Recycling A to Z
Al cans have only been around since 1965. Wash and squash these lightweight cans, and put in your recycling box with your other tin cans for fortnightly kerbside collections - also clean aluminium foil e.g. milk bottle tops , from chocolate, nightlights, pie / take away trays, aerosols, deodorant cans, some metal tubes e.g. tomato puree, and fizzy drinks cans. See also tin cans - easily recognized as they are magnetic.
If the object you squash stays scrunched, then its aluminium. If not its probably a plastic/aluminium composite eg some toothpaste tubes, crisp packets, pet food sachets and coffee wrappers are mostly plastic and can only be recycled through small voluntary outlets.
These help cause the fatburgs, in the sewage system. None are really bio-degradeable, so best to bin them, and avoid using if possible. They’ve been produced for 60 years, and made of a non-woven blend of natural and synthetic fibres, such as polypropylene. The industry body Water UK say all wipes should be binned, and not labelled bio-degradeable - for that process is too slow to be of use, so please don’t throw them in the loo.
You can take them back to the place where you bought them. Virtually all public buildings in Shropshire have battery recycling bins in reception, for these throw-aways are manufactured from nasty chemicals, which used to end up in landfill. YOU CAN NOW recycle household batteries from the kerbside - please put them in a clear plastic bag and put them on your recycling box in a place where the crews can easily see them.
Use rechargeable batteries with rechargers whenever possible.
Better still, buy wind-up or solar-powered radios and torches, now more widely available.
Car Batteries must be taken to Battlefield HRC for professional disposal. (The lead content is recycled but the acid needs to be neutralised before it can be disposed of).
Bicycles can often be mended, reused, and customised. Local bike shops can repair, including in the Market Hall. Broken bike metal can be recycled at the scrap metal bays at Battlefield HRC.
gocycling-Shropshire will come and mend your bike at home.
Re-cycle - a national charity that sends unwanted bikes to Africa, has a drop off point at Halfords, Telford.
Recycle these for charity at Battlefield HRC. Bras are in short supply in African countries
Don’t tip these, they may be useful to builders, or reclamation yards such as Loosemores in Battlefield who sell and buy all types of recycled rubble and aggregate http://www.loosemoorestransport.co.uk
Battlefield HRC will recycle small quantities.
Aluminium,ferrous (human and pet foods) and aerosol cans can both go in your kerbside recycling box. Wash and squash, please,or if very large amounts take to Battlefield HRC.
You can now take them to the Battlefield Recycling Centre, where there there is a designated skip for old carpets. If you need it collecting, see
You can use an old carpet (topside down) on weed areas in your garden to prepare the ground for digging: makes a good cover for the top of a compost bin too.
A good packaging material that biodegrades quicker than leaves! Made from digesting wood and cotton pulp in a series of chemical baths.
All parts of textiles, bags and belts can be recycled and reused – even into industrial rags or underfelt, so never just bin them. Give good quality clean items to Jumble sales or charity shops, for reuse and resale, and thus fundraising, or to Battlefield HRC, which also has a skip for
- Bras - recycled for Cancer Research or take them to M&S who pass them on to Oxfam.
- H & M, Castle St, Shrewsbury, will receive and recycle your old clean clothes, proceeds going to charities. They have an organic range.
You can ask Starbucks, and now, Ginger and Co Coffee in Princess St. for theirs, to take home to add to compost. Also said to be a good slug repellent in small quantities! Ask other cafes, to encourage composting!
You can also grow oyster mushrooms on old coffee grounds
Make your own, to enrich the quality of your soil. Worm composters make very rich compost and can sit under the sink. If you buy compost from nurseries or garden centres, make sure it contains no peat. Large quantities can be purchased from the company that composts Shrewsbury green waste.
Shropshire Council and Veolia run a Master Composter programme.
Bokashi buckets, are useful, as they ferment all household kitchen waste, including meat, fish, dairy and even bones. The resulting stuff can be used as a good soil conditioner and plant food liquid
DO NOT throw into toilet or sink (sewage works can't safely dispose, they will get shredded and end up in the sea).....recycle with the original packaging back to the place where bought, if possible. Or bin them.
Shrewsbury Optometry in Dogpole, or Boots Opticians will safely recycle. ( See also http://www.acuvue.co.uk/recycle)
Crisp manufacturer Walkers are recycling any make of crisp package. Large amounts can be boxed and returned by their courier. Small amounts are collected at The United Reformed Church office, in centre of Gyratory traffic system by English Bridge (limited opening times). see http://email@example.com
The WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) states that such waste must be reclaimed, and there is a designated bay at Battlefield Household Recycling Centre for this.
