E-newsletter May / June 2019

Warwickshire County Council
Recycle for Warwickshire
Warks Recycles Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle

In this issue...

  • Inside Slim Your Bin - what is Slim Your Bin all about and how it can help you reduce plastic?
  • Unusual plastic alternatives
  • Compostable vs biodegradable - what is the difference?
  • When is glass not recyclable?
  • Want to recycle cold wood/coal ash but don't know how?
  • Thank you for recycling!

Don't forget to follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest waste news, workshops and competitions.

Inside Slim Your Bin

Slim Your Bin

Slim Your Bin is our free six-week training plan to help you reduce the amount of rubbish you throw away.  Each week you will receive a themed email with tailored help and advice from improving your recycling to ways to cut down on waste.

Slim Your Bin progress

An example of content of a weekly email from Slim Your Bin.


Every time you take part in an activity you will receive points - and in this initiative points mean prizes.  If you are the Slimmer with the most points in your area for that month, you will received a £20 voucher.  Tasks to earn points include: 




Cutting out single-use plastic 


Checking you are recycling right

100 (per week)

Refer a friend


Planning meals


Recycling food waste

50 (per week)

Signing up to the sister campaign, In To Win


Taking part in a litter pick



You can then keep your followers up to date with your progress by choosing to share on your social media channels.


Slim Your Bin  Earn Points

The Slim Your Bin homepage helps you decide how you want to earn your points


Every year, the community that has earned the most points will win £650 to donate to one of five charities. The projects being supported are:

  • Myton Hospice
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Castel Froma Neuro Care
  • Mary Ann Evans Hospice
  • Springfield Mind
Slim Your Bin Charity

Photo: County Councilllor Dave Reilly handing over a cheque for £650 to Myton Hospice who were the charity voted for by the Slimmers.

Every dieter has the chance to vote for the charity they'd like their community to support - simply head to the homepage and click the 'Vote' button under your favourite.

Taking part is now even easier with our new app, Recycle Rewards.

Slim Your Bin app

Sign up today to start slimming your bin.

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Unusual plastic alternatives

If you have already started thinking about reducing your plastic use, you might have got the usual suspects covered.  Items such as straws, plastic bags and disposable coffee cups are easy swaps to start with.  If you are looking for your next plastic-free challenge, we have gathered together a few of the more unusual swaps you might not be aware even exist.

Toothpaste tablets

Toothpaste tablets

Simply pop a tablet in your mouth, crunch it and mix with a bit of water and away you go!  Clean teeth without the non-recyclable tube.  And, toothpaste in a tube is mainly water which means transporting around more weight than is really necessary.  There are lots available on the market, with or without fluoride.  You can even buy plastic free dental floss which is, for some reason, is called dental lace.

Eco trainers

Eco trainers

The average pair of trainers are a combination of leather, nylon, rubber, viscose and plastic making them extremely difficult to recycle.  However, there are lots of sustainable alternatives either made from one type of material or that are 100% biodegradable.  This article from the Guardian gives you all you need to know so you can still walk comfortably without impacting too much on the planet.

Beeswax wraps

Beeswax wraps 

These are an eco alternative to cling film and plastic food bags.  Made from beeswax and cotton, they allow food to breathe so it doesn't sweat.  The heat from your hands moulds the sheet to shape around the food or dish.  Wash them in between uses and they will last around 6 months.  

For more hints and tips on reducing your plastic was sign up to Slim Your Bin.  

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Biodegradable bags vs. Compostable bags



Biodegradable plastic bags have long been thought of as an environmentally friendly alternative to single use plastic bags.  However, a recent study carried out by scientists at the University of Plymouth found that after more than three years in soil or sea, biodegradable bags were still intact.  Compostable bags were found to be a little friendlier to the environment - at least in the sea.

But what is the difference between compostable and biodegradable? And which is better for the environment?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but they aren't the same thing.  Their end goal of reducing to something that can safely return to the earth is the same but the processes needed to get to that point are different.  

