Mia Recycles

Mia recycles is a series of short videos to help West Sussex residents cut the confusion of recycling.

The videos will show residents which items can and cannot be recycled in the bathroom, the kitchen and on a takeaway night. Mia will be ending the series by visiting the Ford Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) to show what happens to recycling once it has been collected.

Starting from Sunday 1 September the videos can be watched from the @WSRecycles FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts with a new video added every Sunday until 6 October.

Mia recycles in the bathroom

It can be easy to miss items that could be recycled in the bathroom. You might not have a separate recycling bin like in the kitchen and most items need a little attention before they can be recycled (as Mia found out with her mum’s cosmetics).

Here’s a list of some items that might get missed:

  • Cardboard (toothpaste box, toilet roll tube) – flatten the cardboard before recycling so that they take up less space in your recycling bin
  • Plastic bottles (shampoo, shower gel, cleaning products) – remove any small plastic lids and throw these away with in your normal waste, rinse out any remaining product from the bottle before recycling
  • Trigger spray bottles (shower shine and lime scale removers) – if you can, remove the spray mechanism and dispose of this with your normal waste before recycling the bottle. If you are not able to remove the trigger spray mechanism, please pop the whole bottle in your recycling bin. Remember to make sure that all bottles are empty and contain no liquid
  • Wipes – these cannot be recycled and should not be flushed down the toilet
  • Plastic bottle tops – anything smaller than a jam jar lid cannot be recycled and should be placed in your general waste bin

Mia recycles in the kitchen

The kitchen is the room that most households will find the most recyclable materials. We’re fortunate in West Sussex that we can recycle so many different types of packaging. As Mia reminded her family, remember to give your recycling a quick rinse to keep it free from food and drink leftovers.

Here’s a list of some items that might get missed:

  • Glass jars and bottles (jam jars, spreads, coffee, beer and wine bottles) – these can be recycled, they will just need to have a quick rinse so there’s no food or liquid residue. Lids need to be removed, and if the lids are made of metal and jam jar sized or larger they can also be recycled. If not, throw the lids in with your normal waste, alternatively some local groups and charities will collect lids.
  • Plastic pots, tubs and trays (fruit punnets, ready-meal containers, meat trays, yoghurt pots) – In West Sussex we can recycle plastic containers of any colour (including black). Remember to give them a quick rinse, as well as providing clean material for plastic recyclers you will also help to prevent food contamination on other recyclables such as paper and card, which would make them unsuitable for recycling. 

  • Cling film or plastic bags (crisp packets, salad bags, plastic carrier bags) – these items cannot be sorted by the automated sorting machinery and so cannot be recycled. Some supermarkets have recycling points for plastic bags alternatively some local groups or charities may collect these.
  • Pyrex or drinking glasses (glass roasting dish, wine glasses, ceramics, crockery) – these items melt at a much higher point than other glass and so cannot be recycled in your recycling bin at home.

Mia recycles on takeaway night

You CAN recycle

  • plastic and foil (takeaway containers) including the lids– these items can be recycled as long as they’re cleaned of any leftover food and then left to dry
  • drinks cans (fizzy drinks, beer) – cans can be recycled as long as they have been emptied
  • glass and plastic bottles (fizzy drinks, wine, squash) – bottles made of plastic and glass can be recycled as long as they are empty and clean. Remember to remove the plastic bottle tops and pop this in your rubbish bin or alternatively, some local charities collect them
  • metal bottle tops (metal caps on wine bottles, foil wrap on drinks bottles) – remove metal bottle tops and put them with your recycling. The magnets at the materials recycling facility will pick these up and sort them for recycling

You CANNOT recycle

  • small plastic bottle tops (lids on fizzy and squash bottles) – these are too small to be sorted by the machinery at the materials recycling facility and could get caught in the machinery and cause it to stop working
  • plastic cutlery (plastic knives, forks and spoons) – disposable plastic cutlery is too small to be sorted and cannot be recycled

Remembering to rinse off any food from the containers is important. Items that have leftover food or drink on them can ruin the quality of other recycling in your recycling bin. This can then spoil the rest of the other recycling in the recycling lorries and at the MRF. Items that are covered with leftover food and drink cannot be recycled.

Mia recycles at the MRF

In West Sussex:

You CAN recycle

  • Paper & Card - cereal boxes, newspapers, magazines, egg boxes
  • Foil - takeaway containers, tin foil, foil trays
  • Glass - wine bottles, beer bottles, perfume bottles, jam jars
  • Metal - food, drink and pet food cans, empty aerosols, biscuit tins
  • Cartons - fruit juice cartons, milk cartons, soup cartons
  • Plastic - drinks/milk bottles, bathroom/laundry bottles, food/fruit/ready meal pots, plastic lids (the size of a coffee jar lid or larger)

You CANNOT recycle

  • Paper & Card - shredded paper, paper towels, tissues
  • Foil - pet food pouches, food pouches, crisp packets
  • Glass - Pyrex, drinking glasses
  • Metal - cables, batteries, electrical items
  • Plastic - plastic lids smaller than a coffee jar lid, plastic bags, plant pots

All recycling should be:

  • CLEAN - free from food and drink leftovers - a quick rinse will do.
  • DRY - keep your recycling bin lid shut – soggy paper and cardboard can’t be recycled and can clog up machinery when sorted.
  • LOOSE – not tied up in plastic bags.

You can also download a handy list of what you can and cannot put in your household recycling on the West Sussex recycles website.

Want to view more products that can be recycled at home?

We've got the full list here. Just flick through our A-Z to find what you are looking for.