- Get electrical objects repaired rather than discard, creating valuable employment too.
Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling http://www.icer.org.uk
Shropshire Council will take away a defunct fridge or cooker (for a small fee).
Donate reasonable items to Furniture Schemes or post on Freegle
Frankwell Appliances sells reconditioned appliances.
Stokes of Shrewsbury sell reconditioned appliances at ½ the new price, and do spares & repairs.
For large-scale recycling of electrical goods, http://www.enva.com
Fluorescent Lights (and low energy light bulbs). These are hazardous waste, containing mercury, and must be taken to Battlefield HRC for safe recycling.
- Freegle (replaces freecycle) in Shrewsbury. 5800 locals use this grassroots, and growing, free, non-profit local recycling opportunity. You offer something you don’t need on the web, goods or services for free, or look to acquire something you need yourself. A bonus is it keeps unwanted stuff out of landfill. To join, see Local Shrewbury Group: http://www.freegle.in/shrewsbury
Put bottles and jars in the green box for kerbside recycling collections.
Pyrex, window glass or incandescent light bulb glass can’t be recycled - there's a special skip at Battlefield HRC, also for used fluorescent lights.
Items made of recycled green and blue glass bottles by Sarah Hill, http://www.sarahhillglass.co.uk
INCINERATION ( now called energy recovery facility)
Shropshire Council Planning Committee refused planning permission, but Veolia appealed and won after a public enquiry.
Shrewsbury FOE campaigned against the incinerator from the moment it was announced and were a major opponent at the Inquiry. The reasons for campaigning are still valid:-
1. It is expensive
2. It removes the incentive to push for maximum recycling.
3. There are concerns that the emissions to atmosphere are detrimental to health.
4. Only 25% of the potential energy is utilised to produce electricity. Heat recovery and use could raise overall energy efficiency to 70-80%.
Veolia have managed to process and recycle all the ash as a construction material and are investigating whether it is feasible to provide some heat to a close-by processing plant.
These are positive developments and although no domestic waste is now going to landfill, the hope must be that in future systems and processes are adopted that do maximise recycling and avoid the detrimental effects of incineration.
INK-JET & LASER Cartridges
There are a number of charities who welcome your recycled inkjet cartridges, mobile phones sat. navs., digital cameras etc.
Ask your charity for a special recycling envelope or go direct to http://www.therecyclingfactory.com
Incandescent bulbs are no longer permitted to be sold, and they can’t be recycled. Energy-saving fluorescent bulbs and strip lights can be recycled at Battlefield Household Recycling Centre.
This Whitchurch-based company recycle mattresses, sofas, chairs, They can collect, but will charge
Battlefield Household Recycling Centre has a scrap metal skip.
Don’t use paper nappies, they contain plastic, and they don’t decompose, and are polluting all through their lifecycle. Reusable terry towel nappies can prevent this waste, and you could save about £800 over the lifetime of just one baby! Analysis of what’s in our bins in Shropshire has shown that disposable nappies make up about 4% of total household waste. This means an incredible 6,000 tonnes of disposable nappies.
If you want to help tackle this waste mountain and save yourself some money, and get lots of good info, then contact
So much waste is involved in non-recyclable materials used for packaging, such as plastics made from a non-renewable resource, like oil. It's possible to choose to buy things in bulk, which cuts down on the materials used, or use paper bags or cardboard, which can be recycled, re-used or composted. It's possible to always choose products which have the least packaging, or request the manufacturers to try a bit harder.
The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (incpen) is a research organisation, representing manufacturers - there is lots of useful info on why and how items are packaged in the way they are. http://www.incpen.org
Wool-insulated boxes(for both hot and cold goods) brilliant alternative to polystyrene, etc.
Unwrap presents carefully, and reuse the wrapping paper. Put out newspapers, magazines, catalogues, etc. in the fortnightly recycling box. Don’t forget to tear up or shred private bills and financial documents, compost or use as animal bedding, as shredded paper can't go in with the paper
No need to remove envelope windows, as these are made from cellulose.
PLASTIC CLING FILM (and how to avoid)
- re-use ice cream and marg. tubs etc to store food, instead of throwing them away
- re-use glass jars with lids or takeaway containers to store leftovers
- fabric, beeswax or silicone food covers are now available from many kitchenware retailers. Make out of your own fabrics.
