In 2019, the national recycling rate increased by 0.6%, and as we learn more about the importance of recycling properly, it’s likely that this will increase again in the coming years, helping to reduce the amount of waste which enters landfill. However, many people are unaware of what items can be recycled, with as much as 80% of waste being disposed of incorrectly. While everything from glass and plastic, to paper and cardboard can be recycled, some things simply can’t be, whether because of contamination, their hazardous nature, or their packaging is made from multiple materials.
But it’s not all bad news, as non-recyclable items can instead be sent for recovery, which involves incinerating materials and converting them into energy. Sustainable recycling companies like the London-based Bywaters collect non-recyclable materials, sending the resulting energy to the National Grid, which helps to both power the UK and ensure that no waste is sent directly to landfill. Here we look at six items you shouldn’t put in your household recycling, and may instead need to be sent for recovery, or simply thrown away.