Guide to recycling at university

Moving away from home to university can be quite stressful, all while trying to balance getting the grades you want,…

Moving away from home to university can be quite stressful, all while trying to balance getting the grades you want, a social life and any extracurricular activities. On top of that for a lot of people, this is the first time you’ll be looking after yourself by cooking and cleaning for yourself. For some of us, this means that this is the first time we’ve considered implementing some sustainable practices into our daily life. The easiest and most common way this can be done is through recycling! To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve compiled this quick and easy guide for recycling while you’re at university.

General tips

  • One super easy way to start is to create a recycling bin outside from your normal bin. This can be a box or old carrier bag, just somewhere you can store you’re recycling until bin day. This way it becomes easier to remember to do it and means recyclable items are not making a mess in your kitchen.
  • After you’ve used up a recyclable item it’s important to make sure you’ve emptied and rinsed everything out. This makes it easier for them to be turned into something else later. 
  • Don’t recycle things smaller than a debit card. This can cause problems later down the line such as getting stuck in the recycling process machines.
  • When it comes to recycling it’s much easier if you get others involved. This can be a parent, housemate, siblings, or anyone you share your space with. This makes it much less overwhelming and means you’re getting other people into the habit. 
  • Some cities don’t recycle certain things (for Lincoln a good example would be yoghurt pots). In order to still dispose of these correctly, you can find out where all of your recycling points are and dispose of them that way (There are several points on campus, click here to find out where your closest one may be).

Another important thing is, to make sure you know what can and can’t be recycled. Here is a simple list to help you put with this. 

Things you can’t recycle 

  • Drinking glasses
  • Garbage 
  • Food waste
  • Plastic wraps 
  • Packing peanuts and bubble wrap
  • Light bulbs 
  • Food-tainted items (such as used paper plates or used napkins)

Things you can recycle

  • Paper/ cardboard
  • Green, clear, and brown glass bottles/ jars
  • Juice and milk cartons 
  • Hard plastic containers (this should be listed on the label)
  • Steel (tin) and aluminium cans 
  • Empty aerosols
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