Making the most of your recycling bin

Abi Cox baking away,  reducing food waste across South Yorkshire
Abi Cox
10 Dec 2020

More of us than ever before are now recycling and that is fantastic but sometimes it can be tough to fit everything in the recycling bin.  We've put together our top tips on how you can get that extra can, bottle or box into your recycling to try and help.

squashing, folding and stacking can all help fit a little more in the bin

Squash it!

Plastic bottles should have their lids removed and be squashed so that they take up as little space as possible.  If you put a pop bottle in your bin that hasn't been flattened and has its lid on that is one big pocket of air wasting space in your bin. 

Try flattening your bottle and rolling it up from one end.  Some Councils are happy for you to put the lid back on a flattened bottle to keep it squashed so if you have a lot of bottles it might be worth checking on your Council's website.


Flatten it!

Cardboard boxes are another culprit for taking up more space than needed in your bin.  Flatten thin cardboard boxes like cereal and tissue boxes before putting them in your recycling. 

If you have big cardboard boxes like the ones a lot of online shopping is delivered in they can be re-used for storage in the attic, making a boat or rocket with little kids, as a tempting cat bed for your furry friend or simply to package parcels. 

If you aren't going t re-use them these should be cut up into smaller pieces or carefully folded to fit inside your bin.  Be careful not to get cardboard wedged in your recycling bin as that may mean it won't be able to be emptied properly and the collection crews aren't allowed to pull it out. 

If you have lots of cardboard, for example from a house move, you can take this to the Household Waste Recycling Centre.


Crush it!

If you have lots of cans, especially drinks cans, in your waste you might find you can save a load of space by crushing these.  Either use a can crusher or make sure you're wearing heavy-duty / sturdy shoes so you don't get hurt and crush them under foot. Be careful, once crushed your cans might be quite sharp.


Stack it!

If you have lots of recycling that is all the same, like yoghurt pots, stack these up before you put them in the recycling bin so they take up a lot less space.  


Still got too much?

If you have more recycling than will fit in your bins most weeks why not speak to your Council to see if you can get an extra recycling bin.  

If it is only now and then you can check if your Council will take extra recycling:

Barnsley - Make sure that any glass bottles and jars are in your brown bin, extra cans and plastic bottles will be collected from clear sacks at the side of your bin (the bags you put out as extra must fit back into your brown bin for them to be able to re-empty your bin).

Extra paper and card will be collected in clear sacks at the side of your bin (the bags you put out as extra must fit back into your blue bin for them to be able to re-empty your bin).  Please don't put extra cardboard out in the rain, it cannot be collected wet and will leave a mess.

Doncaster - Extra recycling can be collected from a sturdy box or cardboard box that is for recycling next to your blue bin. 

Rotherham - If you have extra recycling please order an additional recycling bin.

Sheffield - Extra recycling cannot be collected with the brown recycling bin. 

Small amounts of extra cardboard, neatly bundled and no bigger than the blue bin can be put out with the blue bin for collection.

did you find this article useful?