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Recycleopedia Blog

Sharing comment, ideas and other stuff.

June 2013

Recycled products are on the increase

It’s still pretty hard to find recycled or upcycled items for sale in the mainstream, there's plenty of 'Eco' products, all helping to cut your electricity or gas use and help generally live a greener life or helping to reduce your carbon footprint, with a fair few ethical and fairtrade products available.

While looking for our new recycled shop, I found that there are a fair few makers and artists working with recycled materials, creating great, stylish new products from old waste. A few I have met at previous business shows and events over the past couple of years, and it's great to hear back from most of them that they're still going and are doing well.

Many of these people are 'one man bands' setting up cottage industry's at home doing what they love. With this in mind I decided to create our recycled shop as a showcase of their talent, showing what can be done with some of the stuff we throw away before it goes off to the recycling centre.

I hope you agree we have sourced some great, interesting and beautiful products to show off to the world, and maybe buy a few too ;-)

In the longer term I hope that we can help increase the profile of recycled and upcycled items as quality and fashionable items to have and use everyday, maybe that's a big ask, but at least we can do our bit!


May 2013

Helping your employees recycle at their desk

First written for Green Office Week

Encouraging staff to recycle, now there's a problem, old habits die hard and it's not like people have too much time on their hands at work to be sorting through their rubbish every day.

Up to 80% of businesses in the UK don't recycle and Green Office Week’s own survey found that 55% of people say they work with colleagues who either disregard green working practices or are deliberately wasteful with forgetting to recycle coming out as one of the major bugbears.

This doesn't surprise me one bit - when you do your bit and walk past bins overflowing with easily recyclable items – especially from people that you thought would and should know better and would act upon it.

I wonder if these same people do the same outside of work too? How many people recycle at home as it’s more part of their routine but don’t bother at work at all?

Comments colleagues make can also really affect others in recycling and other eco tasks, with a bit of peer pressure playing its part, people don’t want to stand out from the crowd and seem to be the geeky recycler in the office who’s always berating others about it.

Giving people the chance to recycle in the first place always helps, put a recycling bin in the office, even just for paper is a start and people will follow by example, but even recycling paper has its troubles, does the service take post-it notes, newspapers or staples? Or just ‘quality’ used printer paper? It’s confusing even for the best recyclers.

It’s all about habits, creating new ones and discouraging old ones.

At Recycleopedia we help encourage new recycling habits by offering bespoke recycling search solutions, with a personalised company and location based service, showing your employees and colleagues what can and can’t be recycled in your office bins in one easy, quick search.

We make it easy, quick and simple for staff to work out whether they can recycle their coffee cup, snack packaging or office paper products. And, even if you already have your own recycling bins and collections in place, we can help you recycle even more of your office waste - with a search box easily placed on your intranet or website for your employees to find out what can and can't go into your office bins.

A simple, cost effective way to create a new habit, get everyone recycling more at your company, and raise your green credentials in the process.


April 2013

Some decomposing rates...

Paper Towel/Kitchen Roll: 2-4 weeks

Banana Peel: 3-4 weeks

Paper Bag: 1 month

Newspaper: 1.5 months

Apple Core: 2 months

Cardboard: 2 months

Cotton Glove: 3 months

Orange Peel: 6 Months

Plywood: 1-3 years

Wool Sock: 1-5 years

Juice Cartons: 5 years

Cigarette Butts: 10-12 years

Leather Shoes: 25-40 years

Steel Tins & Cans: 50 years

Styrofoam Plastic Cup: 50 years

Rubber Boot Sole: 50-80 years

Plastic Containers: 50-80 years

Aluminum Can: 200-500 years

Plastic Bottles: 450 years

Disposable Nappies: 550 years

Fishing Line: 600 years

Plastic Bags: 200-1000 years


Founder Paul Bearman


March 2013

Landfill Mining

The idea, basically is to dig up old landfill sites, recycle the valuable bits like metals and plastics and burn the rest as a power source.

Sounds, and seems very futuristic, almost alien, for some reason it reminds me of films like Avatar where the search is on to fine valuable materials on far flung planets, maybe it's just the boy in me thinking about all those massive machines digging holes in the ground!

Saying that, I see the point, empty an old landfill, recycle all the useful stuff, possibly burn the rest as fuel for a power station and reclaim the land - possibly fill it up again with today's waste which maybe in the future will be wanted and the landfill would be mined again, making it more of a designated spot for waste storage rather than trying to just fill up a hole in the ground and try and forget about it forever.

Reality is, it's a dirty and fairly dangerous task, many older landfills contain dangerous materials like asbestos and chemicals that aren't allowed to be mixed in the general rubbish nowadays. Newer landfills from the 80's onwards should have more paperwork with what is where in the ground, making it more viable to dig up the most valuable stuff.

Not a new concept, previously landfill mining has concentrated more on the 'clean up' of old sites and recycling more valuable metals and methane gas, but nearly up and running in Belgium is the worlds first 'enhanced' landfill mining project that makes recycling and reuse the priority over the burning which is used as the final faze of the process.

For us in the UK it just has to get past the tipping point to make it commercially viable for someone to invest in the equipment to dig up all the old waste, but with the increasing shortage of landfill space, higher metal and plastics prices and the want of more renewably sourced energy it may not take that much longer.


Founder Paul Bearman


Feb 2013

Finding a recycling bin while out & about

Well great news at the start of February for everyone in Scotland Zero Waste Scotland is re-portably helping to make funding available for around 2,700 new 'on-street' recycling bins, meaning that it should be a lot easier to find somewhere to get rid of your empty drinks bottle when you're out and about – in Scotland at least.

As we constantly update our database we are seeing a growing number of 'on-street' recycling bins popping up around the country - especially in cities, UK seaside resorts and tourist attractions – places with high footfall where the most 'waste' will be able to be collected with a higher percentage of the waste more valuable and easier to get recycled items such as plastic bottles and cans. Good but more can definitely be done for local areas, towns and villages.

A very proactive advocate of on street recycling bins is the Coca Cola Company which has been working in partnership to create 'coke zones' in town centres, theme parks and universities, obviously they might get their logo splashed on each bin but at least they are trying to help make recycling easily accessible - and of course we list these recycling locations! - they like many other people and public bodies have see the light that waste is not just rubbish it is a valuable resource that can be exploited to make and save money. Getting most businesses to get this idea and make the most of it may take a little longer.

Hopefully as people become more and more accustomed to recycling everywhere they go it will become the norm, new, easier to find recycling bins will help greatly with this. But of course more are always needed to make it easier to recycle, keeping it at the front of peoples mind when they have a piece of rubbish in their hand and are looking to dispose of it.

Having recycling bins right next to 'regular' bins will help with this and in time people will learn not to mix their rubbish at the point of disposal, a great example was the London Olympics which tried a new technique for the UK with the actual 'regular' rubbish bins being smaller than the recycling bins next to them thus helping it increase waste being recycled, reused or composted to a massive 70% - similar events usually hit only around 15%.

Ironically as I write this I remember our local council has actually removed the on street recycling bins from Horsham town centre (citing costs and contamination as the reason) which in most peoples opinion is surely a great step backwards! I will be encouraging them to try again soon.


Founder Paul Bearman


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