How Can You Recycle and Compost at Home to Reduce Waste?

Bins used to represent the endpoint in the lifecycle of our goods. Things destined for the bin were finished with, forever. Now though, bins are a gateway to new life! Our aluminium cans go on to be melted down and made brand new, and our compost caddies restore nutrients to the soil. Bins are packed with possibilities!

Are you ready to enable your compost caddies and recycling bins to take on this heroic work? Knowing how to manage your household waste can have a huge positive impact on the environment. We’re going to help you get your home recycling set-up just right with the best bins for your kitchen.

What Can Be Recycled?

As much as we’d love the answer to be ‘everything!’ only a portion of our household waste is currently recyclable. Although it can vary depending on where you live, it’s safe to assume that you’ll be able to recycle the following:

  • Paper and cardboard. That’s all your old newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes and cardboard packaging.
  • Glass containers, such as jars and bottles.
  • Metal cans, such as aluminium drinking cans and steel food cans.
  • Plastic recycling can be a bit more complicated, but it’s worth the effort! Those used to make your standard drinks bottles and margarine tubs are widely recyclable. But zip lock bags and bubble wrap are not.

If you’ve got questions about what can and can’t be recycled, have a look at our recycling hints and tips. We’re here to help ensure that doing your bit for the planet is as easy as possible!

How Can I Recycle Paper at Home

Sorting out your paper waste is pretty straightforward. All you need is the right container to hold your junk mail, old newspapers and cardboard packaging. We’d recommend choosing a recycling bin that’s not too large, so you’ll be prompted to empty it regularly. This stops it from getting too heavy – a real risk for avid magazine and newspaper readers!

Another important tip to remember when you’re recycling paper at home is to keep it all clean. If your recycling gets contaminated with food residues or grease it can reduce its recyclability. So oily paper from your fish and chips – bin. Mayo smeared pizza boxes – bin. You can’t win ‘em all.

Before you commit anything to the recycle pile, ask yourself if it could have a second lease of life in your home. Cut up envelopes can become scrap paper for notes or lists before being recycled. Sheets of newspaper can also be used to line your compost bin and are safe to be tipped into your food waste.

How Can I Recycle Plastic at Home

Recycling plastics takes a bit more commitment, but it’ll soon become an automatic part of your routine. The first step is just to become aware of all the different types of plastic rattling around your home, from the film wrapped around your bread to the cartons of berries and bottles of juice.

Your local council will help you work out what needs to go where. For most of the UK, it’s the plastic films that cause trouble. These need to be whisked away into a separate recycle pile, otherwise they can damage the machinery used in recycling facilities. Keep these light bags and wrappers in a small bag or caddy and drop it off next time you’re passing a local collection station.

With the chunkier containers, don’t let anything hit the bin until it’s clean. Half-filled bottles or peanut butter smeared tubs are a recycle plant’s nightmare. Don’t fall at this final hurdle, always rinse!

Best Bins for Recycling

Dual Waste and Recycling Bin

The bin you choose should reflect your household size and your lifestyle. More people mean more trash and larger recycle bins. It can also be a great time to challenge yourselves on how you manage your waste. Why don’t you try downsizing your black bin at the same time as investing in new recycling units? You’ll find yourself filling up much fewer black bin liner bags!

There are plenty of standalone bins that have separate containers for your different types of waste. This simplehuman Divided Recycle Kitchen Waste Pedal Bin will make it easy for everyone in your home to start recycling right away. Or, if you’re after something more discreet, this Under-Counter Pull Out Recycler will help preserve a minimal aesthetic while boosting your green credentials.

These dual storage bins are great for many of us, but what if you need to divide up your recyclables further? Thankfully, there are solutions for storing separate piles of recycling that won’t takeover your kitchen. Rotho Albula have designed a set of stackable recycling waste caddies to catch and categorise all your household trash. This modular bin is neat, easy to empty and unrivalled in its waste sorting capabilities.

Whatever the layout of your home, there’ll be a best way to manage your household waste until you send it on to its next life. All of our recycling units are easy-to-clean and empty, with lids to contain odours and prevent pests and contamination.

How to Start a Compost Bin?

Composting is one of the easiest ways of giving back to mother nature. By effectively collecting your food waste, you’re spurring on a natural process that transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich soil food. If you’re a gardener, keep these spoils for yourself! Or send your food waste off to do good elsewhere as part of your local waste collection.

By diverting kitchen scraps and yard waste from landfills, you’re actually preventing the food from decomposing inefficiently and causing nasty greenhouse gases to be released. There are so many reasons to give home composting a try! We’ve got a detailed home composting guide to get you started.

We’ve got more advice on choosing your kitchen composting bin coming up. In the meantime, start thinking about a suitable location for your waste caddy to live. It should be somewhere relatively cool and airy, not a sunny windowsill or dank corner cupboard. This’ll help ensure no funky smells start wafting in.

Keeping a small caddy on the counter means it’s in sight and can be emptied regularly. Make sure you order a food waste collection caddy from your council if you don’t already have one. Some councils require you to bag up your waste securely, so grab some compost caddy bags ready for the first collection.

If you’re composting for your own garden, you’ll need to mark out a spot outside where you’ll be emptying out your bin. Choose a well-drained area with good airflow and partial sunlight. As this breaks down, it’ll produce a valuable resource for your garden.

46521 Tatay Recycled Plastic Compost Caddy 6L

What Can You Put in a Compost Bin?

Compost bins can eat up all sorts of kitchen scraps, like vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tea bags and eggshells. Deceased flowers and organic matter wrapped in newspaper can also be thrown in.

Avoid adding meat, dairy, or oily foods to your kitchen compost bin. They take longer to breakdown and start to attract all sorts of unwanted attention from pests. These animal-based food scraps and leftover cooking oil need to go into the main black bin.

With the right mix of organic materials and proper maintenance, your compost bin will produce nutrient-rich compost to enhance your garden soil and support plant growth.

Best bins for composting

So, you’re ready to start composting? You’ll need a container that meets your kitchen space and waste capacity needs. There’s no shortage of options, from composting tins to kitchen compost caddies you’ll find the right one for your home.

We’ve already mentioned the benefits of keeping your caddy in easy reach. This graphite grey coloured Joseph Joseph Stack 4 compost caddy is smart enough to sit on even the sleekest kitchen countertop. It’s also specially ventilated to prevent pongs. Our cream Worktop Compost Bin works similar wonders but suits a different kitchen aesthetic.

Cleaning your bins can feel like housework expectations gone mad, but washing your caddy is important. Keep your kitchen fresh and wipe the interior of your bin between loads to fish out any fallen peel or food matter. The OXO Easy-Clean Compost Bin is true to its name and can be quickly emptied and cleaned.

Every action we take, no matter how small, has the power to make a difference. Whether it’s separating our recyclables, starting a compost caddy or choosing to downsize our black bin – it all contributes to a healthier planet for future generations. So, take pride in your bins! Together, we can turn the tide on unnecessary waste.