April 14th, 2023
Recycling in Practice
Recycling is by no means the perfect way to dispose of your waste, but it is a very easy place to begin if your practice is looking to reduce their waste being sent to landfill!
What are the benefits of recycling?
Reduce emissions produced from incineration of unnecessary waste
Stop unnecessary waste being sent to landfill
Conserve valuable resources and energy
Prevent pollution (reducing the demand for raw materials)
Protect ecosystems and wildlife (E.g. fewer forests cut down)
How can you make recycling work for your practice?
Communicate with your team – get everyone involved
Make it easy – place multiple recycling bins around your practice
Place a poster of recyclable materials near each recycling area
Ensure items are clean (E.g. drinks bottles rinsed out) – this will prevent foul odours in your bin and ensure items are more likely to be recycled
Be realistic – mistakes will be made! Just learn and move on
What can we recycle in practice?
Each area (and country) will be different, so it is important to check which materials your local council will accept.
Generally, mixed recycling may include:
Paper (not paper towels)
Other items which can be recycled but not with your mixed recycling include:
Electronics (local recycling centre)
Ink cartridges (local schools or charities)
Bubble wrap and soft plastics (supermarkets)
Glass (recycling points)
Fabrics (recycling points or textile banks)
Example of common items to recycle in practice include:
Plastic bottles (disinfectant bottles, purified water bottles, staff drinks)
Hard plastics (trays from vaccinations)
Soft plastics (bubble wrap, carrier bags)
Any cardboard packaging
Metal items (patient food, staff drinks)
Another great way to recycle items in practice is to get involved with TerraCycle. According to their website, TerraCycle is Eliminating the Idea of Waste® by recycling the “non-recyclable”.
They offer many recycling streams for otherwise non-recyclable materials, including;
Pet food packaging
Empty medicine blister packets
Tassimo coffee pods
TerraCycle also team up with specific companies to recycle their products. Examples include Lilies Kitchen, Carex and Flash.
Check them out at and see if your practice could benefit!
Written by Merryn Wymes RVN DipFN