N
Newspapers

Can I recycle newspaper with my paper collection?
Yes, newspaper is normally included in paper collections as it is recyclable. Most types of paper can be recycled together, including brochures, catalogues, the contents of junk mail, leaflets, magazines, newspaper and office paper. Often Recycling Points and kerbside containers designed for paper will not accept cardboard, envelopes or Yellow Pages (or sometimes any Telephone Directories) as these materials make the recycling process more difficult. The specific details for each system will depend on your Local Authority guidelines and you can find out more by contacting your Local Authority Helpline or e-mailing info@wascot.org.uk.

What happens to newspaper when it is collected for recycling?
As with other types of paper, newspaper is pulped and recycled into newsprint and other paper products. Click here to see how your newspaper is recycled. For more information on paper recycling please visit:

www.paper.org.uk/info/recycling.htm
www.wrap.org.uk/paper_home.asp

back to top
O
Oil What can I do with my used cooking oil?
You should not dispose of your old cooking oil down sinks or drains because it can cause blockages and pollute water courses. You can reuse your cooking oil for deep fat frying and prolong its life by draining it through kitchen roll and a sieve to remove food contamination. However, you should not reuse oil continually, as this creates increased health risks as the fat degrades. You can also use old cooking oil and seeds to make bird cakes. Small amounts of cooking (vegetable) oil can be composted at home. Cooking oil is not collected for recycling in most Local Authorities due to the difficulties in ensuring that it is not contaminated. You should therefore dispose of cooking oil with your normal household waste. If you want to find out if cooking oil can be recycled in your area, please contact your Local Authority Helpline or e-mail info@wascot.org.uk. Cooking oil can be collected from commercial premises for recycling by:

Scott Oils 01334 655699

Thornwood Oils 0141 9542229

What happens to cooking oil when it is collected for recycling?
Cooking oil that is collected for recycling is currently reused to make animal feed, but this will change and the old oil will be reused as an alternative fuel.

What happens to engine oil when it is collected for recycling?
Engine oil that is collected for recycling is normally returned to garages or workshops to be cleaned and reused, or reprocessed into heating fuel.
back to top
P
Paper  

What type of paper can I recycle with my paper collection?
Most types of paper can be recycled together, including brochures, catalogues, the contents of junk mail, leaflets, magazines, newspaper and office paper. Often Recycling Points and kerbside containers designed for paper will not accept cardboard, envelopes or Yellow Pages (or sometimes any Telephone Directories) as these materials make the recycling process more difficult. The specific details for each system will depend on your Local Authority guidelines and you can find out more by contacting your Local Authority Helpline or e-mailing info@wascot.org.uk.

Can I recycle envelopes with my paper collection?
This will depend on your specific Local Authority guidelines, but envelopes are NOT normally included in paper collections. This is because the plastic windows and/or glue can contaminate the recycling process. Even when the strip of glue used to seal the envelope has been removed, it is still not advisable to include them, as glue may be present elsewhere on the envelope. Local Authorities that do accept envelopes with paper collections still tend to advise that any plastic windows are removed before depositing envelopes for recycling. To find out more about what is accepted in your area, please contact your Local Authority Helpline or e-mail info@wascot.org.uk.

Can I recycle Telephone Directories/Yellow Pages with my paper collection?
Most paper collections do NOT accept Telephone Directories, in particular Yellow Pages, as the dye can contaminate the paper recycling process, resulting in a lower quality of recycled paper being produced. White Telephone Directories are accepted in some areas, but few have facilities to recycle Yellow Pages at the current time. The details of each scheme will depend on your specific Local Authority guidelines and to find out more about what is accepted via kerbside paper collections in your area, please click here. To find out more about what is accepted at Recycling Centres and Points in your area, please contact your Local Authority Helpline or e-mail info@wascot.org.uk.

Can I recycle junk mail with my paper collection?
The contents of junk mail can be recycled with other types of paper. However, it is not advisable to include envelopes as the glue and/or plastic windows can contaminate the recycling process. Alternatively, by calling 0845 703 4599 you will be able to choose the Mailing Preference Service and restrict the type of mail that you are sent. For more information you can visit the website at: www.mpsonline.org.uk.