- sandwiches in paper bags, or re=useable sandwich wraps
- bread and cakes can be stored in a clean tea towel
- most kitchens probably already have green alternatives to cling film
PLASTIC FLOWER POTS
These, whatever colour, can't yet be recycled with plastics at your kerbside. But they can be re-used, when clean, by community groups, allotments, and schools that garden, so offer them if you can.
Dobbies are now taking responsibility for taking them back for recycling, ( to be re-made into plastic things), all colours, broken or intact, plus the plastic trays that contain pots. They have a dedicated place within the garden area. Black Birches Garden Centre, of Hadnall, willingly receive plastic pots in good condition, for re-use. Harley Bank Nursery will take back for re-use. And now, B & Q willingly take them back, in their garden/plant section.
Use earthenware pots, or check out bio-degradeable ones made of coir, bamboo or other peat-free materials..
PLASTIC WATER and JUICE BOTTLES
Plastic Bottles - these, often litter the countryside, and do not biodegrade. They can be easily recycled at kerbside collections.
TO AVOID once-used plastic water bottles -
- buy a glass or stainless-steel one
- get a good water filter (and recycle filters at Argos, Meole Brace)
- get rid of chlorine taste of water by refrigerating in a glass bottle with top left off and use within 2 days. Most of the chlorine evaporates!
- when out, cafes will refill your water bottle if asked. There is often a jug of tap water, so help yourself.
A growing website, when you are out and about - http://www.refill.org.uk can tell you the nearest water-filling location.
But it is a legal requirement to fill up on request.
A good start is to get milk (and organic) delivered in reusable glass bottles. Glass milk bottles are reused a minimum of 20 times and after than can still be recycled!
Wenlock Spring or Fairbourne Spring Water, are the nearest source of local bottled water, and re-use the bottle. However, read this website for the dangers of over-using plastic bottles
http://www.thoughtco.com and then search for' reuse of plastic bottles'
Shropshire residents can put all plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays and lids, including things like yoghurt pots and food trays, cosmetic, kitchen, and drinks bottles in the fortnightly collection.
Derived from oil, - a finite resource, that has peaked in production, and now on the way down, a throw-away material - we often use plastic (ie packaging) for a very short amount of time before discarding. It remains in the environment for a very long time, (centuries?) creating litter, pollution and a danger of ingestion to animals and wildlife, as it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles. Check out the Great Pacific Garbage Patch online for an idea of the devastation caused in the world's oceans by discarded plastic. 6 times more plastic than plankton in that area!
The hidden dangers of plastics are well described at http://smallfootprintfamily.com/avoiding-toxins-in-plastic
PLASTICS in TEABAGS
HOW TO AVOID PLASTICS IN TEABAGS
- they are sealed with polypropylene - to maintain shape - but when composted or binned, they are releasing yet another tiny bit of un-bio-degradeable plastic into the earth, you can actually see a ghost-like shape left behind after the tea has composted! Best to avoid, or bin the tea bag, and compost the leaves.
- Japanese-style pyramid teabags are made of bio-degradeable corn starch.
- The very best option is loose, organic and fairly-traded tea.
- the Co-op ,P.G. Tips and Clipper do sell plastic free.
We've noticed how many rags end up being burnt in the incinerator at Battlefield. Unnecessary waste, as all the 16 charity shops in Shrewsbury can earn extra money from selling them on to Rag Merchants, who can sell or re-manufacture for textile products like carpet underlay etc. To help the charities out, please make sure you label the bag as RAGS. They ask that no-one leaves any bags outside their premises after closing time, as these can NOT be used due to possible contamination.
Refills are available from Pomona, Castle Gates, The Allotment Food store at Greyfriars Bridge, GreenOptions Zero Waste in Darwin Centre or Daisy and Tilly's Lyth Hill Road, Bayston Hill.
One firm keen to reduce single-use plastic, come monthly to Castlefields Community Hall, selling lots of plant-based and chemical-free products, like Faith in Nature and bio D washing products, and refilling your containers http://www.littlegreenfootprints.co.uk
can be repaired and resoled, at a fraction of the original purchase cost. Most charity shops or clothes banks will be able to reuse or recycle them. Or Clarks, in Pride Hill Shopping Centre, will recycle for UNICEF.
SHREWSBURY FOOD HUB
The Shrewsbury Food Hub re distributes left over food from supermarkets etc.to those in need.
