13 January 2020

Items you didn’t know could be recycled

Read Time: 4 mins

It is estimated that around 80% of the rubbish that gets thrown into landfill could be recycled. Recycling is so important if we want to preserve the planet. Each year over 26 million tonnes of rubbish is produced in the UK. The UK government wants 50% of the household waste to be recycled by the year 2020. Although many people are recycling paper, bottles and cans, there are many more items that can and should be recycled. This post can help you to do your bit for the planet.

What you should be recycling



Although not all batteries can be recycled, most household batteries can be. You will need to speak to your local recycling centre and find out what can be recycled near you. Some shops will have collection points for battery recycling.

Bubble Wrap

Although it can’t actually go in with your normal household recycling, bubble wrap is recyclable. A lot of supermarkets will take it along with carrier bags. You just need to make sure that there’s nothing stuck to it such as sellotape, otherwise it won’t be taken.


You may be surprised to hear that carpets can actually be recycled. If your carpet is in good condition, then you may want to consider donating it to a charity. Alternatively, you could find other uses for the carpet – perhaps you could put it in your shed or use it to line your garage. If it’s not reusable, then you can book one of our man and van services. We’ll collect your carpet and recycle as much of it as possible.


Now that most people have moved over to streaming, many CDs and DVDs are left unloved and unused. They’re also easy to scratch which makes them unusable. You can recycle your unwanted and broken CDs and DVDs. The same applies to your old pc/console games.


Fast fashion means that a lot of clothing items end up in landfills. According to WRAP, over a quarter of all clothing items do end up in landfills. This can easily be avoided if we stopped buying so many clothes which we only wear a couple of times. See if you can fix any holes or rips, or upcycle items of clothing. However, if you are going to get rid of some clothes, please don’t just send them to landfill. You can donate your old clothes to a charity shop or a local ‘cash for clothes’ scheme.

Coffee cups

Takeaway coffee cups are more difficult to recycle as they have a thin layer of wax or plastic inside. They can’t usually be recycled with your usual paper and cardboard waste, however many coffee shops will recycle them for you. You can even take in ones from different shops and they will sort it all out. Better still – get a reusable coffee cup which a lot of places reward you for using.

Coffee pods

Since the introduction of at-home coffee machines, there have been many different brands bringing out their own versions. This means that in the UK almost a third of all households now own some sort of coffee machine. Many of the pods are hard to recycle but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be recycled at all. Nespresso have a recycling scheme for their pods.

waste processing

Electrical items

Electrical items, also known as WEEE should not go in with your general waste. This is due to there being potential hazardous material in them. You can read more about how to safely dispose of WEEE items in this article.

Many items can’t be recycled if they are covered in food. It is essential that you give anything a wash before you place it in your recycling bin, or make sure that it is free from grease. This includes takeaway pizza boxes. If only half of the box has pizza grease on it, then you can still put the other half in with your household recycling.


You’re supposed to have an eye test once every two years. If your prescription has changed and you need to get a new pair of glasses, then you should recycle your old ones. The frames and glass can both be broken down into different pieces and recycled. Your local optician should have more information on how you can recycle your old frames. Many will take your old glasses and recycle them for you.


For those of you who are asthmatic, you’ll know just how many inhalers one person can get through. More than 46 million inhalers get thrown away each year. They’re made out of plastic and have a metal canister, so you can’t just put them in with your household recycling. However, since 2011 there has been a scheme called Complete The Cycle. This scheme allows you to take your used inhalers to a pharmacy, then they will send them off to be recycled.

Light bulbs

It can be years before a light bulb goes, so you would be forgiven for not knowing that they can be recycled. Only energy efficient light bulbs can be recycled; you can take them to your local household waste recycling centre or you may live near a shop that collects them. If you want to check if any of your local shops collect them, then you can check here. Old, incandescent light bulbs should be thrown away with your usual waste.


You’re meant to replace your toothbrush every three months. If you stick to this, then you will be getting through four toothbrushes per year. If you are still using the plastic ones and haven’t switched over to bamboo, then you’ll want to make sure you recycle them properly. When you put your old toothbrush in with your normal recycling, it will end up in landfill. This is because the different types of plastic need to be separated. You can send them to a specialist recycling centre where they will be recycled properly.


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