Householders given clarity over kerbside recycling

Recyclers, local authorities and waste management companies are working together to tackle confusion over household recycling, by producing a definitive list of what can and cannot be accepted for recycling at the kerbside.

It is hoped that the Recycling Guidelines, developed by WRAP with industry, will make it easier for households to recycle more effectively across the whole of the UK.

According to WRAP’s 2016 Recycling Tracker Survey, two thirds of UK households are uncertain about how to correctly dispose of one or more items and almost half have admitted to disposing of one or more items in the residual bin when they are collected for recycling in their area.

The new guidelines have been designed to help reduce confusion amongst householders across England, Scotland and Wales and help ensure that all items that can be recycled are being collected for recycling. Key information and messages included in the guidelines can be incorporated in targeted and strategic communications to help increase recycling, reduce contamination, and allow savings across the whole supply chain.

The guidelines cover paper, card, cartons, metal, plastic and glass packaging, and food waste and for each material outline:

  • What items can be included in a collection and what should not.

  • How the materials should be presented for recycling.

  • Why certain items cannot be accepted, or should be presented in a particular way.

Linda Crichton, Head of Resource Management at WRAP, said: “For as long as I have been at WRAP there has been a desire to have clarity across the country on what can be recycled and how items should be presented for recycling. We now have that – labels and tops can be left on bottles, envelopes can be recycled, trigger sprays don’t need to be removed! We wish to thank all those involved for coming together to enable this ground-breaking work to happen.

“It has been a truly collaborative effort without which, the guidelines would not have been produced. We all have an interest in increasing recycling and making it less confusing for people. As such we encourage all organisations to consider the guidelines and adopt the information and messages that are relevant to them.  WRAP will keep the guidelines under review and incorporate additional materials and advice as practices and technology develops.”

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