How good are you recycling habits?

Common Household Recycling

Most local recycling centres accept the following to be recycled from the curb:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Plastic 

Each of these types of materials can be recycled and turned into something new. But there are a few common mistakes that people make when putting these materials into recycling, today we are going to go over a few to make sure that you are recycling correctly and efficiently.


Paper is recycled around the world and is actually fairly easy for centres to recycle. One easy way to see if the paper can be recycle is to scrunch it up  and if it doesn't bounce back then it is suitable to be recycled. There are a few exceptions for paper that cannot and should not be put in with paper recycling.

Did you know that recycled paper can be turned into a myriad of different things, for example cardboard, new sheets of paper, brown parcel paper, egg boxes, kitchen roll, paper bags, Christmas or birthday cards and wrapping paper and paper plates/ food cartons.

Can Be Recycled

Cannot Be Recycled ❌

Newspapers & supplements 
Paper that has any grease or food on it, 
to recycle paper it needs to be clean
Magazines, catalogues and brochures
Used paper towels and hygiene/sanitary products such as nappies, wipes & sanitary towels
White paper, such as printing paper and letters
Tissues, cotton wool, makeup pads and wet wipes
Shredded paper
Any 'sticky' paper, such as sticky notes, sticky labels or paper tape
Telephone directories
Wallpaper and decoration paper with wax, plastic or foil
Junk mail, flyers and envelopes, including the little windows
Brown paper, this can be recycled but with card because it causes brown flecks in new paper



Cardboard is one of the most commonly recycled materials and when recycling it you need to remember to remove any tape, polystyrene or plastic from it as well as any glitter or foil. Looking to improve your home compost? You can tear up egg boxes and the cardboard rolls from toilet roll and kitchen roll and add them to your compost.

Can Be Recycled ✅

 Cannot Be Recycled ❌

Cardboard boxes, such as cereal boxes

Any cardboard with food waste, paint or dirt on it.

Corrugated cardboard

Greeting cards with glitter or paint

Online delivery boxes as well as cardboard envelopes

Food/ drink cartons

Greeting cards (without glitter)

Egg boxes

Brown paper



Whether you put your glass recycling out to be collected or drop it off at a bottle bank there are a few things you need to consider. Remember to empty and rinse the glass recycling very well before you put them out to be recycled and when you are recycling jars with lids and cap check with your local recycling centre as some like you to remove them and recycle them with the plastic/ aluminium and others say you should just leave them on the jars so they don't get lost and can get sorted to be recycled separately.

Can Be Recycled ✅

 Cannot Be Recycled ❌

Any colour glass bottles

Glass cooking ware such as pyrex and microwave plates

Jars, such as sauces, jams or baby food


Non-food bottles too such as perfume bottles, face creams and aftershave

Drinking glasses, ceramics and crockery

Nail varnish bottles


Light bulbs



There are a number of metals at home that you can recycle on the curb but there are a few things to keep in mind. Like with the glass recycling you need to make sure that the tins, cans and foil you are recycling are clean otherwise it can contaminate other recycling. Labels can be left on as most recycling centres will be able to remove these, however you should check with your local centre to see what their policies are, just to be safe. Your drinks can can be recycled endlessly!

Can Be Recycled ✅

Cannot Be Recycled ❌

Drink cans

Crisp packets & sweet wrappers

Food tins, be sure to put the lids in the can

Metal containers for chemicals like paint, oil and white spirits

Biscuit/ chocolate tins with their lids

General kitchenware like pots, pans and cutlery

Aerosols, make sure to remove the plastic caps and bits 

Other large metal items, like kettles, irons and pipes

Aluminium foil - this should be scrunched together to form a ball about the size of a tennis ball

Laminated foils such as those used for cat foods. An easy way to test this is if you scrunch it up and it bounces back then it cannot be recycled

Aluminium trays, such as takeaway trays and bbq trays

Aluminium tubes, like tomato puree just remove the plastic lid



There is a wide amount of plastic that can, and should be recycled where possible. Black plastics can be recycled in some places because new laser technology has been introduced to be able to sort and recycle black plastics but, once again, you will need to check with your local recycling centre. As with the glass and metals, all plastic should be clean before it is recycled, try to remove any sticky labels and keep in mind that 'compostable' and 'biodegradable' plastics are not designed to be recycled and they can reduce the quality of recycled goods.

Can Be Recycled ✅

Cannot Be Recycled ❌

All clear or coloured plastic bottles from the home

No plastic bottles that hold chemicals such as antifreeze

Soap & detergent bottles, just ensure you remove the pump

Cling film/ plastic wrap and film lids from trays or pots

Cleaning products for the bathroom/ kitchen, the triggers can be left on them

Food and drink pouches

Skin care product bottles, shampoo and shower gel bottles

Wrappers from bakeries which have lots of small holes in

Fizzy and non-fizzy drink bottles

Crisp packets or chocolate wrappers (see our Terracycle blog for more information) 

Milk bottles

Any film claiming to be biodegradable 

All plastic bags, except biodegradable or compostable bags - these can be recycled at large shops

Bread bags and breakfast cereal liners - 

these can be recycled at large shops

Shrink wrap & ring joiners from can packets & multipacks of bottles - these can be recycled at large shops

Frozen food bags - these can be recycled at large shops

Bubble wrap - these can be recycled at large shops

Magazine and newspaper wrappers - these can be recycled at large shops


Always be sure to check with your local recycling centre to see what they can and can't recycle, you might be surprised how much more you are able to recycle!

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