What is recycling?
There are two types of recycling: open-loop and closed-loop recycling.
With closed- loop recycling a product can be recycled back into a similar product. For example, glass bottles and jars can be turned into new glass bottles and jars and can be environmentally beneficial.
With open-loop recycling products are turned into other types of products. Using the same example glass bottles and jars can be turned into sand or aggregate. Open-loop recycling is often regarded as worse than closed-loop recycling. Glass turned into sand or aggregates does save resources and waste, but it takes more energy than producing virgin sand.
Wherever possible we should be ensuring recycling is closed loop. If open-loop recycling is used tit must be ensured that there is effective Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the process to ensure there are no unintended consequences.
The term upcycling is defined as the reuse of discarded products or materials to create a product or material of higher quality or value than the original.
In the main the materials collected by the Council are likely to be closed loop recycling.
Recycling in Bromley
There are a few different types of collections or centres available to you.
Bromley Council has Household Reuse and Recycling Centres at Waldo Road, Bromley and Churchfields Road, Beckenham, where a very wide range of items can be recycled. More information about each site and what can be recycled can be found on Bromley Council’s website. Please check the details before you set off. There are even live webcams so you can see how busy a site is before you use it.
Where else can I recycle?
There are many small items that the Council does not accept for recycling. This is mainly for practical, economic or environmental reasons. However, there are a number of shops and organisations that accept a wide range of items for reuse or recycling. Check out the A-Z wiki created by members of the Greener & Cleaner Bromley (& Beyond) Facebook group.
It is apparent that in many cases packaging or products are only recycled through open loop recycling means. There is a danger that the carbon burden associated with the collection, delivery and processing of some open loop recycling can exceed even disposal options. The main objective must be to avoid and reduce the use of such packaging or products.
An organisation that attempts to accept over 100 different items of products or packaging is TerraCycle; visit their website here: www.terracycle.co.uk.
I’m not based in Bromley
Never fear, you can check your local council website for more information on what collections are available to you, or this fab website Recycle Now which you can search by postcode, and the item you want to recycle.
Garden waste recycling
The best way to manage garden waste is by a process of avoidance, reduction and recycling at home by composting.
If you are unable to reuse all your green garden waste at home, there are some alternatives:
Household Reuse and Recycling Centres
Excess garden waste can be taken and deposited in the appropriate container or point at the Household Reuse and Recycling Centres at Waldo Road, Bromley and Churchfields Road, Beckenham. This is free of charge for householders who are resident in the borough of Bromley. Please check the details before you set off. There are even live webcams so you can see how busy a site is before you use it.
Green Garden Waste Wheeled Bin Collection Service
If you do not have transport, Bromley Council operates a Green Garden Waste Wheeled Bin Collection Service. The Council supplies a 240-litre wheeled bin which is emptied every two weeks for the nine months during March to November, and once per month for the rest of the year. If you do not have enough garden waste from your own garden, you can share a wheeled bin with a neighbour. You can sign up to the collection scheme on Bromley Council’s website here.
Can I recycle this?
We should all be trying to reduce the amount of waste we have and the amount we need to recycle. If you do need to recycle something and are not sure where to recycle it; check out the fab Recycle Now website or get more advice about recycling in our Greener & Cleaner Bromley (& Beyond) Facebook group. We’re all in this together and offer no judgement.