Waste recycling in the kitchen: why and how?

Author: Kerri

Waste recycling initiatives are nothing new – surely everyone now recycles at least some kitchen waste at home? The EU target is for half of all our household waste to go to recycling sites by 2020. According to recent figures, we seem to be on track, achieving nearly 45% in 2014.

How can you do your bit?

Your kitchen or utility room is the most obvious and convenient place to install recycling facilities in your home. How about integrating recycling into your kitchen storage solutions? Or fitting a kitchen bin with large capacities, or with separate compartments for different types of materials?

The main materials you should be recycling in your kitchen are glass, tins, paper/cardboard and plastic. It should go without saying that all containers must be empty and clean.


All glass bottles and jars

EXCEPT: drinking glasses, window glass, mirrors, Pyrex dishes, crockery and ceramics


All food and drinks cans, also aerosol sprays

EXCEPT: saucepans and utensils, garden tools, paint tins, gas canisters, electrical goods


All newspapers and magazines, catalogues, stationery, food boxes, drinks cartons

EXCEPT: old photographs, paper towels, shredded paper, metallic paper


All plastic bottles and other containers for food and drink, cleaning and cosmetic products

EXCEPT: plastic bags and film, crisp packets, polystyrene, plastic toys, garden plastics

But why should you bother with recycling?

For those who need a little reminder, there are 4 main reasons why waste recycling is now an indispensable part of looking after our planet:

  • Reducing landfill waste

Reusing materials including glass, tin, paper and cardboard means less waste goes to rubbish dumps where it decomposes, producing greenhouses gases such as methane.

  • Conserving resources

Recycling our materials means that we can conserve important natural materials rather than consuming more and more.

  • Saving energy

Recycling and reusing old products and materials uses less energy than manufacturing new products using raw materials, and also means lower greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Protecting the environment

Reusing and recycling means a reduced need for extracting and processing raw materials, resulting in less water and air pollution.

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