Window envelopes – to recycle or not?
I had an interesting email from Don, one of our readers, about recycling window envelopes.
I remember learning, when we began our site, that we were supposed to remove the plastic windows from envelopes before recycling them.
Apparently the plastic could contaminate the load or block the machines.
This week Don asked me what I did with the windows in the envelopes we get. He wrote ” What do you do with the windows? At present I have to cut out between 5 and 10 windows each week. They are very small but they do constitute something that I put to landfill.”
When we started talking, we realised we were in the same county, but different districts. The advise from Don’s district council was to take the windows out. Our district are able to accept envelopes with the windows left in!
This highlights the importance of doing your own research dependant on the area you live. On my zero waste, we can only give ideas and suggestions, but you will need to check your individual district council guidelines before recycling anything.
So is there another way around recycling window envelopes?
Personally I never throw envelopes away; I reuse them instead by carefully opening them – this saves money too! I’ve also saved them up and offered them on Freecycle in the past, where I had 6 willing recipients after my loot.
If the majority of your window envelopes come from junk mail, then reduce the amount you have to deal with by opting out. You’ll find all you need to know on our “junk mail” page.
What about you? Can you recycle window envelopes where you live? If not; what do you do with them?
Since I put this article together, Don has contacted me with some great news. News which highlights it’s always worth asking questions to the right people!
Don wrote “After you told me Forest of Dean District Council allowed windows to be left in, I passed the information to our City Cabinet member for the Environment and before the week was out, the City announced we were to be in line with Forest”.
What a great result!