Summer of sport

Summer 2024 brings Wimbledon, Euros, the Olympic and Paralympic games. Here at West Sussex Recycles, we’re encouraging people to make the most of these games sustainably.

Whether you’re attending an event, hosting, or watching at home, you can find tips here to reduce waste and recycle this summer.

What can be recycled at home

Here in West Sussex, we have a recycling system that you can be proud to be a part of. Everyone in West Sussex can recycle the same list of core materials in their recycling bin at home, including:

  • plastic bottles (squashed with the lids replaced)
  • plastic pots, tubs and trays (including fruit punnets and meat trays)
  • glass bottles and jars
  • paper and card
  • tins, cans and foil
  • cartons (squashed with the lids replaced).

When your recycling is collected, it is taken for processing at the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Ford. For recycling to be processed at the MRF, materials must be clean, dry, and loose.

  • Clean - Please no food or drink leftovers.
  • Dry - Please keep your recycling bin lid shut.
  • Loose - No plastic bags please.

If you’re unsure whether paper or foil can be recycled at home, don’t forget to try the scrunch test. Paper and foil that springs back when it is scrunched can't be recycled at home. If it stays in place then it can!

Scroll down for more information on what you can do with items that can’t be recycled in your bin at home.

If you wish to learn more about what can and can’t be recycled at home in West Sussex and how materials are processed, visit our Think Before You Throw page and watch our short animations.

Visit our Preparing your household recycling page for a full breakdown of what can be recycled at home.

We appreciate there can be a lot to remember when recycling, which is why we’ve created a helpful yes/no fridge flyer you can download.

Celebrate sustainably

Recycling as much as you can is great, but why not try to reduce your waste as well? Reducing waste is even better for the environment. It saves resources, such as water and energy and causes less environmental damage than the production and recycling of new materials. It can even save you money too.

Some of us are guilty of using disposable napkins, plates and cutlery when heading out on a picnic or having some friends round for a barbeque.

If you’re hosting, either at home or out and about, ditch the disposables and opt for reusable crockery, cutlery or reusable picnic cups to save money and waste.

You could also avoid packing homemade food in cling film or tin foil and use reusable containers instead. There are many great options available to keep food fresh, such as beeswax wraps and Tupperware.

If you have leftover food, instead of throwing it away, take it home with you for future snacks and meals. It is a good idea to make sure you take some extra containers to keep your leftovers fresh.

If you’re buying fruit, opt for unpackaged fruit to keep your waste to a minimum. Instead of packing fruit like berries and grapes that come in plastic trays, choose loose bananas or apples. That way you can reduce your plastic waste and only buy what you will use!

According to the United Nations, around the world, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute! That’s a lot of plastic waste that could be reduced. If you're watching the sports (or taking part), don’t forget your reusable water bottle.

Find more information on how to reduce your waste on our waste reduction web page.

Other ways to recycle

Alongside your household collections, which are operated through your local district or borough council, West Sussex County Council, in partnership with Biffa, operates a network of Recycling Centres (RCs) throughout the county.

At the Recycling Centres, you can recycle even more than you can at home! Remember, if you’re planning a visit to your local Recycling Centre, you must book an appointment before you arrive. Bookings are easy to make and can be made on the day or up to two weeks in advance.

For more information on how to book as well as Recycling Centre opening days and times, visit our Recycling Centres web page.

Visit our searchable A-Z of recycling and waste for more information on how to dispose of specific items at home and your local RC, such as patio furniture and takeaway containers.

Don’t forget, you can recycle your plastic bags and wrapping, such as carrier bags, crisp packets, bread bags and other soft plastic packaging as part of your local supermarket’s soft plastic recycling scheme. Find your nearest participating store.

If you can’t get to a local participating supermarket, then don’t put these in your recycling bin at home. These items cannot be recycled in your wheelie bin and will need to go in your general waste bin, where they will be converted to energy from waste.

Summer safety

You must not dispose of small electricals such as disposable vapes and small household appliances, or batteries in either you’re recycling or waste bins at home. This is because they often contain hazardous materials which can start a fire when the items are crushed during the collection and sorting process.

You must take these items to your local Recycling Centre or make use of your local district or borough’s free separate collection.

Find more information on the safe disposal of small electricals and batteries, including information on additional collections in West Sussex.

Each summer the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are called to numerous fires where the cause is attributed to disposable barbecues - usually because they have been discarded when the barbecue is too hot.

If you’re using a disposable barbeque this summer, please take care and follow these three steps before you throw it away:

  • Sizzle: Don’t underestimate the heat of your barbecue as temperatures soar when cooking!
  • Sit: Leave your barbecue to cool down for several hours.
  • Soak: Cover your barbecue with plenty of water and remember: if it sizzles - it’s still too hot to be binned!

For more information on barbeque fire safety, visit the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services dedicated web page.