SINGLE-USE PLASTIC COFFEE/TEA CUPS
The use of a one-off card/plastic cup, containing a hot beverage - is not sustainble - as that container that cannot be recycled or reused and the plastic component will be around in landfill for possibly centuries!. The only sensible option is to sit in a cafe for 10 mins, take your own re-usable container, or use a SHREWSBURY CUP, these can be exchanged in various shops in Shrewsbury. You can also ask for a price reduction for using your own container in a takeaway coffee shop, or station buffet.
INSPIRATIONAL -- SHREWSBURY CUP http://www.shrewsburycup.co.uk
Winchester University collected used chewing gum (made of plastic!), on campus, and upcycled these into coffee cups!
SOIL and RUBBLE
There is a specific skip for this at Battlefield Household Recycling Centre..
Can go in the kerbside paper boxes and paper banks, along with Yellow Pages.
Take clean clothing, bedlinen and textiles - even clean rags to Charity shops, or take to Battlefield HRC .
(Please don’t put in duvets or pillows or rugs – these could be offered to Home Essentials, if in good condition, or local dog’s homes.)
A charity which recycles and remakes textiles into new clothes, sold in their London shops or online, to fund health and education projects abroad.
Also does education projects in the UK on making new clothes from used.
The brilliant thing about both steel and aluminium cans is that they can be recycled and processed into cans again, infinitely recyclable, with no loss of quality. Tin cans are magnetic, made of steel plate, heavier than aluminium, cheaper to mine, and good at containing acidic foods like tomatoes. They've been around since 1810. Recycle them, washed, at the kerbside collection. Also aerosol cans.
There are local Toy Libraries ,or charity shops, and Battlefield HRC.
All parts of the Brita Cartridge are 100% recyclable - Argos, Meole Brace, can receive them (and old catalogues) for recycling. http://www.brita.co.uk
WOOD & TIMBER
Take used wood to Battlefield HRC for recycling, or reuse.
Headway Shropshire, need good wood (not MDF) for their woodwork workshop to make bird boxes, small toys, etc.
Jesent (local) make, recycling box stores, composters, wooden units
Yoghurt pots and tops can now be recycled with plastic bottles at your kerbside collection.
ZERO WASTE - part of Cwm Harry
This is what we should be striving for – many towns, cities and countries (including Bishops Castle in Shropshire and Presteigne, just over the border) have made this their ambition – why not Shrewsbury? This movement is growing, globally - it is for local small-scale, community-led initiatives, based on questioning consumption, reducing waste, and reusing and recycling everything - nature doesn't waste a thing!
A highly dangerous material. You can take to the Battlefield HRC and place in skip for safe disposal but please ring in advance for advice.
BALLONS SKY LANTERNS and GLITTER
Balloons, their strings and labels, when let go of, fall back to earth and can be ingested by grazing animals, birds or marine creatures, so the Marine Conservation Society http://www.mcsuk.org suggests we don't use balloons. So-called bio-degradeable ones may take 4 years to disappear - that's not very bio-degradeable, and they could do damage til then. And some scientists believe that the gas helium is too precious to be wasted in balloons.
Sky lanterns similarly cause fires and litter and sometimes havoc when they fall back to land. More and more councils are not allowing these to be let off on council land ,
http://www.balloonsblow.org has a few alternative ideas,
Glitter is made of micro-plastics, not yet banned, but some nurseries and schools have given up using them. (Lush has non-plastic glitter in their products ).(You can find bio-degradeable glitter made from eucalyptus, look online, various companies).
BATTLEFIELD Household Recycling Centre
You can recycle more than 30 different items here, including: - • Wood • Scrap Metal • Plasterboard • Garden waste • Soil • Hardcore and rubble • Glass • Paper • Cans, tins, aerosols and tin foil • Plastic bottles • Plastic pots, tubs and trays • Gas bottles • Fridges and freezers • Electrical appliances • Mobile phones • TV and computer monitors • Car engine oil • Car batteries • Used cooking oil • Printer cartridges. Carpets • Textiles • Bras • Shoes • Furniture • Books • Toys • CD's & DVD's • Bric-a-brac • Cardboard • Tetra Pak type drinks cartons • Fluorescent tubes • Low energy lightbulbs • Household batteries You can ring the Council to request collection of large objects, for a charge. The collections have been sub-contracted to local recycling charities - so it helps support their work. Remember to get into the site with large trailers and most vans you will need a permit.
Books are very energy and materials inefficient, so always recycle, and buy second hand. Keep the library open (Shrewsbury Library is beautiful!), so borrow books – it’s free!
