How do I recycle…

There are some every day household items that don’t belong in the recycling bin and really shouldn’t or legally be thrown out in general waste. This blog will cover how to recycle items you may not know where they belong once they have served their purpose.


How do I recycle light bulbs?

How to dispose of light bulbs depends on if they are the old “incandescent” style light bulbs or new fluorescent bulb. The old style bulb should surprisingly go in your general waste bin as it is not recyclable. The new fluorescent bulb should not go in your general waste bin and should be disposed of correctly. You can do this by finding your nearest collection point or some Tesco stores have special recycling units on site. If you are a business, contact your local authority on how to best dispose of your fluorescent bulbs and tubes. This advice is subject to your local area. If this does not apply you can search online or contact your local council for advice.

Light bulbs


How do I recycle batteries?

Household batteries including watch batteries, battery packs from electronics like laptops, phones and tools can all be recycled. Car batteries should be disposed of at the correct facility or ask advice at your local garage. Batteries are made of toxic materials that contaminate soil so even if it is stated batteries can be thrown in household waste it doesn’t mean they should. Duracell and Energizer have both said alkaline batteries are “safe” to go in the bin. However, as of February 2010 if a shop sells more than 32kg of batteries annually they must provide recycling facilities to recycle batteries (UK). If they don’t, feel free to inform a manager it is a legal requirement.

Alternatives to batteries:

  • Solar powered items.
  • Rechargeable batteries.
  • Wind up electronics such as torches and radios.


How do I recycle electronics?

From February 2003 it became European law to dispose of electronics safely and correctly. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) was brought into effect due to the contamination of landfills. In time, toxins leak into our land and water. This risks our food chain being contaminated which is why action was taken.

WEEEE Symbol

The WEEE symbol can be found on products not fit for landfills. You can find out if your item is recyclable here. If it is contact your local authority for collection if you’re unable to take it to a local waste disposal centre yourself. It’s often the case now if you are buying a new washing machine for example, the retailer you purchased it from will take your old one away for you.


How do I recycle sofas and beds?

If you’re personally no longer in use of your bed, sofa or other soft furnishings there are multiple options for you to give it a new life or dispose of it. If it is still usable you can advertise it online through sites like Gumtree or donate it to charity. By giving it a second life it also reduces demands on the earth’s resources to produce more goods. If it is beyond a second life then similar to electronics, a recycle centre, local authority or retailer if you’ve purchased new can help you dispose of it responsibly.

recycling bins


How do I recycle pillows, duvets and blankets.

Sadly none of these are recyclable but you may get lucky and your local recycling centre may accept them. If not, they can still be put to good use. Call your local animals charity or dog homes and they may accept them.


Where can I find my local recycling points?

Recycle Now provide a fantastic tool for UK residents to search by postcode there nearest recycling point.

Simply by disposing of our belongings properly we can reduce litter, soil contamination, destruction of eco-systems and protect out planet. All it takes is a One Change Now to clean up out planet and protect our future.

6 thoughts on “How do I recycle…

  1. Hi..for all those tools (garden, electrical, bikes, screws, nails etc) etc Workaid will take these and refurbish them and send them in kits to Africa. (


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