Nowadays, more and more of us are making sure to recycle things such as our plastics, glass and cans, but there’s still so much more that we could be doing!

Did you know that the average UK household produces over a tonne of waste every year, and while a lot more of this is being recycled, there are many things that people don’t even realise that they could be recycling.

So here are ten items which instead of throwing into one of our skips, you should think about recycling!

1. Energy Saving Light Bulbs

The high mercury content of energy saving light bulbs (also known as CFLs) means that they’re more difficult to safely dispose of than your normal light bulbs.

However, there are numerous programmes which allow you to recycle your low energy light bulbs when they burn out such as Recolight who have a number of collection points across the country.

You can also take your bulbs to your local Homebase store, where you can safely and conveniently drop them off.

2. Bicycles

There are millions of bikes either thrown away or stuck at the back of a shed in the UK.

Rather than letting them go to waste, you could sell it or donate it to charity if it’s still in working order. If your bike is in a bad condition then you may still be able to sell or donate it for parts of refurbishment. You can ever recycle or upcycle old bikes. The possibilities are endless! So be mindful with what you do with it.

3. Wine Corks

We know what you might be thinking, wine corks are hardly the root cause of global warming.

But when you consider that as a nation, we consume almost 3,200 bottles of wine a minute, all of those corks begin to add up!

There’s also some pretty cool stuff you can do with corks which you probably didn’t think of – such as using wine corks as fridge magnets, creating a memory box by writing the date on them and storing them in a display jar or upcycling them and turning them into pin cushions.

4. Shoes

When your pair of sweaty trainers are reaching the end of their lifespan, it’s natural that you’d want to simply throw them in the nearest bin. However, when you consider how many pairs of shoes that the majority of us get through, perhaps it’s worth looking into recycling them?

You can take old and unwanted shoes to most recycling centres to be processed or if they are in a wearable condition but you no longer want them, why not donate them to your nearest charity shop?

5. Mobile Phones

While you’ve probably seen the TV adverts, not that many people actually recycle their mobiles

According to MusicMagpie.co.uk, there are between 1-3 unused phones sitting in the average UK household, with the country as a whole producing 1.3 million tonnes of electronic waste each year, a large proportion of which is from phones.

If you’ve got an old or unwanted phone, we’d recommend finding somewhere to recycle it. You’ll be helping the environment as a company could be able to refurbish the phone which means less waste in the environment – and you’ll likely get a bit of money back on it too!

6. Glasses

It feels sort of weird just throwing away a pair of glasses that you no longer need, but it isn’t immediately clear how best to recycle them. Thankfully, there are organisations which can take your old glasses and redistribute them to people in need across the world.

For example, Lions Clubs International collect, sort and distribute glasses to clinics and eye camps in communities across Africa, India and Eastern Europe.

7. Carpeting

When it’s time to change up your carpeting, you’re left with a lot of waste, which usually ends up going straight in the tip.

There are many things that you can do with your old carpet, such as getting in touch with local recycling organisations or getting in touch with the carpet manufacturers themselves as they will often have their own recycling programmes. You could even repurpose scrap carpet for floor mats for your car or as a make-shift scratching post for cats!

8. Tights

Considering how often tights can become unwearable due to runs and snags, they actually contribute quite a lot to our household waste.

However, there’s a whole host of ways to repurpose an old pair, from arts and crafts to cleaning and gardening as you can see in this blog post.

9. Bras

While there are clothing recycling banks around the country, one item of clothing you might not think to recycle is your old bras!

However, Oxfam run a great programme called Frip Ethique where they send bras (and other items of clothing) to Senegal where local woman sell them on to market traders, investing the profits into fighting poverty and helping the local economy.

10. Cosmetics

The little tubes, tubs and other fiddly containers of cosmetics packaging usually don’t get recycled, but did you know that some companies such as MAC Cosmetics have programmes where they will give you a free lipstick of your choice when you return six of their packaging containers!

Get in touch with Reds Skip Hire

When it comes to recycling on a larger scale, why not check out our skips to hire, ranging from 2-yard right up to 14-yard and multi skip. For domestic and commercial skip hire jobs, please don’t hesitate to call the team on 01268 649053.



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