Publishers are waking up to seeing the environmental impact of new paper books
Donate to charity shops (esp. Oxfam, Dogpole, or libraries).
You can recycle book paper and its cardboard cover, in the blue kerbside bag.
Battlefield HRC accepts used books for re-use and recycling.
To follow ideas, journeys and histories of books left in a public place to be picked up and read by others – free, who then do likewise visit
Read, recycle and swap and talk about books online at
Made of polythene - smallish amounts can be recycled with plastic bags in larger supermarkets, like Sainsbury and Morrisons. Larger peices can be given away, or used to protect fragile plants, or to line greenhouses.
BULKY Household Waste
If you cannot transport items to the Battlefield HRC yourself, you can ring the Council for a chargeable collection.(Trailers and large vehicles can’t dump stuff at Battlefield HRC - if in doubt, ring for a permit). However its far better to avoid the item ever becoming ‘waste’ in the first place, so check it can’t be used by someone else, see
http://www.Freegle.org.uk or a Furniture Scheme.
Cardboard - Shrewsbury residents can now recycle card with all kinds of paper at the fortnightly kerbside collection in free blue plastic bags. More info at http://www.recycleforshropshire.com
Greetings Cards can be recycled in your kerbside paper collection providing they don't contain glitter or metal..
Ensure the card comes from sustainable forestry, or is made of recycled paper.
You can send E-cards by using FoE’s efficient and free service: http://www.foe.co.uk
Throughout January, WH Smith and Tesco and TK Maxx usually take back greetings cards for recycling for charity.
Headway Shropshire,- their day centre clients can recycle old greetings cards into new.
Abandoned vehicles are an eyesore and a safety issue. Report them to the Council
New EU ruling means cars can now be scrapped free.
Car Oil – very toxic and illegal to dump in water supply, take to Battlefields HRC, as it can be recycled.
We have all seen discarded cigarette ends outside buildings, and along streets, perhaps not realising the global problem they cause. Almost all Cigarette filters are a combination of a type of PLASTIC (cellulose acetate) and toxic tobacco remnants.
They can be carried through storm drains to streams, rivers and oceans.
The PLASTIC in the filter itself is NON-Biodegradable waste. [Eventually UV rays from the sun break the plastic into smaller microplastics that can find their way into the food chain, via oceans and marine life].
They are the most pervasive form of litter in the world.
We may think we are just ‘flicking away’ paper and tobacco…….yet there is NO AWAY.
As long ago as October 2015 ,The World Health Organisation stated …. this waste may also prove to be a significant environmental contaminant and potential human health hazard through bio-accumulation in the food chain.
If there is no other option throw cig end into the dustbin.
Have you always wanted to get involved a clothes swap but don't know where to start?
Are you concerned about the effect on the environment of fast fashion? Do you question the working conditions of those in the garment making industry in developing countries? Do you want to consume less and recycle more?
Jackie and Naomi have been organising neighbourhood clothes swaps for 10 years and they would love to share their simple, no frills formula to running a successful clothes swap in your street/ group.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org for free help and advice.
COINS and CURRENCY
Many charities collect old currency, British and foreign. Also banks. Leave foreign money at the port or airport of other countries for their local charities. Our Local charity,' Omega care for life' will accept any coins and currency (as well as paperbacks, stamps and mobile phones) .
They contain hazardous waste materials, and need to be disposed of safely at Battlefield HRC. Or they may be mended and re-used, or if they are completely broken, they can still be dismantled for recycling (in the UK):-
Shrewsbury based Go-to-FIX-IT will offer repairs on the spot if practical. http://www.gotofixit.uk/
They also offer help with upgrades, advice on software and general help with smartphones and tablets too.
http://www.enviro-pc.com Collect old computers from colleges, universities, businesses, and homes for processing, sorting for re-use, and stripped into component parts. They also offer low cost or free to low-income rural families or people in need, they dispose and recycle within the UK.
Computers for Africa,
Visit towns for a few days, to collect old computers that must be less than 5 years old. They visit Shrewsbury 4 times a year http://www.computers4africa.org.uk
South Shropshire Furniture Scheme,in Ludlow, Refurbish computers.
Computer printer cartridges can be refilled. Toners are the large, commercial ones, filled with dust colour, inkjets are wet and used in smaller, domestic pcs and can be refilled while you wait at:-
Cartridge World, http://www.shrewsbury.cartridgeworld.co.uk ,
Ink World, Order online http://www.ink-world.co.uk/store
Recycle used printer cartridges – only 10% are presently recycled, so to recycle, take to Tesco, Charity shops, Ryman stationers and Battlefield HRC.
