Eco Tips

Recycling

Paper and card: fold and flatten and place in recycling bin. In the Borough of Richmond, this is the blue box. Cardboard and paper should be clean with plastic tape removed. It should be dry and  free from paint and glue etc – although Richmond’s recycling company says small amounts are not a problem.

Glass: jars and bottles should be rinsed clean before going into the recycling box. In Richmond this is the black box. Lids can be left in place.

Tins: steel and aluminium tin food and drinks can all be recycled. Clean and flatten them (if possible) before placing them in the recycling bin. Again in Richmond this is the black box. You can also recycle aerosol cans. Aluminium foil can also be recycled. Ensure it is clean and squash the foil together to make one lump. This prevents small pieces of foil getting lost.

Batteries and light bulbs: these can usually be recycled at the stores where they are sold. In East Sheen batteries can be recycled at Waitrose, Boots and Robert Dyas and the latter also recycle light bulbs.

Plastics 

Milk cartons and bottles, shampoo and laundry/ cleaning liquid bottles,  ice-cream and margerine tubs, food trays, and yogurt, dessert or cream tubs: these should be cleaned and flattened before being placed in your recycling box. In Richmond this is the black box.  

Plastic bags: these can be recycled at most supermarkets along with other thin plastic wrappings such as from around magazines and toilet rolls, bubble wrap, bread bags and bags for frozen foods.

Scrunchable or soft plastics: these can be recycled at some supermarkets including some Tesco and Sainbury stores and most Co-ops. Local to East Sheen this includes Tesco Metro in Richmond (ask at the customer services desk) the Coop store in Putney and the Coop service station at Roehampton Vale. These plastics include biscuit and sweet wrappers, crisp packets, cling film, plastic bags for salads, pouches from both food and cleaning products, as well as the previously described plastic bags.

Blister packs from medicines etc: these can be recycled at Superdrug – ask at the pharmacy counter.

Polystyrene and plastic foam: these plastics cannot currently be recycled.

Compostable plastic-looking bags: some manufactures pack their newspaper, magazine, dried goods etc in bags made from corn starch or similar. This is not plastic and must not go in with plastics for recycling. It will be clear.y marked as compostable and should go into your garden compost bin or your food recycling bin. Domestic compost heaps don’t reach high temperatures and these bags may take a couple of seasons to break down – be patient!

Compostable cutlery, cups and bowls etc: these may look like plastic, especially the cutlery. They should be marked as compostable and should go into your garden compost bin or your food recycling bin.

Pens: worn out pens including felt tip pens and highlighters are recycled via TerraCycle and can be dropped off at your local Ryman store. 

Postage stamps: you will probably get more of these at this time of year. They are often collected by charities as a means of raising funds. Eg RNIB https://www.rnib.org.uk/donations-and-fundraising/fundraising-your-community/stamps-appeal  and Against Breast Cancer https://www.againstbreastcancer.org.uk/recycling/used-stamps/

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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