When thinking what to do first, the answer is ‘reduce and reuse’ over and above ‘recycling and composting’. If you can reduce your food packaging or reuse or repair a piece of furniture or clothing rather than throw it away, this is the best environmental choice you can make.
Making some simple changes to the way you shop can make a difference, like using a cotton bag for life instead of a plastic bag or buying milk in a glass bottle. If this works out too expensive or it’s not available, then buying milk in a plastic bottle is not a problem as the plastic milk bottles are considered a “high value” recyclable material, recycle it using your red box or in the bin on your estate.
We offer a wide ranging service in Hounslow and there are good reasons why we ask you to separate your recycling into the different coloured boxes or bins each week. By collecting the materials in separate containers, we can ensure that the materials are not contaminated which means they will definitely be recycled.
The materials from each box are kept separate in the vehicles. They remain separate at our Materials Handling Facility and they leave from there on separate vehicles ready for the processors to recycle into a new product or recycled back into a new container. The materials you leave out for collection in Hounslow really are recycled!
Find out about Hounslow’s state-of-the-art Materials Handling Facility on Southall Lane, where we sort your recycling. If you are interested in visiting this facility, please register your interest by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Simple things like rinsing out your food waste tins and plastic bottles may seem a chore, but a quick rinse is enough to avoid the recycling being rejected and it really does improve the quality of the material. High quality materials mean a higher market price and valuable income for the borough of Hounslow to support our services.
More people are recycling food waste than ever before and this is good news, however there is still more that we can do, and we know that there is still a large amount of food waste being disposed of along with household waste.
Where we offer a food waste collection service (all houses and maisonettes), we collect your food waste weekly which means that you can get rid of your leftovers and non-avoidable food waste more frequently than your household waste is collected (every 2 weeks). You simply need a food waste caddy for your kitchen, an outdoor food waste bin and some simple tips.
Do you know what happens to your food waste once we have collected it?
The food waste is sent to an anaerobic digester where it produces methane gas and a bio-fertiliser. The food waste is treated in a PAS110 accredited facility in Mitcham, London. This reduces our carbon footprint as is cuts down on the miles travelled and CO² emissions.
The methane gas is classified as renewable energy and is used to generate electricity and heat.
The bio-fertiliser is used by farmers to replace artificial fertilisers, which have a significant environmental impact.
Visit the Bio Collectors website for more information.
To find out how food waste is recycled watch the following vide: https://youtu.be/XAOTOsHNRSg
What else can I do with food waste?
Make compost at home, you can add the following items of food waste to your home composting bin: Fruit and vegetable peelings, seeds and cores, Tea bags, Coffee grounds and filter papers, Paper towels or tissues (not if they have touched meat) Egg shells. You cannot compost: cooked food, fish, meat or dairy products.
For every tonne of food waste that we send to an anaerobic digester we save nearly £100 on waste disposal costs which could be better spent supporting frontline services for our residents.
For full information on what to recycle and how in Hounslow, please click here.
Plastic is part of our everyday lives and we all want to do what is right for the environment when it comes to disposing of the many types of plastics. We know that the messages are confusing, and that different local authorities organise their services differently across the country.
In 2017 we changed the way that we collect plastics and the type of plastics that we collect. We wanted to make it easier to understand in Hounslow and so we now name the plastic containers we will collect rather than the type of plastic.
We will accept all plastic bottles, tubs, pots and trays. So, milk bottles, fizzy drink bottles, washing up liquid bottles and shampoo bottles are all accepted. If it’s bottle shaped, then we will collect it! We can also accept the tubs, pots and trays that are used to package our food products like yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and the plastic trays that are used for meat and fish.
When recycling in your home don’t forget the bathroom, rinse out the plastic shampoo and soap bottles, remove any pumps and screw the lids back on. If you wash and squash the plastic bottle and then put the lid back on this will save you space storing your recycling before you take it outside.
Think about reducing single use plastics and if you regularly buy a drink when you are out and about remember to take your reusable drinks cup with you. If you need to buy a cup please take it home with you or back to the office, or even back to the coffee shop so it can be disposed of correctly.
For more information on plastics and how and where to recycle them, see Plastic Planet.
Did you know that it takes nearly 20 times as much energy to make a new aluminium can as it does to make one from recycled aluminium?
Aluminium is a valuable product for manufacturers and this year, we collect and sell over 15 tonnes of aluminium each month. The value of the material has ranged between £960 and £980 per tonne, generating an income of over £90k so far this year.
We ask you to put your aluminium cans and steel cans in with your plastics. This combination of materials is quite easy to sort at our Materials Handling Facility and the sorted materials are then baled and sold separately.
Do you know how aluminium cans are recycled?
For information on recycling of aluminium cans please see video: Here