Environmental Computer Recycling - http://www.computer-recycling-and-removals.co.uk
IT and Telecomms equipment cleared for re-use - http://www.officeandhouseclearance.co.uk
COSMETICS / PERFUMES
Try to choose containers that may be recyclable, with minimal packaging. e.g. glass perfume bottles can be recycled with jars and wine bottles, most plastic pots can be recycled in the plastic kerbside collection. A wide range of soaps, of course, are sold in paper wrappers - easily recyclable. See plastics section for details about how cosmetics and beauty products have tiny microbeads in their ingredients, which are causing havoc for marine and land life. Their use will only be partially banned, so please investigate carefully these products. The Shrewsbury United Reformed Church will take certain cosmetic plastics for recycling, http://email@example.com
DUVETS and WASHABLE pillows
In good condition, these are sometimes accepted by Furniture Schemes and The Ark (Homeless Charity), (check first).
Otherwise, try Dogs Homes eg. RSPCA , The Dogs Trust at Roden and Dog Samaritans in Church Stretton.
Re-use by sticking labels over previous addresses. It's no longer necessary to remove and discard plastic windows from envelopes before recycling in with paper!
Waste food as it rots creates methane in landfill, so eat it all up!. We recommend you only garden compost raw food, and not meat, fish, bread or dairy. Cooked foods, meat, cheese bones etc can be wrapped in newspaper, and add them to the green garden waste wheelie bin for fortnightly roadside collection.
The average family could save about £60 per month on shopping bills!
SHREWSBURY FOOD HUB - Fantastic fast-developing charity for receiving, collecting and delivering unwanted food from all sorts of shops/supermarkets, and getting it to where it's most needed. http://www.shrewsburyfoodhub.org.uk
Don't chuck it, it can be re-used, repaired, customised.
If you donate to a furniture scheme, this may produce useful training work in mending, and the furniture is then sold on cheaply to households in need:-
Shrewsbury Furniture Scheme (also known as Home Essentials), Monkmoor. Their shop, sells large furniture, financially supports the scheme, and stops more items going to landfill.
Belle Vue Restorations Ltd, firstname.lastname@example.org
British Heart Foundation collect furniture and electrical items http://www.bhf.co.uk
Crane Quality Counselling : Donated Furniture and Household goods for sale . http://www.cranecounselling.co.uk
REVIIVE - re-use store, selling household items and furniture, supporting people in need, and offering training. http://www.reviive.co.uk
South Shropshire Furniture Scheme, Ludlow Computer refurbishing/recycling workshop, accredited training, carpentry workshop http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk
Condover Furniture: Environmentally friendly upcycled furniture enhanced with glass http://www.condoverfurniture.com
eg. Oil, paint, varnish, chemicals – anything which is dangerous, flammable, explosive poisonous etc)
Don’t bin it! Take to Battlefield Household Recycling Centre for safe disposal.
These can now be recycled at Lunts Chemists, Boots, Asda and Tesco.
In 2009, 11 billion pieces of it were delivered in the UK.. Register for opt out at
Give to libraries, schools, doctors’, dentists’ or vets’ waiting rooms, or recycle with newspapers.
Unwanted or unused - creams, liquids, tablets or inhalers should all be returned to your chemists for safe disposal.
It is really worthwhile to recycle mobile phones –a tonne of ore from a gold mine produces just 5 grams (0.18 ounce) of gold on average, whereas a tonne of discarded mobile phones can yield 150 grams (5.3 ounce) or more of solid gold!!! The same volume of discarded mobile phones also contains around 100 kg (220 lb) of copper and 3 kg (6.6 lb) of silver, among other metals. They also take energy to make, and waste energy if chargers aren’t unplugged, so recycling is essential. Take it Battlefield HRC, where their sale proceeds are donated to Hope House Children's Hospice, Charities like Oxfam and Cancer Research benefit by receiving old phones for resale etc. Omega Care for Life, (local charity) accepts mobile phones for safe recycling.
Disposing of mineral oils down drain or sink is illegal. You can recycle engine and heating oil at Battlefield HRC. It's collected and recycled into a new type of heating oil. vegetable oil from cooking can also be recycled at Battlefield HRC, it's reprocessed and then used to provide electricity and heat.
Scrappies (in Church Stretton) will take paint, emulsion or gloss, as long as there is more than half a tin.