What happens to paper when it is collected for recycling?
Paper that is collected for recycling is pulped and recycled into newsprint and other paper products. Click here to see how your paper is recycled. Below are some other uses of recycled paper:

  • Animal bedding
  • Building products
  • Cellulose insulation
  • Compost bulking agent
  • Hydro-seeding mulch
  • Moulded packaging
  • Moulded pulp products
  • New paper and cardboard products
  • Tissue products

For more information on paper recycling please visit:

www.paper.org.uk/info/recycling.htm
www.wrap.org.uk/paper_home.asp

Plastic

Do I need to wash plastic bottles before recycling them?
Yes, plastic bottles should be rinsed clean and flattened before they are deposited for recycling. This ensures that any debris is removed so that this does not contaminate the recycling process. This will also prevent your kerbside container from becoming dirty and/or smelly.

Do I need to remove the labels from plastic bottles before recycling them?
No, the labels on plastic bottles come off during the recycling process, so there is no need to remove them before putting bottles in kerbside containers or Recycling Points. The labels will disintegrate and be removed when the bottles are washed and chopped up for recycling.

Do I need to take the tops off plastic bottles before recycling them?
Generally, you should take the tops off plastic bottles so that they can be baled more efficiently and safely. It can be difficult to flatten bottles with the tops on because of the trapped air inside and the tops can also cause a litter problem if they fall off when the bottles are baled. In addition, the plastic tops are often made from a different material than the bottles and so cannot be recycled by the same process. A lot of contamination from bottle tops can result in the whole load of plastic being sent to landfill instead of being recycled because mixing the types of plastics produces a lower quality material. However, you do not need to remove the plastic collar from around the bottle top, as plastic reprocessors can deal with this safely.

Why are bottles the only plastic items that are recycled?
Facilities for plastic recycling are still relatively limited in the UK, which means that bottles are often the only items that can be processed locally. It makes sense to try and reduce the distance that items are transported for recycling to limit damage to the environment. Bottles are made of types 1 (PET) and 2 (HDPE) plastic, which are easier to re-process than other types of plastic due to factors such as their weight to volume ratio. To close the loop, recycled materials need to be used to make new products and the market demand for these products affects the feasibility of recycling certain materials. Plastic types 1 and 2 are in the most demand to make products such as fleeces, garden furniture, bins and recycling boxes. Mixing these with other types of plastic reduces the value of the recycled plastic. Below are the symbols you can look for to make sure you are recycling the correct types of plastic:

Why can’t I recycle other plastic items like food containers?
Items such as margarine tubs and other food containers are made from a wide range of plastics and often different types blended together. These are much more difficult to identify and separate efficiently. It is also more difficult to sell the material as markets for mixed plastics are currently limited. Mixing other types of plastic with the bottles reduces their value. You can try using yoghurt and margarine tubs for planting seedlings or making bird feeders. Alternatively, you can ask if your local primary school or playgroup accept these for craft activities.

What can I do with plastic carrier bags?
You can reuse plastic bags by taking them to the shops to use again. Supermarkets sell strong, reusable 'Bags for Life' or you can buy cloth bags, both of which are ideal for this. Larger branches of supermarkets are increasingly providing Recycling Points for plastic carrier bags and you can check for these facilities at the supermarkets in your area. Plastic bags can be recycled, but they are so lightweight and thin that vast quantities have to be collected before transporting them becomes viable. Bags that are sent for recycling tend to be used for dark end products, such as bin liners, because of the contamination effect of the ink used to print designs and logos on the bags.

What happens to plastic bottles when they are collected for recycling?
Plastic bottles that are collected for recycling are sorted and recycled into various items, such as garden furniture, bin liners and compost or waste bins. Click here to see how your plastic is recycled. Below are some other uses of recycled plastic:
  • Boat hulls
  • Buckets and containers
  • Carpet
  • Car parts
  • Clothing
  • Electrical fittings
  • Film, eg grocery bags
  • Injection moulded parts
  • Insulation
  • Landfill liners
  • New plastic bottles
  • Pipes
  • Polyester fibre and fabric
  • Safety fencing
  • Signposts
  • Thermoformed parts
  • Traffic cones
  • Twine
  • Wood/plastic composites

For more information about plastic recycling, please visit:

www.plasticsrecycling.info

From Recoup, this website provides information on the plastic recycling process.

www.recoup.org

This is the more technical Recoup site that provides industry information on plastic recycling.

www.wrap.org.uk/plastic_home.asp

Printer Ribbons   (see Cartridges/WEEE)
back to top
Q
R
Refrigerators  
back to top
S
Scrap Metal  

What happens to scrap metal when it is collected for recycling?
Scrap metal that is collected for recycling goes either directly or via larger companies to local scrap merchants. At the scrap yard, the metal is sorted into different grades. It is then transported to metal recyclers, where it is melted down and made into steel for various purposes, such as building and car manufacture. The metal produced is of the same high quality as that produced from virgin resources and so all steel contains a mix of virgin and recycled metals.

