How to Avoid Recycling Contamination?

Recycling plays a crucial role in reducing waste and conserving natural resources. However, recycling contamination happens when non-recyclable materials are improperly included in recycling bins, leading to increased costs and decreased efficiency in the recycling process. Additionally, hazardous waste may put employees at risk, and contaminants like plastic bags can damage recycling machines. So, how do you avoid recycling contamination? In this blog, we provide some useful ways to avoid recycling contamination.

What is Recycling Contamination?

What is Recycling Contamination

Recycling contamination is non-recyclable material or other plastic waste that ends up in the recycling system. It occurs when materials are sorted wrongly in the recycling bin or when those materials are not properly disposed of.

Contamination can have a number of negative consequences, including:

  • Recyclable materials are being sent to landfills.
  • Affecting recycling facilities
  • Recycling costs are increasing.

Basic Contamination Recycling Types

Basic Contamination Recycling Types

It is necessary to be knowledgeable about the typical forms of contamination that can impede recycling. You may aid in ensuring that recyclables are correctly sorted and recycled by avoiding placing certain things in your recycling bin.

1. Plastic Bags: Plastic bags shouldn’t be recycled since they can block the sorting equipment at recycling centres. Instead, recycle your plastic bags at one of the many grocery stores’ authorised drop-off points.

2. Food Waste: Before recycling any food containers, make sure to give them a thorough cleaning to avoid contamination. To eliminate any remaining residue, rinse out jars, glass bottles, and cans.

3. Polystyrene: Polystyrene may not be recyclable, so check with your local recycling programme to see if they take it. Some communities have designated locations for collecting recycled polystyrene.

4. Tissues & Napkins: These things should be thrown away in rubbish bins since they often get confused as recyclables. They usually contain a high percentage of paper that cannot be recycled.

Technology: To prevent contaminating other recyclables, recycle old electronics at approved electronic waste drop-off facilities. Hazardous compounds found in electronics can be handled by professional waste management companies.

How to Avoid Recycling Contamination?

1. Learn for Yourself

Find out what can be recycled and what can’t in your area. For detailed information, check your neighbourhood’s recycling regulations or get in touch with your recycling centre. It will make it easier for you to keep non-recyclable waste things out of your recycling bin.

2. Wash the Containers

Wash the Containers

Make sure to properly rinse bottles, jars, and cans before recycling to get rid of any remaining food particles. By doing this, contamination will be avoided, and recycling will be improved.

3. Utilise Recycle Bins

To make recycling simple for everyone, strategically place recycling bins throughout your home or place of business. Encourage the use of them and the separation of recyclables from waste among your family, friends, and coworkers.

4. View Labels

View Labels

It’s critical to read packaging labels when it comes to recycling. To make sure you recycle containers properly, look for recycling symbols or instructions on the containers.

5. Avoid Wishing to Recycle

Recycle only materials that have been approved by your community’s recycling programme. Never place items in the recycling bin with the intention of recycling them. Contamination may result, and the recycling process may be affected. You may help protect recycling from contamination and create a more sustainable world by heeding these recommendations.


By following these tips to avoid recycling contamination, you can help ensure that your efforts to recycle are effective and beneficial for the environment. We hope this article will help you avoid recycling contamination.