Can you identify the Unusual Suspects?

Published: Monday, 5th September 2016

Recycle Week 2016 runs from 12 to 18 September. Oxford City Council is using the week as an opportunity to thank residents for all the great recycling that they’re doing and to point out a few items that they may not think they can recycle.

Oxford’s residents already recycle plastic drinks bottles, food and drink cans, jam jars, cardboard boxes and newspapers, but there are also some “Unusual Suspects”. Aerosol cans, food, electronics and batteries - all these are often missed. There are lots of places around the home that the Unusual Suspects can be found – can you hunt them down? What’s hiding in the bathroom or bedroom? How about toothpaste or tissue boxes? If everyone in the UK recycled one toothpaste box, it would save enough energy to run a fridge in over 2,000 homes for a year. And don’t forget perfume or aftershave bottles; the glass is recyclable.

Keep an eye out for aluminium deodorant and air freshener aerosol cans. If everyone in the UK recycled one aluminium deodorant aerosol can, enough energy could be saved to vacuum over 480,000 homes for a year.

Taking a shower? The Unusual Suspect might be in there with you. Plastic shampoo, shower gel and moisturiser bottles can be recycled too.

In the kitchen the Unusual Suspects help to keep things clean - washing up liquid bottles, soap dispensers, bleach bottles and spray cleaners can all be recycled. Just remember, it’s best to remove the trigger spray and pump dispenser tops, as these aren’t currently recycled.

Cllr John Tanner, City Council Board Member for a Clean and Green Oxford said: “It's amazing what can be recycled and those unusual items really make a difference. So I hope residents will use Recycle Week to dig out those deodorants, shampoo bottles and washing-up liquid containers. All can, and should, be recycled. Oxford residents already do a great job but it’s always possible to do better. Reducing waste, re-using and recycling help the environment and save the taxpayer money."

Many materials can be recycled over and over again with no loss of quality. Once collected, Oxford’s recycling is taken to Culham for bulking and then transferred to Crayford for further processing. Materials are sorted and separated before being made into new products. This saves resources, helps the environment, reduces energy use and supports a thriving recycling economy.

Oxford City Council will be supporting Recycle Week with events across the city, including roadshows where residents can get recycling advice and pick up freebies including food caddy liners and items made from recycled materials:

· on 12 September there’s a chance to visit the Ardley Energy Recovery Facility (a non-recyclable waste incinerator). For more information and to book a place email

· on 13 September the recycling roadshow will be visiting Broad St between 10.30am and 3.30pm

· on 14 September the recycling roadshow and Phil the Bin will be at the council’s St Aldate’s customer service centre between 10:30am and 3:30pm

· on 15 September there’s a trip to the Cassington food recycling plant. For more information and to book a place email

· on 16 September the recycling roadshow will be in Templars Square between 10:30am and 4pm.

To find out more information or follow ‘the Unusual Suspects’, head to Oxford City Council recycling Facebook or Twitter page where the series will begin on 12 September: and