Wondering what you can or can't recycle?
Here's a handy guide of common items used over Christmas that can be recycled in your clear recycling sacks:
- Wrapping paper (no glitter) Remember to do the scrunch test! Watch here.
- Christmas cards (no glitter)
- Cardboard boxes (please remember to remove and bin any plastic film or tape from the cardboard, then flatten and put in your recycling sacks to keep the cardboard dry.
- Plastic bottles (washed and squashed) You can keep the lids on!
- Plastic food trays, pots and tubs (must be free of food traces)
- Clean silver foil and foil containers
- Plain paper party hats from your Christmas cracker! (no glitter or decorations)
- Tins, cans and aerosols
Food and drink cartons can be recycled at our bring bank Local Recycling Centres across the district. Find out where the locations are.
What can't be recycled in your clear recycling sacks (these should go in your grey bin):
- ANYTHING with glitter e.g. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, used Christmas crackers, Christmas gift bags
- Foil wrapping paper
- Bubble wrap and polystyrene
- Cling film
- Dirty or wet paper, napkins and paper table cloths
- Nappies (used or unused)
Something we've missed on the list? Visit the Love Essex website to search and find out if you can recycle it.
How to reduce your food waste
Love Food Hate Waste have some great tips on how to reduce your food waste this Christmas:
- There's no need for over-buying food - Supermarkets will be open for most days in December – they generally only close for the bank holidays.
- Consider the edible life of the food you are buying and the space you realistically have for keeping it fresh.
- Limit the ‘buy just in case we need it’ food for food you fancy during the week ahead – rather than three weeks ahead. It’s often these ‘just in case’ foods that we don’t eat in time and chuck in the bin.
- Check what food you already have in your home – find easy ways to help you remember what you’ve got so that you can use this up first and avoid doubling up on food you already have.
- Plan ahead – consider the space you need in your fridge, freezer and cupboards to store your festive food at least a week or two ahead of buying the bulk of your festive food.
- Use up those leftovers to make tasty scrumptious meals.
Soggy, sad… and not good!
In these trying times, chances are we are finding ourselves surrounded by cardboard boxes.
Luckily, recycling is one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on climate change and cardboard can be recycled and reused in everything from boxes, to decorations and packing material. Recycling it reduces the need to use virgin wood, protects our forests and the wildlife that live in them, conserves energy and cuts down pollution. So, recycling cardboard is clearly a must. We’re all keen to do our bit, however are we sure we are recycling it right?
Can I recycle wet cardboard?
Sadly, it’s not a very good idea to recycle wet cardboard. Wet cardboard is harder to separate at the MRF, as it gets caught in the machinery which in turn grinds up the cardboard. Wet cardboard can also spoil all your other dry paper and card, spreading the problem across larger recycling loads. This may result in the loads being rejected and sending everything to landfill instead.
What’s the problem?
Paper changes when it gets wet as when it dries out, the fibres within the cardboard weaken and crumble, making it harder to recycle and potentially becoming completely unusable.
The best thing to do is to flatten it or break it up so it fits in your recycling sacks to keep it dry. If the box is just simply too big to fit, to keep it dry, try to find somewhere to store it until your next collection.
Here are a few tips:
- First, remove tape and other packing material such as polystyrene.
- Flatten and break them down so that they fit completely inside your recycling sacks. This is to make sure they don’t get rained on, which makes a big difference to the recycling process later.
- Find a dry storage place. Wet cardboard is difficult to recycle, so find somewhere dry to store it and make sure all items are dry when they go into your recycling bin.
- Keep soggy or spoiled cardboard separate from clean. Make sure you put any spoilt cardboard into the general waste bin and keep it away from your recyclable cardboard.
Please continue to do your part for the environment. It’s easy and everyone who could be doing it should be doing it.