Household Recycling

In 2015, we recycled 44.3% of household waste, sadly this is down from 44.9% in 2014.  The EU target for the UK household recycling is at least 50% of household waste by 2020.


  • Biodegradable Municipal Waste sent to landfill has continued to reduce. In 2015 it was 7.7 million tonnes, 22% of the
    1995 baseline value.
  • Recovery rate from non-hazardous construction and demolition waste 89.9% (2014), ahead of the EU target.
  • Commercial and industrial waste has reduced to 27.7 million tonnes from 32.8 million in 2012.
  • Of the total 209.0 million tonnes that entered final treatment, 44.5% was recovered (including recycling and energy recovery) and 23.1% went to landfill.

These statistics show that continue to move in the right direction, but also show there is still plenty more room for improvement.

The recent introduction of the carrier bag charge in England has dramatically reduced usage, in Scotland where it was introduced earlier, 80% less bags are being handed out.

Are you recycling all you can, here are some tips from the charity WRAP, see their website


Along with the usual drinks bottles in the kitchen, remember to check the cupboard under the sink! Items often forgotten include:

  • Washing-up liquid bottles
  • Bleach and surface cleaner bottles – just remember to remove the trigger top!
  • Washing liquid and conditioner bottles
  • Aerosols tins of furniture polish and air fresheners
  • Empty dishwasher tablet boxes and kitchen wrap boxes

Most councils now collect green waste in a separate bin. Better still, if you have room set-up a compost bin and give your garden the benefit. Don’t forget teabags, eggshells and skins.

Living room

Did you know that it takes seven days for a recycled newspaper to come back as newspaper again? You could be reading your favourite newspaper on recycled paper in no time at all! In this room you can often find these items for recycling:

  • Envelopes
  • Newspapers
  • Cardboard packaging from online shopping

Even air fresheners can make a difference. If everyone recycles one aluminium air freshener aerosol, that saves the energy to vacuum over 876,000 homes for a year.


If everyone recycle a toothpaste box, it would save enough energy to run a fridge in over 2,000 homes for a year.

  • Toothpaste boxes
  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles
  • Shower gel containers
  • Liquid soap bottles
  • Bleach and bathroom cleaners

Just remember to remove the trigger spray and pump dispenser tops!


If everyone recycles one aluminium deodorant aerosol, it saves the energy to power over 151,000 TVs.

  • Empty tissue boxes
  • Old magazines
  • Empty deodorant aerosols and hairspray

 Top tips

  • Rinse then squash cans and bottles
  • Flatten cardboard boxes
  • Only buy things you really need, plan your food buying to avoid waste
  • Think twice before putting something in the bin, can it be used again
  • Try to purchase products that can be recycled
  • To save on packing, buy loose, recycle bags
  • Use a refillable cup for your take away coffee
  • Make sure you use the various recycle bin provided by your local authority correctly

Repair, Giveaway or Sell

Donate second hand clothes, toys and furniture to charity, nearly new shops, jumble sales and community schemes. Plus, don’t forget to try shopping there yourself.

Repairing, restoring or adapting a product you already have is a great way to protect the environment.

Avoid buying hazardous materials

It is difficult to recycle materials that contain hazardous waste, so try to find safer alternatives to household cleaners and buy non-toxic products whenever possible.

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