Top Tips for Improving Recycling

A lot more waste can be recycled than most people realise. In north London, most households can easily recycle over 70% of their waste using existing services. Recycling items saves your council money and contributes to tackling climate change.

To recycle this much involves more than putting the right packaging in the right box. There are services to collect and recycle almost anything, from furniture and electrical goods to food scraps. Here are some ways to make recycling easier – some may seem like ‘common sense’, but even small changes can make a big difference to how much we all recycle.

Set up a recycling system

Recycling is easy if you create a simple recycling system in your home. Any good recycling system begins with having a place to store your recycling inside your home, whether this is a bag, a box or a bin. This container should be kept beside your rubbish bin to act as a reminder for everyone to recycle and make it as easy to recycle as it is to throw away. You can also set up other recycling points in your house – why not keep a recycling container for plastic bottles in your bathroom or a plastic bag by the door for junk mail?

Your recycling can then be emptied into your recycling bin on collection day. Contact your local council for more information about recycling services where you live. 

Check what you can recycle

Whenever you’re not sure about what you can recycle, check your local council’s website for more information. Putting unrecyclable items in your recycling bin can contaminate the recyclable items in there, meaning they can’t be recycled. If in doubt, take it out.

You can also visit North London Waste Authority's (NLWA) A-Z of Materials for a quick guide to what you can recycle in north London.

Have a household recycling expert

Everyone has some idea of what to recycle, but often there’s one person in the household or building that is the recycling expert. If you are unsure of what to do with something, check with the recycling expert where you live.

Check your recycling day

Recycling is collected on different days in different areas. Check your local council website to find out your collection day. No one wants to be running after the recycling vehicle in their slippers after forgetting to put their recycling out!

Fit recycling into your lifestyle

Recycling well is all about creating good habits. Take your recycling out to your recycling bin on your way to the supermarket, work or school. This allows you to fit recycling into your life and children can learn about recycling this way too.

Don’t create waste in the first place!

Recycling makes a big difference to reduce the environmental impact of the things we throw away, but the best way to do that is to not create waste in the first place. NLWA has a wide range of information and advice on how to reduce the waste you produce.