Compostable bags do require specific conditions to break down to natural elements and, crucially, this must occur with 12 weeks for it to be considered compostable.  These conditions are created in the industrial processes used to compost food waste collected in the green kerbside bin and include controlled temperatures, oxygen levels and moisture content.  That is why it is very important that only compostable bags are used to collect food waste for recycling.

For a manufacturer to describe a plastic item as biodegradable, the manufacturer does not have to have tested how quickly or easily the item will break down to natural elements such as water and carbon. It could take years before it is totally broken down and partially decomposed biodegradable plastics can lead to microplastics in the environment. To protect the environment, if avoiding plastic items is not possible, it is best to choose easily recyclable types of plastic such as PET (1), HDPE (2) and PP (5). These types of (non-black) plastic packaging  - bottles, pots, tubs and trays - can be recycled at the kerbside. Additionally LDPE (4) stretchy plastic film such as plastic bags can be recycled at most supermarkets. Dispose of these materials correctly by recycling them and never litter.

Warwickshire County Council are working with Biobag to secure competitively priced compostable bags for residents of Warwickshire.  The bags cost £7.95 for 150 liners including postage and packaging and can be used to collect food for the green kerbside bin. 

Read more

When is glass not recyclable?


When is glass not recyclable? Answer - when it is Pyrex, a tumbler or window pane glass.  This is because they are made from Pyrex or tempered glass which are chemically different from the glass used to make bottles and jars.

Also know as toughened glass, tempered glass melts at a higher temperature than normal glass. This means that it can cause unmelted blobs to appear in the recycled glass creating serious quality problems for manufacturers.

Glass bottles and jars are made from what is known as soda-lime glass. It is essentially sand that is heated to a very high temperature and then mixed with other chemicals.  Glass gets its different colours by adding different chemicals.

Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled 100% again and again with no loss in quality or purity. Every tonne of glass recycled saves 1.2 tonnes of raw materials being used (from sand mining to transportation) and has a positive impact reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Glass can recycled at kerbside and at our Household Waste Recycling Centres across Warwickshire.  Find out where the glass goes by clicking the button below. 

(Sources: WasteSavers)

Read more

Want to recycle cold wood/coal ash but don't know how?

Wood ash

Cold wood ash is recyclable with garden waste; coal ash isn't and should be put in the rubbish bin. To check if you can recycle garden waste at home or to find out where your nearest recycling facilities are, use Recycle Now's handy Recycling Locator tool

How can you dispose of it?

Cold wood ash can be:

  • Put it in your household garden waste collections, if this service is offered in your area
  • Taken to the recycling centre and recycled with garden waste 
  • Added to your home composting bin
  • Used as a soil fertiliser.

You can find more information on using wood ash in your garden from The Royal Horticultural Society

Cold ash from coal or anthracite should be put in your general waste bin since it has little or no nutritional benefit and is potentially harmful to soil, plants and consumers of edible produce.

Note: Always let the ash cool down before placing in any bin.

Thank you for recycling

Warks Recycles at Chesterton

Burton Dassett HIlls Country Park

Warwickshire Households continue to do their bit to make sure that the materials they have finished using go on to remade into new materials. Warwickshire as a whole, with a recycling rate of 51.4% was in the top quarter of similar counties in England based on data released last December. 

Data from analysing the contents of Warwickshire residual waste bins shows that an impressive 90% of all glass disposed of at the kerbside is set out in recycling bins. We are also great at recycling paper, with 88% going in the correct bin. 

There is more that we can do though. Metal items are still going into the bin when they could have been recycled. We are encouraging all households to recycle all of their tins, cans, foil and aerosols in their kerbside recycling bin. More plastic could also be recycled. All Warwickshire households can recycle plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays. Black plastic is restricted in some areas, but thankfully it is now becoming easier to avoid buying products in black plastic containers. Just give food containers a quick rinse to remove food residues.

We regularly post tips on Facebook Warwickshire Recycles about kerbside recycling and more. Our followers share tips on recycling as well as reducing waste. 

For more information about recycling your area, go to your District or Borough Council webpages, or check out Recycle Now

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