Battlefield HRC for safe disposal.
Donate to charity in Telford
New Life Paints are recycled paints
From DIY building projects can be recycled in a skip at the Battlefield Household Recycling Centre.
Don't use them, get another form of bag instead, that you can use over and over again, and not just once. You can buy a long-life plastic bag from most supermarkets, who will replace it when it's worn out. 1.2 trillion plastic bags are produced annually, globally. Wildlife on land and sea ingest or get caught up in plastic and die horribly.
You can't put these bags out with the kerbside plastic collection, but some supermarkets (Sainsbury, Morrisons) will take all kinds of plastic bag/wrappers back, including stretchy plastics and bubble wrap. Or give bags to market stallholders. Battlefield HRC no longer collects them.
If you want to use biodegradable and compostable bags, liners and cutlery - all made from maize These can then be placed with garden or kitchen waste, or put in green bin,-
http://www.all-green.co.uk Dont put these to be recycled with real plastic bags, as it will degrade the plastic.
PLASTIC MICROBEADS In Cosmetics - Try and Avoid
Even though banned in UK cosmetics - they are still allowed in various forms in other non-rinse-off cosmetics, such as suntan lotion, mascara, lipsticks and even some deodorants. Check ingredients before buying.
Sainsbury will accept all types of plastic wrappings No.4 (LDPE) in their in-house plastic bag recycling scheme - wrappers from bakery goods, breakfast cereals, toilet rolls, and plastic bags from fruit, veg, bread, freezer bags, and bubblewrap magazine and shrink wraps. i.e. any plastic that can stretch a bit.
PLASTICS for architecture and design industry
Smile Plastics make visually interesting recycled plastic items for the architecture and design industry.
The Shirehall, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Oxfam and Red Cross shops will receive them. Also, local charity Omega care for life (see coins and currency for details)
Website packed with info on recycling, composting etc.also for schools.
Collects worthwhile plastic and textile scrap,sorts and stores it in their shops, then sells it to members, who use it in art and craft activities to benefit the education of children. Scrappies also run workshops so children and adults can learn about recycling and reusing materials whilst creating with a local artist.
A circular economy deposit return scheme for resuable coffee cups in Shrewsbury designed to eliminate single use cup waste and reduce carbon footprint
SHREWSBURY REPAIR CAFE
Broken toaster, hoover, trousers with a broken zip cluttering up your house? Bring them to the repair cafe and our friendly volunteers will help you repair them. Check on Facebook or via Shropshire.gov.uk and search for Repair Cafe
SMALL PLASTIC and hard to recycle
The United Reformed Church (on gyratory system near English Bridge),will accept SMALL HARD-TO-RECYCLE plastic items for recycling ; Any biscuit and cake-bar and mini Cheddars wrappers. Any crisp bags. All toothpaste tubes, brushes, brush heads. Many beauty products - packs, pumps,trigger sprays. Old plastic roll-on deodorant containers. Face-washtubes. Ink jet and toner Cartridges.
Can be re-glazed. Battlefield HRC and most opticians accept old pairs (in good condition),
& other brands of paper-based Liquid Food & Drinks Cartons, can be recycled at the 5 main Household Recycling Centres for Shropshire Council. They CANNOT be recycled with the kerbside cardboard and paper.
TILL RECEIPTS (plastic)
These used to be made of paper - nowadays, and not many people realize this, they are coated with a toxic plastic, to thermally print, as opposed to using inks! So, please bin them, don't compost or recycle them, and ideally don't even handle, but if you have to, wash the fibres off your skin. And don't give them to little kids to play with!
TOOLS & SEWING MACHINES
Tools and sewing machines, especially hand machines – are refurbished and sent to Africa by Tools for Self Reliance
See a list of tools the charity accepts on website. http://www.tfsr.org
Can be recycled at the Household Recycling Centres e.g. Battlefield. Never ever burn old tyres, they give off toxic fumes. If you buy new, the supplier should take your old ones and dispose correctly.
Plastic or rubber, to charity shops.
Easy to waste at this time, make your own presents, recycle wrappings, buy recycled goods.
Cards: Put out with kerbside paper collection.
Annually, we buy (and later discard) 5 million of these! Buy a rooted tree for replanting, or, afterwards, leave out for the kerbside garden waste collection - please note: their max. length needs to be 5’ or 1.5m.
