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What is recycled

Biffa is familiar with recyclables but understands that not everyone knows what can be recycled. Labels don’t always provide all the information to consumers, making recycling a minefield with irreparable consequences.

We’ve compiled a list of everyday items you may need to recycle and how to do it best.


You can recycle empty aerosol cans made of aluminum in your mixed recycling bins. The lids are often made of hard plastic and should be disposed of with the general waste. Full or partially-filled aerosol cans are hazardous and should be disposed of by a specialist. For more information, call your waste operator.

Did you know ?… Our dedicated aerosol recycling plant processes over 6.5 million aerosols each year, capturing more than 15 tonnes of ozone-depleting gases with the help of specially designed tanks. The facility also produces over 1,000 tonnes of solvent that can be used to replace fuel. The only one of its kind in Britain, it was recognized by the Environment Agency for being the best available treatment for aerosols.

Aluminum cans

Recycling aluminum cans is easy. Just place them in your mixed recycling bins. Watch this video to learn about how aluminum is recycled.

Aluminium/kitchen Foil

Kitchen foil, also known as tin, is made of aluminum and can be recycled if it’s clean. Foil or trays that are covered with food or grease can contaminate the other recycling, and they should be thrown out.


Asbestos, a hazardous substance that is no longer in use but still found in old buildings, is a dangerous material. It is dangerous to handle asbestos without the right safety equipment. Asbestos should be disposed of by a hazardous waste service like Biffa.


Ash from wood or coal burning should be disposed of as regular waste. Important: Ash should be completely cool before putting it in the bin. Hot ash could cause the bin or bin lid to melt and ignite a fire.



Batteries should not be disposed at the curbside as they can ignite or cause an explosion. Small batteries can be recycled at many supermarkets. For businesses, waste operators will provide specialist boxes. Learn more about the dangers of “zombie” batteries

Black food trays

Black food trays, such as those used in ready meals, are currently not recyclable. They cannot be identified using optical sorting techniques at recycling facilities. These trays should be disposed of as general waste.


No matter how bad a book is, it can still be recycled. Before they become refused, books that are still readable may be sold or donated.


Glass and plastic bottles can be collected at the curbside. In many hospitality businesses, there is a wheelie bin specifically for bottles. Recycling bins are also found in fast-food restaurants and public places. Learn about how we recycle plastic bottles in our Polymer facility.


Household recycling bins or commercial mixed recycling containers cannot recycle construction waste such as bricks, pipes, and heavy metal. These materials will require an authorized waste carrier to provide a skip collection or van. Bricks that are not damaged can be reused and last hundreds of years. They can also be sold to be reused.

Bulky Household Items

Local councils will collect white goods, furniture, flooring, and home office equipment for a fee, but there may be restrictions. Licensed waste carriers like Skoup can offer more flexibility and faster collection times. They are available for both household and business waste.

Business Waste

Business waste includes any waste generated by industrial or commercial activities in business premises, including offices, homes, shops, and warehouses. Businesses must separate their business waste from domestic waste.


Car Batteries

The law prohibits disposing of car batteries in a regular bin, as they require specialized disposal. If it leaks, battery acid can cause skin and clothing to burn. Businesses that sell new batteries can take old batteries to dispose of.


The majority of greeting cards are made from paper and can be recycled. Christmas cards with glitter, in particular, cannot be recycled.


Cardboard can be recycled unless it is contaminated by food or liquids. Separate cardboard collections for large volumes are available to collect business waste.

Carrier Bags

Many supermarkets have paper bags that the customer can recycle.


Once the bottle has been rinsed, household chemicals like cleaning products can go down the drain or toilet. Hazardous or commercial chemicals must be disposed of by a waste management company licensed to dispose of them.

Cling film

Cling film, also known as Saran wrap or cling film, Glad wrap, or food wrap, should be disposed of in general waste.

Clinical Waste

Clinical waste, such as needles, medicines, and other healthcare waste, is divided into four categories: anatomical, sharp, infectious, and redundant medical waste. These four types of waste must be separated and placed in separate containers and then disposed of by licensed professionals. Please return any unused medicines to your GP.


Clothes and other textiles cannot be recycled at the curbside but can be donated, sold, or repurposed.

Confidential Documents

By law, businesses must securely dispose of confidential documents that reveal private and personal information about their employees, customers, and other suppliers. It is best to shred confidential documents at home before recycling.

Crisp Packets

Due to the multiple materials that make up crisp packets, they need to be recyclable at the curbside due to their composition. Some collection points do accept them.

Coffee Pods

Some coffee pod manufacturers offer a return collection for recycling coffee pods that recycling collections may not accept.

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Jane S. King

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