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Hints and tips

The more we recycle, the more money your council saves and the better it is for the environment.

You’d be surprised just how much you can actually recycle – up to 70% of your waste could be recycled or reused in some way.

There’s a lot more to recycling than just putting the right thing in the right box – you can recycle almost anything, from furniture and electrical goods to food scraps.

Top tips  for improving your recycling at home

At home is where you can make the biggest difference to the amount you recycle. 

Recycling is easy and requires minimal effort if you create a simple recycling system in your home.  A system starts with having a place to store recycling inside your home, whether this is a bag, a box or a bin. Keep this container next to your rubbish bin – this will act as a reminder for everyone in your household to recycle and make it as easy to recycle as it is to throw away. Talk to everyone in your household about where your recycling storage point is and what can be recycled. 

Here are our best and simplest tips for improving how you recycle at home – some may seem like “common sense”, but just one small change can make a world of difference.

  • Flatten your cardboard boxes when you put them in the recycling - you can get more of everything in your bin that way.
  • All your plastic bottles can be recycled, from mouthwash to salad dressing – so put them all in your recycling bin! In most boroughs, you can recycle all your plastic bottles, tubs and pots, and their tops and lids too.
  • It’s more than just newspapers you can recycle as well. You can recycle your envelopes, wrapping paper, birthday cards and even phone books. All types of cardboard can also be recycled, even toilet roll tubes and drinks cartons.
  • Most metallic items are also recyclable - It’s not just cans and tins you can also recycle, but kitchen foil and even empty aerosols.
  • Keep a bag or a space in a cupboard in the kitchen for storing the recycling as you go. It also makes it easy to take things to the recycling bins that way.
  • Why not try keeping a carrier bag in the hall for recycling your junk mail straight away?
  • We all recycle but often, one person in the house is the expert - if you’re unsure what to do with something, who is the expert in your house?
  • On your way to school, supermarket or work, stop off at the recycling point and drop your recycling. This allows you fit recycling into your lifestyle easily, and the kids will learn about recycling too this way too.
  • Whenever you’re not sure what you can recycle, look on your local council’s website for more information –why not also save the web link to this website, wiseuptowaste.org.uk/recycle in your favourites – it tells you all you need to know about what I can recycle. There’s also a mobile version for use on your smart phone.
  • Check the date you put out your recycling - Find out from your council what day your recycling will be collected.
  • Empty your recycling storage point regularly to avoid it overflowing.  Talk to everyone in your household about who is going to be responsible for this.    
Expand all

Hints and tips for recycling more

  • Top tips for recycling more at school

  • Top tips for recycling more at work

  • Top tips for recycling out and about

Now keep going...

There's lots more hints and tips available as to how you can recycle, and keep recycling:

Further recycling information from Recycle for London

Recycling tips and information for schools

Recycling tips and information for businesses

Don’t create waste in the first place!

Our Wise up to Waste website’s waste prevention pages offer loads of handy and practical advice on reducing the amount of waste you create in the first place. Try selecting one of the links below to find out more.

Waste prevention at home

Waste prevention at work 

Waste prevention at school 

Waste prevention in the community