What actually happens to all that recycling?

By Bridget Osborne

What actually happens to all that recycling? 3 July 2018

There are two types of people in this world – those who put their recycling out efficiently the night before collection and those who are roused from a deep slumber by the smashing of glass bottles, leap out of bed as the realisation dawns that it is recycling day and run out of the house in their pyjamas to try and catch the bin men before they disappear around the corner. Guess which type I am.

Mostly I’m a good citizen and try to conform. But is it the end of the world if you put the wrong type of plastic in the box? Why have they taken one item but not another? Because there’s an R in the month?

Read Karen Liebreich’s feature

Karen Liebreich (she of the Chiswick Timeline / Abundance London / guerrilla gardening) went to see the recycling facility where the results of our individual sorting attempts end up and discovered there is a logic to it and saw at first hand why you should feel very ashamed if you put plastic bags in the plastics box.

Quick quiz

What is the most revolting kind of unwashed can the sorters encounter?
What should you do with shredded paper?
Can you include light bulbs in the glass box?
Why can’t black plastic trays be recycled and why do food producers insist on using them?
What happens to it all?
And is it worth it?

If you can’t answer these questions you should read her article in the This is Chiswick section of The Chiswick Calendar.

And I would just like to say to the dog walker who dropped a bag of their pet’s poo in my recycling box before I’d had a chance to take it in after emptying, that is most definitely not where you put dog poo!