What’s Happening During Recycle Now Week

Yesterday I wrote about Recycle Now Week and that I didn’t know what’s happening. Well I then picked up a newspaper and it had a four-page spread about it. However, it still doesn’t explain much, rather it’s just a week to remind everyone to recycle. It does vaguely say there are hundreds of fun activities taking place all over England – from recycling exhibitions to environmental magicians, composting displays and eco-fashion shows. If you know of any, or have been to them please let us know.

The pull-out does have some use. There’s a nice story of a family who have an eco-make-over and explains how the newspaper is recycled. There are also some games on the website now. However the only really useful bit is the question and answer bit, which I’ve recycled (get it? Sorry) below:

Can I recycle crisp packets?
These are usually plastic, and cannot be recycled. If you are not sure, use the “scrunch up” test – if you scrunch it up in your hand, and it springs back, it is plastic. If it stays crumpled, it’s aluminium, and can be recycled. It won’t be paper!

Why do I have to wash out my jars and tins before recycling?
If possible, jars and tins should be rinsed clean before they are recycled, then they won’t contaminate the recycling process, or leave you with a dirty recycling container. An easy way to do this is to use the last of the washing up water for rinsing your recyclables.

Can I recycle my broken mirror?
Afraid it’s double bad luck, because the coating on mirrors contaminates the glass so mirrors can’t be recycled and have to go with your rubbish.

Thinking about print on newspapers, is it safe to compost? And what about paper that’s printed with PC computer cartridges?
It is safe to compost newspapers as long as they are ripped or shredded. Newspapers are often regarded as the browns that you add to your compost bin, they give the compost its fibre and structure. Paper printed with PC computer cartridges is fine to compost as long as they do not have an excessive amount of coloured ink or are printed on shiny/glossy paper.

Why is it important to separate the different colours of glass?
Different prices are paid for different colours of glass, which is why it’s important to separate them into separate banks (usually clear, green, brown). Blue glass should be put into the green glass bin.

Do I need to remove the labels from plastic bottles, can, or glass bottles before recycling them?
No, the labels are removed during the recycling process.

Someone told me I need to remove the tops from my plastic bottles before I recycle them. Is this true?
Yes – the tops are often made from a different material to the bottle and so cannot be recycled by the same process. It is can also be difficult to flatten bottle with the tops on because air is trapped inside – and the tops can cause a litter problem by falling off when the bottles are baled.

And finally there’s a fact at the end of the article that says: “On average, each person in the UK uses over 200kg of paper a year. 61% of this is recycled. But 79% could be.” However why 79%? Why not 100%. I’m determined to find out why. I’ll let you know…

Source: Daily Mirror and Recycle Now


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