Think recycling is a waste of time? Read on to find the answers to myths that commonly stop people recycling right.

Myth: Recycling is a waste of time, as it just goes to landfill.

Reality: Not true, your recycling really is important to us, you and the environment. By recycling right, we can help protect the environment and wildlife, alongside cutting costs of disposing of waste through traditional means for council taxpayers.


Myth: Recycling is sent abroad to be recycled, therefor wasting money on transport and fuel.

Reality: In Norfolk 90% of our recycling is processed in the UK, with the remaining 10% being sent abroad. Currently cardboard is sent abroad due to there not being enough capacity in UK facilities. Even though this means that cardboard travels further to be recycled, it is still a far better environmental option then sending them t landfill and using raw materials to make new products.

Often ships are used for transport that have delivered products to the UK, which would have return to their origin empty.


Myth: Recycling uses more energy than it saves.

Reality: Actually, up to 95% less energy is needed to recycle items into new products. Recycling also saves valuable natural resources and the environment.


Myth: Rinsing out recyclable is not necessary and is a waste of wate and energy.

Reality: It is important that food and drink containers are rinsed out so left-over food does not spoil the rest of you recycling. It does not require any more water, simply rinse at the end of you normal washing up duty or pop into the dishwasher. Please make sure they are dry also.


Myth: You cannot recycle many plastic products.

Reality: Whilst we are not able to accept hard plastics such as toys or soft plastic, including wrapping film, there are plenty of products that are recyclable, including:

  • Clean plastic bottles – this includes drinks, shampoo, shower gel and detergent bottles.
  • Clean pots and tubs – these include yogurt, butter and ice cream.
  • Clean food trays – such as fresh and pre-cooked meat, ready meals, fruit and vegetable.

For a full list please click here.


Myth: To recycle you need to check and understand the recycling symbols on the product.

Reality: Even though it can be helpful to understand the recycling symbols, what is recyclable is often determined by the council. In Norfolk we are lucky that each district collects the same items to be recycled. Make yourself familiar with the list here.


Myth: It doesn’t matter what I put in my recycling bin, as it all gets sorted anyway.

Reality: NOT TRUE, by putting the wrong items in your recycling bin, you could end up not only spoiling the other items in your bin but whole truckloads of recycling. This could lead to it all being sent for general disposal rather than recycling. If in doubt leave it out!


Myth: Councils make money out of the materials that are recycled.

Reality: Even though some items have a value when being brought for recycling, many have a recycling cost that the councils must pay. However, recycling is more cost effective and environmentally friendly than disposing of waste through traditional methods.