Five quick ways to avoid wish-cycling this summer

Confused about recycling? You’re not alone!

Follow these five quick steps to recycle the right things and avoid contamination

It’s always a good idea to ‘know before you throw’ as putting the wrong items in the recycling bin can spoil the rest of the recycling (known as ‘wish-cycling’ and ‘contamination’) which is expensive for local councils to sort out, negatively affects Surrey’s recycling rate and is damaging for the environment.

But with local variations to what can be recycled – and how – it’s not always straightforward! That’s why we’ve put together these five quick wins for your recycling bin:

  1. Some items ‘look recyclable’ but aren’t. Recycling instructions on packaging can be misleading. Avoid putting the wrong things in your recycling by checking first – use the Surrey Recycles search tool or download the free app.
  2. Check what you can recycle separately. In most areas of Surrey, food waste and garden waste, small electricals, batteries and textiles recycling are collected separately – they don’t go in your recycling bin. Use the Surrey Recycles search tool or download the free Surrey Recycles app to check how to recycle where you live.
  3. No food or drink. Moisture such as grease and goo will ruin cardboard and paper and make it unrecyclable. Give plastic food and drink packaging a quick rinse by dunking it into soaking pans before placing in your recycling bin.
  4. Place all items loose in your recycling bin – nothing inside bags, sacks or bin liners please.
  5. Play to bin – try Surrey Environment Partnership’s drag and drop waste sorting game today!

Find out more about your bins and what to put in them here.

If you’re looking for some fun and waste-busting activities for the school holidays, then why not try out Surrey Environment Partnership’s Recycling Detectives and Binterrogator tool. Feeling inspired? Find more ways to reuse and recycle here.