Lessons learned from lockdown

Rebecca Wilson, passionate about recycling across South Yorkshire
Rebecca Wilson
30 Jul 2020

Since the beginning of lockdown a lot of things have changed for all of us. With many waste and recycling collections being affected by the virus, many of us have had to adapt by reducing our waste and making more space in our bins. As things start to revert to normal, it is important to continue some of the habits we picked up. Here are some of the most important ones:

PPE disposable

It is now mandatory to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport across England.  With this, we are expecting to see a rise in PPE, like gloves, masks and face coverings, in our waste.

If you choose to wear disposable PPE, make sure that it DOES NOT go in your recycling bin.  This includes gloves, masks and other protective equipment. If you are using reusable masks, make sure they go in the wash as often as possible. For the most up to date guidance, please visit Public Health England’s website:  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england


Food waste

A large amount of the waste in our general waste bins is made up of food waste. Lots of it is thrown away because it wasn’t eaten in time.

Research has shown that 1 in 3 of us cooked more creatively during lockdown to use the food we had in and 28% of us are using our freezer more.

These are good habits to keep up and will help reduce the amount of food we are wasting, helping our wallets and our planet. In fact, under lockdown, food waste reduced by a third!



Making the most of what we already have is a habit we must all keep post lockdown. An easy way to do this is by reusing. From water bottles to coffee cups to clothes, we can switch to reusable alternatives to make them last as long as possible. We need to ditch the disposable and use the reusables!


Recycling habits

To make more space in your recycling bin, remember to squash any plastic bottles and flatten any cardboard boxes. Rinse out any tins or glass jars, and where safe to do so, crush any cans.

Always check what your Council will accept in the recycling and make sure items go in the correct bin. Check out the links below to see what you can recycle in your area and keep up to date with any changes to your waste collection:

Barnsley : https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/bins-rubbish-and-recycling/what-goes-in-your-bin/

Doncaster: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/bins-recycling-waste/which-bin-box-or-bag

Rotherham: https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/rubbish-recycling/goes-bin/1

Sheffield: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/bins-recycling-services/your-bins



Many of our garden waste collections were suspended due to Coronavirus and turned to home composting. Composting is a great way to use your garden waste and some of your food waste to make nutrient rich plant food for your garden. It is good for our planet and can save us money on buying compost next year. It is easy to get started! Check out our blog for more information here

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