Recycling: The Weird and Wonderful

Jun 14, 2018

It’s the night before your recycling collection day and you’re sorting through your rubbish to make sure you’re recycling everything that you possibly can; empty toilet roll tubes, plastic bottles (with the lid off, of course), card packaging flattened down, empty baked bean tins and anything else that you are able to recycle. However, there are some people who try their luck with items obviously not meant for recycling, which is just plain rubbish (pun intended)!


UK waste management agency,, surveyed over 3,000 residents across the country about their recycling habits and asked them to confess their past recycling mistakes. Over 80% of respondents said they were confused about what to recycle at home and 99% admitted to have made a mistake with recycling in the past.


The top 10 weirdest things that survey respondents admitted to have wrongly recycled were:


1. Dead family pet
2. 10,000 flyers for a local waste collection service
3. Blow up doll
4. Car door
5. Full Christmas dinner including all the plates, table cloth, glasses, crackers and Christmas pudding
6. Lost car keys
7. 50 Where’s Wally? books
8. 3 men’s suits with the sleeves cut off and smashed wedding photo
9. Large collection of glass eyes
10. 1000 Greenpeace badges


That is quite the list! Mark Hall, from the waste management agency, said “We know that 75% of all recycling mistakes could be solved by having the information clearly visible, and anything that’s not mentioned we’d advise people to put in their general waste or take to the tip.”


At Enventure Research, we have found that doorstepping is an excellent way of communicating what can and cannot be recycled to residents and have delivered over 150 successful doorstepping campaigns. Doorstepping enables educational and promotional messages to be tailored to the individual through one-to-one contact. A doorstepping team can effectively deal with the barriers that prevent householders from recycling, whether it is a lack of recycling containers, confusion about what can be recycled, misconceptions about the service or a lack of understanding about why we should recycle.



If you are thinking about conducting a recycling campaign, such as doorstepping or any other type of recycling engagement or research, please contact us – we would be happy to help!