all councils will only accept clean and unsoiled plastic and cardboard for processing. Anything that is stained with food or grease is unfortunately destined for landfill.

Miscellaneous plastic

There are so many different types of plastic that it’s almost impossible to categorise and process all of it. Here are some plastic products that are not currently able to be recycled:

Soup pots

Hummus pots

Punnets used for fruit and veg

Yoghurt pots

Takeaway boxes

Tetra packs – if you’ve not heard of this, it’s the plastic often used to package sandwiches for example. It’s the mix of materials in them that makes them impossible to recycle.

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However, it works both ways and here are some items that you might think aren’t suitable for recycling but actually are:

Empty aerosol cans, deodorant and hairspray for example

Most people think these cannot be recycled, but there are many services that do accept them as long as they are fully empty. If you press the activator down and just here hissing, it’s empty and you can place it in the recycling box.

Bleach bottles and surface sprays

Bleach has very negative environmental connotations but the plastic bottles that once contained the substance can be recycled once empty and rinsed out. Window and surface cleaners that are trigger-activated can also be recycled once empty.

Kitchen foil and unsoiled foil trays

Again, these must be clean but as long as they are, and no grease or foodstuffs are clinging to the metal lids or foil, these too can be placed into the recycling to be processed and turned into new products.


Russell Wilson

Hi, I am Russell Wilson; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor, and adventurer passionate about life. At this moment, I am working with depression and anxiety.

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