• Paper

  • Magazines

  • Newspaper

  • Cardboard

  • Empty cups

  • Paper Envelopes

  • Paper/plastic folders

  • Plastic bottles

  • Plastic boxes/pots/ tubes/trays

  • Glass bottles/jars

  • Aluminium cans

  • Tissues/napkins

  • Padded envelopes

  • Post it notes

  • Bubble wrap

  • Sellotape

  • Pens/Markers

  • Soiled food containers

  • Waxed food boxes

  • Polyester

  • Clingfilm

  • Tin foil

  • Compostable boxes

  • Food

  • Crisps/sweets packets

  • Clinical waste

  • Hazardous waste

Can I recycle styrofoam food containers?

Short answer: no <-Learn why in the video.

Is bubble wrap recyclable?

Bubble wrap is recyclable in theory but because bubble wrap is usually made from polyethylene film, and like plastic grocery bags and other plastic films, it should not be added to the recycling bin because it can jam recycling machinery. However, most bubble wrap can be recycled through the same national drop-off collection program that accepts plastic bags. If possible, try to reuse bubble wrap. It`s alwasy worth asking colleagues if they need it or post it on the noticeboard - never know when someone is moving house!

Does recycling have to be washed before it goes in the bin?

As clean as possible - but it doesn’t have to be 100% pristine. Food is a major contaminant of recycling and so food packaging needs to empty. Heavily contaminated items should go into general waste bins.

Can jiffy bags/padded envelopes be recycled?

There is no easy way to recycle these (yet!) as it is difficult to separate out items made of both paper and plastic. Why not re-use padded envelopes for internal post?

Can we recycle the paper tissue that we use to dry our hands?

No. At work, tissue paper, used or unused, wet or dry should go into the general waste bin as it is not high quality enough to be recycled. At home, tissue paper could go directly into your compost bin.

Two materials in it? Just bin it!

As a general rule, no ‘multiple compound’ products should go in the recycling. This means no items which are made of more than one thing, such as Pringle tubes (metal and cardboard), ‘Jiffy’ envelope/bags (plastic and paper) or Crisp packets (metallised plastic film). This is because they can’t easily be separated to be recycled into one or the other material.

Not sure if it’s foil or metallised plastic film?

An easy way to find out is to do the scrunch test. Simply scrunch the item in your hand - if it remains 'scrunched' it is foil and can be recycled; if it springs back it is probably metallised plastic film and not recyclable.

What kinds of plastic can and can’t go in the recycling bin, and how do we tell?

Anything plastic packaging is OK: bottles, tubs, pots, trays, bags, as well as plastic wrapping.
The only types that CANNOT be recycled are crisp packets (or any 'metallic plastic'), cling film, bubblewrap, and expanded polystyrene. These should go into general waste.

Staples & Paper Clips on paper?

Believe it or not, equipment at paper mills that recycle recovered paper is designed to remove things like staples and paper clips, so you don’t need to remove them before recycling. It is probably in your best interest to remove paper clips, though, so they can be reused.