The contents of your recycling bin (yellow lid) are sorted on a series of conveyor belts, magnets, eddy currents, trommels (big sieves) and by hand. Placing non-recyclable waste in the recycling bin can hinder the recycling process or cause a lower grade product to be produced in the manufacturing process.
It is important to make sure that only recyclable items are placed in the recycling bin. Placing incorrect items in the recycling bin is called ‘contamination’. Contamination causes problems during the sorting of recyclables, as well as affecting the ability of the item to be processed into a new product. In some cases, just a few contaminated bins can ruin an entire truckload of recyclables. Just a few people doing the wrong thing can lead to such a waste! Make sure your efforts count- RECYCLE RIGHT!!
Plastic bags are the most common contaminant found in recycling. Remember plastic bags cannot be placed in the recycling bin – they should be reused, returned to a supermarket with a special plastic bag recycling station, or disposed of in your general waste (red lid) bin.
It is also important that you remove the lids from jars and plastic bottles and give containers and bottles a quick rinse out before placing them in the recycling bin.
Do not place dangerous or unsanitary items into your recycling bin.
Just one contaminated bin, with oil or general waste, can spoil an entire truckload of recycling – That’s 350 bins worth of recycling (or 4 tonnes) – which would have to be dumped in landfill.