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Why it pays to wash your recycling

Glass bottle recycling

I’ve just been interviewed by BBC Radio Sussex about Brighton Council’s decision to temporarily close a recycling point in the suburb of Hollingbury. The reason for this closure – rats.

As a pest control company with nearly thirty years of experience in dealing with rats, we have multiple techniques at our fingertips to keep your property rat-free. These range from proofing – making sure all access points are properly shut – to baiting. Each has its advantages and, as part of an integrated pest control solution, they can be highly effective at removing rats, and making sure they stay removed.

As a business leader though, you hope that your property never has a problem with rats.

Why are rats in your property?

There are many reasons why pests want to enter your home and business – heating, shelter, etc. A primary one though, is food. It’s a good bet that if you have a problem, then there is a source of food somewhere in your property.. This could be food not stored in airtight containers or a discarded sandwich in a rubbish bin. Even the smallest amount – for example, sugar grains dropped from a teaspoon when making a cup of tea – can be a good source of food for a pest.

Wash your recycling

Rat numbers are on the increase all over the country. Part of the reason for this is that our lifestyles have changed quite dramatically in recent years. The proliferation of fast-food restaurants, home delivery services, coffee shops and large chiller sections in convenience stores is testament to a change in habits that means we are now clearly eating more and more food that is preprepared.

If you walk down any high street on a Sunday morning, you will see bins full of food and drink packaging waste – coffee cups, pizza boxes, Chinese takeaways, fish and chip papers, etc. These will not have been washed, meaning there is a lovely little meal available for any enterprising pest.

The same goes for our homes and businesses. Recycling is a wonderful thing, better for the planet and better for our future. However, while we should all be moving towards a circular economy, while we are making the change, we need to be sure there aren’t any hidden, negative consequences – like rat infestations at a recycling centre. 

You’d be amazed how little food needs to be left in a burger or kebab box for it to be attractive to a rat. Most homes and many businesses now recycle a wide range of materials – paper, cardboard, plastics, etc., and I would say nothing to discourage it. What I would say is, make sure any food or drink waste, even the dregs from the bottom of a takeaway coffee cup, is properly washed out before the packaging is put into the recycling bin. If possible, this bin should also have a heavy, airtight lid and, if there is a hole at the bottom to help with cleaning, make sure it is in place (it often isn’t replaced after cleaning).

Making sure your food and drink packaging waste is properly cleaned before it goes into the recycling bin is just one of a number of proactive things you can do to make sure your property stays pest-free.

About Cleankill

Cleankill Pest Control is an award-winning pest control business with offices across the south of England and a team covering Bristol. We specialise in helping businesses protect themselves from public health pests such as miceratscockroaches and pest birds. We pride ourselves on offering fast and efficient service delivery and are recognised as a market leader for ‘green’ and innovative pest control methods. We are also licensed waste removers

From our Bristol office, formerly Good Riddance Pest Control, we cover most of Gloucester, Bristol, Bath and Somerset.

Go to for more information and email for a free pest control survey or cost comparison.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Blog originally published on the Business West website.