Spectacles   What can I do with my old spectacles?

Vision Aid is an organisation that sends unwanted spectacles to developing countries to be reused. You can pack your worn spectacles in a sturdy cardboard box, with a note of your details, and send them to:

Vision Aid Overseas
12 The Bell Centre
Newton Road
Manor Royal
Crawley
West Sussex
RH10 2FZ

Alternatively, you can return your old glasses to your local optician to be reused. Most opticians can transport your old glasses to Vision Aid free of charge through a specialist courier. For more information please visit www.vao.org.uk/spectacles.htm.

back to top
T
Telephone Directories
 

(See Paper)
(See Yellow Pages)

Textiles

What do I have to do when depositing textiles for recycling?
All textiles should be clean, in good condition and placed in protective bags. This ensures that all textiles that are donated can be reused by charities, and do not have to be sent to landfill due to being damaged or stained.

What types of textiles can be recycled?
As long as they are clean and in good condition, most types of textiles are accepted for recycling. This usually includes clothes, curtains, duvet covers, nets, pillowcases, sheets and tablecloths. You can also normally include belts, handbags and shoes for reuse by others. Some textile collections will accept rags and other items that are not in good condition to be recycled into industrial cloth, but this will depend on the specific guidelines for your collection. Please contact your Local Authority Helpline or e-mail info@wascot.org.uk for more information. Many textile Recycling Points are operated by charities, such as Oxfam and the Salvation Army. Nathan’s Wastesavers is a private company that also organises textile collections from many Recycling Points in Scotland. For more information on textile recycling or the other work of these organisations, you can contact:

Nathan's Wastesavers Ltd
Unit 13
Winchester Avenue
Denny
Stirlingshire
FK6 6QE
T: 01324 826 633

www.oxfam.org.uk
www.salvationarmy.org

What do I have to do when depositing shoes for recycling?
All shoes should be clean, in good condition and tied together in pairs. Some Local Authorities suggest that shoes should be kept together in bags. These measures are to ensure that all shoes that are donated can be reused through charities, and do not have to be sent to landfill due to being unusable.

What happens to shoes when they are collected for recycling?
Shoes collected for recycling that are reusable are sorted, cleaned and passed onto charity for reuse by others.

What happens to textiles when they are collected for recycling?
Textiles collected for recycling that are reusable are sorted, cleaned and passed onto charity for reuse by others. If the textiles cannot be reused, they are sent to be recycled into industrial cloth. Click here to see how your textiles are recycled.

Timber  
Tyres
 

What can I do with my old tyres?
Your local garage may accept used tyres for recycling or you could use them as planters for your garden. Some Recycling Centres also accept tyres and for more information about where tyres are accepted in your area, please click here.

What happens to tyres when they are collected for recycling?
Tyres that are collected for recycling can be dealt with in different ways. Some are sent for retreading and can be sold for reuse on other vehicles. Some are already suitable for reuse, either on other vehicles or for things like park swings. Tyres that are in poorer condition can be shredded and recycled to make road, playground and sports surfaces, carpet underlay or street furniture.

back to top
U
V
Videos   (see CD's, tapes and videos)
W
WEEE   What are WEEE items?
WEEE items include any used electrical or electronic goods, such as computers, radios, stereos, televisions and video recorders. The table below outlines the main categories of WEEE:

Product Category

Example Items

Large household appliances

Electrical ovens

 

Fridges

 

Washing machines

 

 

Small household appliances

Clocks

 

Irons

 

Scales

 

Toasters

 

Vacuum cleaners

 

 

IT and telecommuication equipment

Computers

 

Photocopiers

 

Telephones

 

 

Consumer equipment

Hi-fi equipment

 

Televisions

 

Video recorders

 

 

Lighting equipment

Discharge lamps

 

Fluorescent lamps

 

 

Electrical and electronic tools

Drills

 

Lawnmowers

 

Sewing machines

 

 

Toys, leisure and sports equipment

Train sets

 

Video games and consoles

 

 

Medical equipment systems

Radiotherapy equipment

 

Pulmonary ventilators

 

 

Monitoring and control equipment

Control panels

 

Thermostats

 

 

Automatic dispensers

Drinks machines



What can I do with my old electrical items?
Some charity shops will accept small electrical items that can be reused by others, eg radios, but it is advisable to check with your local charity shop before donating these items. Similarly, you can check with local furniture reuse schemes whether they accept electrical items. Please click here for community groups in your area. You can also take WEEE items to some Recycling Centres and for more information about where WEEE items are accepted in your area, please click here. If there are no other options, you can arrange for a bulky uplift from your Local Authority.

