How To Save Money By Recycling

By Leeds Credit Union
17/09/2021

 The UK's annual celebration of recycling, Recycle Week, gives companies an opportunity to come together to raise awareness of the importance of increasing recycling rates and to encourage the public to recycle more items, more often.

With the recycling rate for household waste in England standing at just 45.5% - below the UK average of 46.2% and significantly below countries such as Germany, which boasts a figure of 67% - it is clear that much more needs to be done. One way to improve the figure could be by highlighting the financial benefits of recycling. But what are they?

Recycling helps reduce everyday costs

Many people don't realise that recycling saves money by reducing the cost of producing new materials. 

For example, if more people recycled their plastic drink bottles - enabling them to be reused again and again - there would be less need to produce more plastic to make new bottles. This reduces the bottles' manufacturing costs and helps ensure the price to the consumer doesn't increase unreasonably. If recycled plastic wasn't available, it would be significantly more expensive to make drink bottles... and significantly more expensive to buy them in shops.

Furthermore, recycling items allows us to conserve the raw materials that would be needed to make them from scratch, which helps reduce the cost of the raw materials themselves.

Some companies will pay you for your recycling

That's right - you can even sell your recycling!

Items like aluminium cans are in high demand and some businesses, recycling centres and scrap metal dealers will pay around 50p per kg. While this approach might not make you rich, it's certainly better than sending your empty cans to landfill.

Recycling items is cheaper than binning them

According to estimates, it costs councils in England approximately six times as much money to dispose of general refuse than recycled waste. That means the more you recycle and the less you put in the bin, the more money is saved and the less likely it is that council tax rates will increase.

You can even recycle food 

The UK creates approximately 9.5 million tonnes of food waste every year but reducing that figure is easier than many people think.

Most unwanted and uneaten food doesn't need to be thrown away - it can also be recycled. Simply take your food waste and green waste - like grass and hedge cuttings - and form a compost heap at the bottom of your garden or in an indoor compost bin. Over time, you'll be able to use it to make your own mulch and fertiliser, which: 

  • help prevent weed growth;
  • improve the quality of your soil, allowing you to grow plants and vegetables more easily, and;
  • saves money by eliminating the need to buy expensive weed killer and fertiliser.

How Leeds Credit Union can help

With loans from £250 to £2,000 available, Leeds Credit Union could help you kickstart your own recycling initiative - or at least help you afford greener and more energy efficient fixtures and fittings - and begin to lower your household bills today. Find out more here.