What can you recycle in Fife?
This blog was updated on 18/04/2023.
Every time I get into a conversation with someone about recycling, the opinions on what can be recycled and what can’t differ hugely! It can be confusing. I have done a bit of research to try to provide some clarity on recycling and hopefully avoid any confusing coloured bin issues.
Plastic Bags – Firstly, why are you still using plastic bags? Ok, we all slip up and forget so you are
forgiven. These can now be recycled in the green bin (see below).
Please keep in mind that avoiding plastic packaging when you buy is still preferable. Stick to loose veg where possible. The more popular that loose fruit and veg becomes, the less packaging we will see on the shelves. Remember, every time you spend a pound you are influencing decisions made high up the food chain.
Polystyrene – Another one to avoid at all costs, but if you can’t, this unfortunately has to go in the blue landfill bin.
Food and drinks cartons/tetra paks – These should go in the green bin with plastics and cans. Stores such as Grain and Sustain can help to reduce packaging by re-using your own containers, filling and weighing before paying.
Aerosols – These can be put in your green bin. You don’t need to do anything with them, just put them in as you bought them. Usually the cap is not recyclable but Fife Council only requests that you don’t crush or pierce the can.
Animal bedding/waste – no animal waste or used bedding from hutches etc. should be put into the brown bin. This contaminates the council’s composting process. This all needs to go into regular landfill.
Yes to…plastic and cans including:
- Food cans
- Drink cans
- Foil trays
- Metal lids
- Food and drink pots
- Tubs and trays of all colours
- Drinks and food cartons
Extra plastics that can be recycled in the green bin now include:
All plastic bags, wrappers, film and packaging:
- Plastic pouches
- Fruit and veg nets
- Plastic sauce sachets
- The film from ready meal trays and fruit tubs – ripped off and separated
- Carrier bags
- Bread bags
- Snack bags – crisps and peanuts etc.
- Biscuit, chocolate and sweets bags, wrappers, tubs
- Cling film
- Pizza wrapping film
- Flower bouquet wrappers
- Pet food wrappers
- Plastic plant pots
- Plastic coat hangers
No to… paint/varnish tins and pots, textiles, clothing, shoes and bags, electrical items, e-cigarettes.
most paper and cardboard items including:
- Greeting cards
- Cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes and other cardboard containers
. No to… cartons, tissues/paper towels, envelopes with padding.
Landfill (Blue) – Yes to… anything that can’t go in the other bins!
Food and Garden Waste (brown)
- Grass cuttings
- flowers and plants
- twigs and small branches
- Fruit and vegetables
- Plate scraping
- Tea bags and coffee grounds
No to… plastic bags or liners, compostable plastics such as Vegware, animal waste, pet bedding/sawdust, rubble/stones, compost, timber, packaged foods, waste from your vacuum cleaner, liquids, fats or oils (fats/oil are not welcome anywhere except landfill. DO NOT put them down the sink. This causes major problems for the waterworks. Fats should be left to solidify and put in a container that you are already planning to dispose of, then placed in landfill).
The Fife Council website has a useful list of items and where/if you can recycle them.
Another fantastic website is Recycle For Scotland which tells you how things are recycled and alternative solutions.
The absolute best thing we could do is reduce the amount of plastic consumed. The only way that big companies will get the message, is if people stop buying packaged produce where there is an alternative to it. Much of the plastic we use is not recyclable in this country eg. margarine/butter tubs and yogurt pots. These often have to be shipped abroad to places like China, which creates a much bigger carbon footprint. So get involved with all the fun alternatives out there and you’ll notice a massive change in your green bin space!|