Why do I have to recycle my WEEE items?
The EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and the EC Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (ROHS) are being translated into UK law in 2004. WEEE has been identified as a Priority Waste Stream, due to the increasing amount of WEEE going to landfill and the hazardous nature of some of its components. This new legislation requires producers to make WEEE items easier to recycle in order to limit the number of electrical and electronic items going to landfill. For more information on the WEEE Directive, please visit:

www.environment-agency.gov.uk
www.europa.eu.int

What can I do with my old computer/computer parts?
Several companies will collect home and office computer equipment for recycling, such as Matrix-Direct-Recycle, see www.m-d-recycle.co.uk. Most organisations request that computers are five years old or less, so it is best to check if your PC is acceptable before donating it. Some computers can be stripped down and reused, some will have useful parts salvaged from them and others can be fully recycled, which also depends on the company in question. If your computer or some of its parts cannot be recycled, they can be disposed of using methods that limit their harmful effects on the environment. If you have a large number of redundant PCs, you can donate them to Oxfam to be refurbished and reused by others. For more information please call 0845 3000 311.

You can also contact the following organisations and your old computers will be donated to charities, community groups and voluntary organisations:

Computer Aid
Tel: 0207 281 0091

Computers for African Schools
Tel: 0117 924 8549

Computers for Charity
Tel: 01288 361 177
Web: www.computersforcharity.org.uk

What happens to WEEE items when they are collected for recycling?
Electrical items that are in good condition are passed on to charities to be reused by others. Some items are also repaired before they are reused, and items in poor condition are stripped for valuable parts that can be reused.

White Goods

What are white goods?
White goods include the following: cookers, dishwashers, freezers, fridges, microwaves, tumble dryers and washing machines.

What happens to white goods when they are collected for recycling?
White goods that are collected for recycling are either repaired for reuse by others, or the reusable parts are salvaged and recycled. White goods can also be sold for scrap, after the harmful gases are removed, if they are not in a suitable condition to be reused.

Wood and Timber
 

What happens to wood when it is collected for recycling?
Wood and timber that is collected for recycling is recycled into wood fibre products such as boarding.

back to top
X
Y
Yellow Pages   How can I find out about recycling Yellow Pages?
The Directory Recycling Scheme operates throughout the UK in partnership with Local Authorities, recyclers and the community sector to improve and promote opportunities for recycling Yellow Pages. Further information and details of your nearest facilities can be found at www.yellgroup.com or by telephoning 0800 671444. You will also find notes on recycling at the beginning of your copy of the Yellow Pages, including the locations of Recycling Points and relevant contact information.

 

Why can’t I recycle my Yellow Pages with my paper collection?
Traditionally, Yellow Pages were printed on dyed yellow paper, which had to be bleached before it could be combined with other types of paper to be recycled into newsprint. This is why it could not be included in paper collections, as the yellow dye would result in a lower quality of recycled material. Yellow Pages are now being produced on base white paper with a surface colour wash and the Yell Group are working to find out whether the new format can be recycled with other types of paper without the need for bleaching. At the moment, most Local Authorities do not collect Yellow Pages for recycling, but some areas accept them, more often with green waste collections to be composted. It is also possible to compost your old Yellow Pages at home with your green waste. To find out if there are any Recycling Centres or Points in your area that accept Yellow Pages, please click here.

 

Why are the old Yellow Pages not collected when the new ones are delivered?
In terms of the impact on the environment, it is more efficient to operate integrated waste collections, eg for all types of paper, than individual take-back schemes. The Yell Group are currently investigating the possibility of recycling the new format Yellow Pages with other types of paper to produce newsprint. This will remove the need for a separate take-back scheme. However, at the moment, most Local Authorities do not have the facilities to accept Yellow Pages for recycling and so you can try to find another way of reusing them, such as composting them at home. Instead of using paper-based Yellow Pages, you can try using their website at www.yell.com or telephone 118 247 for information about businesses in your area. This situation is being monitored and should change to allow easier recycling of Yellow Pages in the near future.

What happens to Yellow Pages when they are collected for recycling?
Yellow Pages that are collected for recycling are reprocessed into various items such as egg boxes, packaging, insulation materials and animal bedding. You can also include Yellow Pages for home composting, as they help to absorb some of the moisture and will degrade when mixed with organic materials. Yellow Pages are collected with green waste at the kerbside in some areas to be taken to a central composting facility. To find out if they are accepted in your area, please click here.
Z
back to top

 

 

 
If you have any queries, please email us, or call 01786 471 333.