Surprising Things That Are NOT Recyclable

Recycling is an excellent alternative to traditional waste disposal, and in turn can reduce land, water, and air pollution. Instead of burning or piling our rubbish into landfills, recycling is an excellent way to reduce our overall waste production.

Because a lot of products are made out of multiple material types, sorting and identifying them is not an easy task. Recyclable materials require more sorting and cleaning before it is ready to be recycled. Other times, they may cause more trouble to recyclers than they are worth. Here are 10 materials that actually not recyclable.

1.      Shredded paper

Shredded paper

It is still a good idea to shred your documents before throwing them away, especially if you want to keep your files confidential. But if you are shredding your paper for it to be recycled, then you are probably doing it wrong. Shredding paper destroys its natural fibres. If recycled, it will not hold its shape well anymore.

2.      Paper and/or Cardboard Food Containers

Grease and food residue significantly affect the quality of paper and cardboard materials. As such, these materials should not be put in the recycle bin. Examples of are pizza boxes, paper takeout containers, and used paper plates. The grease and other substances affect the recycling process and can jam the recycling machines. If you remove the parts contaminated with food, a clean box can be recycled. However, paper and box materials with food residue usually end up in a landfill.

3.      Paper cup and drink cartons

Another paper and cardboard item on this list, paper cups and drink cartons, just like food containers, are stained with organic matter and are, therefore, unfit to be recycled. Moreover, these drinking containers are lined with plastic. These additional layers are non-recyclable.

4.      Paper towels, napkins, and tissue products

Paper towels, napkins, and tissue products

Despite being made from paper, used tissues, paper towels, and napkins, considered contaminated and unsuitable for recycling. The culprit can be a lot of reasons, from food residues, body fluids, hygiene materials, and even toilet use. This makes it unsuitable for recycling.

5.      Disposable nappies

Disposable nappies

Disposable nappies are single-use items that are contaminated by human wastes. Every day, a total of 3.75 million disposable nappies are used in Australia and New Zealand. In contrast with paper products, they are made from composite materials. The mix of materials and the contamination with human waste make them almost impossible to recycle and they most often must go to landfills.

6.      Ceramics

Many think that ceramic products are recyclable because they seem so similar to glass in many ways. However, ceramics are not recyclable. Do not throw your broken china, crockery, or kitchenware in with your glass in the recycling.

7.      Loose bottle caps

Loose bottle caps

While plastic bottles are recyclable, loose bottle caps are not. The bottle caps are often tiny and not suitable for the recycling machines. Also, some bottle caps are often not even made out of the same type of plastic. This means that they have to be sorted differently. Larger plastic lids, however, can be recycled as long as they are larger than fist size and clean. Examples are lids from ice cream containers.

8.      Grocery plastic bags

Thicker plastic bags made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) can be recycled. However, the majority of the thin single-use bags we find at supermarkets are not fit for recycling. Grocery bags made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are too thin for the machines. They wrap around the machine parts and can potentially stop it from working.

9.      Small pieces of metal, such as wires and foils

Metals can be reworked, but not all pieces are worth reworking. Small pieces of aluminium foil and thin wires do not have enough material in them to be feasible for recycling.

10.  Batteries, mobile phones, and electronic waste

Batteries, mobile phones, and electronic waste

These materials are actually recyclable but do not belong in your waste bin. That is why only a small percentage of these items gets recycled. There are drop off points for these items as they can be hazardous to handle. Batteries can be brought to most Repco Auto, Aldi, or Super Cheap Auto Stores. Mobile phones are accepted in Mobile Muster. Electronic items, including printer cartridges, also have specific drop off points. You should contact your local Council to find the local drop-off locations.

Need help in recycling your wastes? Hire skip bins now!

Instead of placing some of these ‘recyclables’ with your other genuine recyclables, it may be a good idea to put them in a skip bin instead. Paper and cardboard products, even when stained or contaminated, can still be used for composting. At Skip the Tip can help you with setting up your skip bins in Newcastle. Should you need any help in setting up skip bins, hire us today! Feel free to contact us at 0414 375 375,, or 56 Kalaroo Road Redhead, New South Wales 2290 and we will help you in your waste disposal.