Effortless recycling in London

Hi dear readers!

Last two weeks have been spent getting used to London, settling in at a new Uni and a little hassle with change of accommodation. In other words: it has been busy! I’m here for the spring studying geography and economics at UCL.

I really like this city. It’s really a big city but with cute small lanes and all the green parks it still has a cosy atmosphere. Someone from a small town might react to the fact that people don’t greet each other or talk on the bus and metros but I’m from Helsinki so I’m kind of familiar with it. I think it’s like that in all big cities, it would just be too much to acknowledge every person around you. There is so much to do in London and I love it! Like just popping in to Tate modern after a lecture.

But enough about London in general, I’m sure many of you have visited anyways! Something most people don’t think about when just visiting a place is recycling, but as I’ll be here for 5 months I, of course, had to look it up even before arriving. Turns out it’s possible to recycle almost everything, anywhere in London! All bins, even those on the street, are separated into “non recyclable waste” and “recyclable waste”. As the recyclable waste is sorted later it is really not that hard to recycle. Even if you put something wrong the system is prepared to deal with that. Here goes plastic bottles, glass, newspaper and soda cans all together!

Of course it must be a lot of work for the company who does all the sorting afterwards, but I really think this system makes people recycle more. See this clip if you want to see how the sorting happens. In Helsinki we don’t have any recycling-bins on the streets. The good thing about Helsinki is the returnable bottle system with deposits but otherwise there are quite few recycling points. Big block houses have them on the courtyard but otherwise it could be better. Here, it still feels weird to throw away a can together with the newspaper!

However, the sorting is very automated so I’m sure London is actually quite good a recycling. In the clip below a magnet picks up all the metals.


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