Recycling paper and card - there's no time like the present

08 Nov 2016 07:49

re3 has found that as much as 2722 tonnes of paper, card and cardboard is still going to waste in Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham. With landfill costing £87 per tonne more than recycling, that represents almost £237,000 in potential savings.

Recent research commissioned by re3 shows that just over 3% of the waste collected from households in the re3 area is made up of paper, card and cardboard that could have been recycled . 2% was from recyclable paper, and 1.1% consisted of recyclable card and cardboard.

On average, magazines and newspapers made up 35% of the paper collected from individual household bins, and 31% of communal waste bins in blocks of flats. Corrugated cardboard made up 35% of the recyclable paper products collected from individual household bins, and 46% of the same products were found in communal bins in blocks of flats. This type of cardboard is often bulkier and may be seen as being easier to dispose of in larger communal bins, although it is also accepted at the Bracknell and Reading recycling centres.

re3 is encouraging residents to recycle more paper and card in the run up to Christmas and New Year through a poster and social media campaign. Cardboard packaging from online deliveries, as well as Christmas cards and paper gift wrap, can all be recycled from home. Boxes should be flattened and reduced to the smallest size to help you to fit as much as possible into your recycling box or bin. Gift wrap that stays in a ball when scrunched up in your hand is also recyclable.

Bracknell Forest’s Executive Member for Environment and Chairman of the Joint Waste Disposal Board, Cllr Mrs Dorothy Hayes MBE said: “It is encouraging that the majority of people are recycling paper and card items and there is a relatively small amount still going into re3 area residents’ household waste, however when it comes to diverting rubbish from landfill and keeping down costs, every newspaper, magazine, or cereal box counts. With Christmas approaching, we’re asking residents to think twice before binning these items and to recycle them instead.”

Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Liz Terry said: “By recycling more and better, we can keep down waste management costs and use savings for essential services like adult social care or education. And everyone can help, it is as easy as disposing of the right thing in the right bin. Paper, card and cardboard is recyclable and can be put in kerbside boxes or bins as long as it is dry and not soiled by food waste.”

Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive Member for Environment Cllr Angus Ross said: “This latest research has identified what we are recycling well and the areas in which we can do better. Christmas and the New Year is the ideal opportunity to recycle additional paper and card. Cardboard packaging from online purchases, greetings cards and wrapping paper can all go in kerbside recycling boxes and bins. re3 area residents can also recycle paper, card and many other materials at the Bracknell and Reading recycling centres.“

For more information on re3, and for recycling helps and tips, please visit or search re3 recycling on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

15 tips to recycle paper and card

1. With a few exceptions like laminated paper and card packaging that is food soiled, almost all paper and cardboard can be recycled. This includes newspapers, magazines, most gift wrap, and online delivery packaging made from cardboard.

2. Paper is one of the most valuable recyclable materials – but only when it is clean.

Paper and card that is soiled with grease – like pizza boxes - cannot be recycled because the fibres cannot be separated from the oils in the recycling process.

3. Used tissues and kitchen roll sheets cannot be recycled and should go in the general waste.
4. Shiny gift wrap with a metallised plastic film should not go in the recycling. If in doubt, do the scrunch test. If you scrunch the wrapping paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, then it can be recycled.
5. Remove ribbons, bows, or string before recycling wrapping paper.
6. Remove plastic inserts, polystyrene and packing tape from online delivery boxes and cardboard envelopes.
7. Flatten cardboard boxes before recycling to save room in your recycling box or bin.
8. Has your recycling box or bin run out of space? You can take paper, card and cardboard to re3’s Bracknell and Reading recycling centres.
9. Remember that paper products from all around the home can be recycled, like toilet and kitchen roll tubes, cereal boxes and microwave meal packaging sleeves.
10. Window envelopes can go in the recycling.
11. Sticky papers like sticky notes, paper tape or sticky labels cannot go in the recycling.
12. Shredding paper shortens the fibres and makes it much harder to turn into new paper products. If only a few lines in your document are confidential, you can conceal the information with a permanent marker and put it in the recycling rather than shredding the whole sheet. Shredded paper and newspaper can also go in the compost pile.
13. Remove any plastic wrapping and free gifts from newspapers, magazines and flyers and put them in the general rubbish before recycling the paper.
14. Use old newspaper, magazines and gift wrap to package up parcels rather than using bubble wrap.
15. Tear off any parts of a greetings card that contain glitter, badges or batteries before recycling. Glitter cannot be removed in the recycling process.

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