We hate to say it, but you’re probably recycling wrong.

A number of everyday items are frequently put into recycling bins – and they don’t actually belong there.

There are a lot of rules when it comes to what can and can’t be recycled, and those little symbols on products don’t always make it clearer.

According to Recycle Now, contamination in recycling can lead to entire lorries full of material being tossed into landfill.

Councils in the UK dumped or incinerated almost 500,000 tonnes of ‘contaminated’ recycling in 2018, it has been revealed.

An investigation by the Mirror found that 4% of all recycling waste was rejected by recycling centres, which amounted to 497,000 tonnes.

Here are seven things you have probably thrown into the recycling bin before now, but shouldn’t have:

  • Greasy takeaway boxes
  • Tin foil
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towels
  • Bubble wrap
  • Aerosol cans
  • Cleaning products (unless the bottles are completely empty AND rinsed)

Most clean cardboard is recyclable, but if there are any grease, food, paint or dirt on it, it belongs in the normal waste bin.

Branches and twigs are also not accepted in your local council’s kerbside residual or recycling bin, box or bag. However your council may offer a free or paid for kerbside green waste collection.

There are also some items which are recyclable, but don’t belong in your kerbside bin.

These include butane gas cartridges and car batteries – which should be taken to a local Household Waste Recycling Centre.