One of the UK’s biggest challenges in waste management and recycling are contaminated bins. Combining recyclable materials with non-recyclable materials can contaminate bins, causing waste management service providers to leave them unemptied or deposit the contents into landfills.
According to Waste Management Media Room, the average contamination rate in businesses is estimated at around 25 per cent. This means that 1 in 4 items placed in businesses’ recycling bins is actually not recyclable.
Materials that can contaminate recycling bins have various negative effects on the recycled product’s quality and value. This can result in an increase of costs of waste management services. It is the role of the business to sort materials properly before sending them for recycling.
Improve your business’ waste management recycling by learning what not to put in recycling bins:
Items like food peels, trimmings and leftover food are all considered rubbish. While some of these remain edible for human and animal consumption, they can all be disposed of through composting. Food waste rot can easily contaminate a batch of clean, dry and loose materials for recycling. Use a composting bin separate from the recycling bin to collect food waste.
Substances like paint, automotive fluids and cleaning materials are considered hazardous e and can damage recyclable materials or cause health problems for recycling centre staff. Containers of these items should be disposed of separately or cleaned thoroughly to be recycled.
Animal and human waste must never be deposited into recycling bins. This includes items like nappies, tampons, cotton pads, bandages, syringes and other sanitary products that are very dangerous to handle.
Specific Paper Items
Loose shredded paper and food containers made of plastic-coated should be separated from recyclable solid paper. Loose-shredded paper can slip through belts in recycling centres, causing operations to slow down while paper products used as food containers are either contaminated with food waste or lined with plastic films.
Specific Plastic Items
Plastic bags, packaging and film/sheeting are some of the items considered as non-recyclable plastic. Plastics labelled from #1 to #7 are typically recyclable but the final check should consider what the plastic used to contain. Food containers should be emptied, rinsed and dried before placed in the recycling bin.
Specific Glass Items
Ceramics, Pyrex, light bulbs, mixed colour glass and glass shards contain some form of chemical that could affect the recycled glass. Glass items for disposal can be repurposed for arts and crafts.
Check with the town council for the policy and procedure in your area for a more a comprehensive and in-depth specification of recyclable and non-recyclable materials.
You can talk to your waste management services provider regarding ways to dispose of non-recyclable materials to limit your business’ accumulated general waste for collection.
Here at LKM Recycling, we aim to help businesses achieve their waste management goals through waste management solutions and professional, unbiased advice. With over 35 years of experience, we have become a trusted and reliable provider of waste management services for various industries.
Get in touch with us and resolve your waste management recycling concerns today.