10 Things You Need To Know About Rubbish Bins

Speaking from my experience of working as a garbo at the National Folk Festival, I can honestly say that some of us are really confused about which bin for what, despite well intentions. So I hope I can be of assistance by sharing what I learned from the garbo experts in my 20-hour-as-a-garbo.

  1. Compost bins are for everything biodegradable e.g. food, paper etc. . Next time before you dispose a piece of plastic, see if you can find the world “biodegradable” on it. If yes, then it’s better to put it into compost bin than recycling bin.
  2. Not all paper are recyclable. Used paper napkins or used tissue paper should go into compost bin.
  3. Please don’t place recyclables or compostables in plastic bags because they will not be sorted due to safety reasons and the whole bags will go to landfill.
  4. Containers with left-over food can be disposed in compost bins only if the containers themselves are biodegradable. If not, then please remove and compost any food or liquid (even water) leftovers and then recycle the container.
  5. Paper coffee cups with plastic lids are often found in recycling bin. The correct way is to put the lid into the recycling bin and the cup itself into the compost bin.
  6. Only rigid plastics can be recycled. Soft plastics need to go into general waste bin unless they are biodegradable then you know what to do.
  7. Only glass jars and bottles can be recycled. Broken glassware, china, light globes, window etc. should go into general waste bin.
  8. Shredded paper should be put into a sealed paper box before placing into the recycling bin.
  9. Keep the lids on plastic bottles otherwise they will end up in landfill as they are too small to be sorted.
  10. Foam can only be recycled at certain facilities. If in doubt, please contact your local council.

When disposing any rubbish, please ask yourself in the order of:

  1. Can this be composted?
  2. Can this be recycled?
  3. Can this go into the general waste bin?

If you answered no to all the above e.g. e-waste will fall into this category, then there must be an alternative way to dispose it correctly. If in doubt, please contact your local council. Every bit helps to protect the environment we all love. Thank you!

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