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Why Recycle?

Once we have reduced our waste as much as possible and reused or refurbished other items, then the next best option is to recycle or compost. Recycling saves waste being sent to recovery or landfill. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are produced by the decomposing waste. Rubbish sent to modern landfills is carefully managed but landfill sites still produce around a third of the UK’s methane emissions.  Recycling in the UK is estimated to save more that 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road.

When we recycle, the materials are made into new products. Recycling paper saves trees being cut down, and recycling aluminium drinks cans reduces the need to mine bauxite. Therefore, recycling helps to conserve limited raw materials and valuable natural resources.

Making products from recycled materials uses significantly less energy than extracting and the refining the materials for making products from raw materials – even taking into account associated costs such as transport etc. Using recycled materials also avoids some of the air and water pollution created by the mining, quarrying, logging, refining and processing of raw materials and protects natural habitats.

Recycling Services

Local councils collect the materials for recycling. Across Hertfordshire over 50% of the household waste is now recycled or composted. Most councils collect paper, glass, cans and plastic bottles from the home and many collect cardboard, plastic containers, electrical items, aluminium foil, tetra pak cartons, textiles and many other materials from the home or at recycling centres.

The container you put your recyclables in, the range of materials collected and frequency of collection can vary, so see your local council for details.

Click here for Three Rivers District Council recycling service information

Click here for other Hertfordshire Council waste and recycling service contacts



How are your things recycled?

Some recyclables are collected mixed with other recyclables, or a mix of different types of plastics and food and drinks cans are all collected together. These are first sent to a Materials Recycling Facility for sorting out into different materials and any rubbish is removed.

Some recyclables are collected separately and will be sent straight to a specialist factory for recycling back into a raw material and then made into a new product.

Each material has a slightly different process and some items such as metals can be recycled over and over again.

How green is your home? Explore our interactive house for money saving tips and suggestions.