Recycling myths

• MYTH – Recycling uses more energy than it saves.
FACT – Up to 95% less energy is needed to make new products using recycled materials.
• MYTH – Rinsing out recyclables is a waste of water and energy.
FACT – No it isn’t! Making sure bottles and other food and drinks packaging are completely empty and giving them a quick rinse before recycling is one of the most useful things you can do because it stops other recyclables from being contaminated. Use the water from the washing up or pop them into the dishwasher if there’s space.
• MYTH – Aerosol cans can’t be recycled.
FACT – Empty aerosol cans can be recycled using your recycling bins or bags. Metal can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing quality.
• MYTH – It doesn’t matter if you put the wrong things in your recycling as it all gets sorted out anyway.
FACT – If the wrong things are sent for recycling they can contaminate the whole load. This might mean all the materials are sent for disposal instead of recycling or that the quality and value of the new recyclable materials produced are lower and are less attractive to the manufacturing industry.
• MYTH – If it doesn’t all fit in your recycling bin it won’t get recycled.
FACT – You can put out extra recycling alongside your main recycling bins or bags on collection day. Contact your district or borough council to check the best way to present your additional recycling. If you are a large family you may be eligible for an extra recycling bin so please ask your district/borough council.
• MYTH – There’s no point separating your recycling into different materials, it all gets mixed together in the recycling lorry anyway.
FACT – Some refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) have separate compartments close together within the vehicle. So when materials are loaded it can look like separated recyclables are being mixed together when in fact they’re entering separate compartments.
Recyclables are processed at special recycling centres where materials such as paper, cans and plastics are sorted by machines and by hand. The separated materials are then bought by companies who can make them into new products.

Once you’re all clued up try our online quiz for the chance of winning one of three stylish Joseph Joseph indoor recycling bins worth nearly £200 each*.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Support Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, said:
“Waste is a big problem and the more that can be recycled the better.
“This campaign aims to get rid of some of the common myths about recycling and should make people more confident that they are doing the right thing.
“Dealing with Derbyshire’s waste cost the county council nearly £38million in 2015/16 and these costs are rising.
“So the more people reduce, reuse and recycle the more we can save on these costs”.

Get the facts and enter the competition at

Got a recycling question that needs answering? We can help:
• There is a useful A-Z list of what can and can’t be recycled at
• Submit your question by email to

Find out more about National Recycling Week at

*Competition is only open to Derbyshire County Council residents and closes on Tuesday 31 October 2017

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