Recycling in Kingston FAQs

  1. Why bother recycling? Doesn't it all go to landfill or end up in the oceans anyway (especially if we are sending it abroad for processing)?

  2. Can the following be recycled in Kingston:
    - batteries?
    - black plastic?
    - bottletops?
    - CDs?
    - electrical items?
    - light bulbs?
    - metals other than foil? 
    - polystyrene?
    - shoes?
    - textiles?
    - wood?

    Please ask us about other materials and w'll do our best to find out if they are recyclable (and don't forget to read and keep the guidance that comes from the Council). 

  3. Why do different councils collect different waste for recycling? Isn’t this unnecessarily confusing?

  4. What happens to our recycling? Where does it all go? What is it turned into?

  5. Paper and cardboard recycling:
    - How can we tell which paper and cardboard products aren’t recyclable? 
    - Why do we need to keep our waste paper and card dry?
    - Is shredded paper recyclable?

  6. Dirt and contamination: what do the Chinese (or recycling companies) mean by contaminateed materials?
    - How clean do my recyclables need to be?
    - Do staples, sticky tape, envelope windows, rust, mud, dirt… matter?
    - What should I do with items made of mixed materials such as plastic-coated paper, jars with metal fittings, coffee cups, yoghurt pots with cardboard labels, plastic or glass containers with plastic film attached…? 

  7. What will happen to our recyclables (mainly plastic?) when China stops taking them?

  8. About the total amount of waste - what does zero waste (a Kingston target) mean in practice? We are told that the proportion of Kingston’s waste being recycled is good and increasing, but if the total amount of waste is increasing that’s not so good, surely?

  9. What happens to the non-recyclable rubbish in our grey bins? Does it still go to landfill or is it incinerated? How clean is the incineration process, and is heat and/or energy recovered from the process?

  10. What about waste from businesses and public litterbins - is that recycled?

  11. Why is pedestrian/bike access to the Villiers Road site restricted? Isn’t this counter-productive?

  12. Where can I find further information?