Z - to Biodgrade, to degrade or to compost... an avid plastic recycler view
The following ,written by Colin Williamson (Smile Plastics) debates the issue;
In the 21st Century drive for sustainability, the concept of biodegradable plastics seems fantastic. The iconic man-made product reverting to nature seems too good to be true. And, of course, like anything that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Biodegradable plastics do exist, of course, made from agricultural materials or made by modifying conventional petrochemical based materials. Now, for the sake of simplicity I have ignored the degradable plastics based on oil, as they use more energy than normal products as well as exhibiting the other problems mentioned below. But, rest assured, any claims of biodegradable plastic eco-efficiency are based more on politics and economics than mathematics. So let’s look at the big picture.
Most scientists accept global warming is the biggest environmental threat to human life. We measure this by the carbon footprint over the lifecycle of a product or system. So, let’s consider the carbon footprint of some plastics products by comparing the lifecycle of a biodegradable plastic bag or bottle with one made from ‘traditional’ oil based plastics.
Oil is pumped from the ground, refined into plastic and made into a product. It uses energy to make the transformation of course and this can be added to the energy embedded in the oil itself.
Alternatively, corn is grown by a farmer who uses energy to drive his tractors and chemicals to spray the plants. After harvesting the corn is converted to a plastic product by an industrial process, which itself uses more energy.
We can calculate the total amount of energy expended in making a bottle or bag.
If the packaging is oil based it probably weighs less than the biodegradable alternative so an allowance has to be made for this. Few independent eco-audits have been conducted on biodegradable plastic products though, and we still have yet to discover the true eco-footprint made by agro-sourced plastics. Some bio-sourced plastics are based on a waste product from the agricultural industries, such as bagasse from sugarcane fibres, and claim a zero carbon footprint, others are made from foodstuffs.
When the packaging has fulfilled its primary function it becomes waste, and that’s where it gets interesting.
Most waste in the UK ends up in a landfill site, so let’s consider what happens once the stuff gets buried. Oil based plastics may take centuries to degrade but until then they stay inert, just like a lump of rock or stainless steel. In other words they have no further effect on the environment.
The biodegradable bag or bottle on the other hand starts to degrade relatively quickly (although nowhere near as quickly as the manufacturers claim – just try it if you don’t believe me). It biodegrades, not just to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (as there is little oxygen in a landfill site), but to other chemicals that escape as complex molecules and gases, normally methane.
Methane is one of the powerful ‘global warming’ gases, about 24 times more damaging than CO2. Recent EU directives relating to landfill sites acknowledge this by limiting and restricting the amount of biodegradables (especially garden refuse) going to landfill. There are other significant issues with biodegradables in landfills including land instability and leachates into the water table.
So, which is better, a bottle in a landfill site that has no further influence on the environment, or one that biodegrades to a harmful global warming gas?
What about recycling?
And as we recycle more and more waste, including plastics bottles and bags, one of the well-established uses of old polyethylene bags and film is to be recycled in to black builders’ film to be used as damp-proofing.
Imagine what would happen if biodegradable bags get mixed into this recycling stream.
The recycler can’t differentiate between the biodegradable bag and the standard one so he makes and sells the sheets that then gets used under a
floor in a new building. This is the ideal situation for degradation to start and the film develops a hole and no longer is a water barrier, the house gets a damp patch and no-one knows why.
So the presence of biodegradable plastic carrier bags in the recycling waste stream is seriously impacting the recycling industry.
In some countries where biodegradable bottles have already been introduced, major problems are being encountered by the recyclers who have already taken billions of bottles out of the waste stream for recycling.
“Hang-on”, I hear you say, “these biodegradable bottles can be put in the green waste collection bins to be composted?!”
Well, yes, they can, but the guys doing the composting remove any plastic and discard it for landfill as they cannot differentiate biodegradable from traditional plastic.
Biodegradable plastics sound wonderful, but are largely a brilliant marketing concept. If landfilled they contribute greatly to global warming, if recycled they are a major hindrance to the existing recycling schemes we have battled so hard to encourage.
Biodegradable plastics will have their uses, of course, but only when their end uses are clearly identified. One is as the bags for local authorities to collect garden refuse for composting. Ordinary polythene bags are normally used, but as they don’t biodegrade, they have to be emptied of their contents, either by the collectors or at the composting facility. Biodegradable bags would be excellent for this application, able to be properly composted and unlikely to enter the recycling stream.
If you can think of any other suitable uses, please let me know, but until then: please don’t use them, don’t recycle them and don’t tell me how wonderful they are.
About the author: Colin Williamson is technical consultant at Smile Plastics, a dedicated plastics recycler.