Recycling in the parish


The recycling centre in the parish is  open from 9.30am – 10.30am  (please do this quietly as people will be in the church for Mass)

Outside of this time you can leave bags which have been sorted in the blue box to the left of the slope going to the porch. We are working on moving all the recycling to outside near the tassimo crate.

TerraCycle® UK COVID-19 Update

As you are already aware, the government is regularly reviewing and implementing further COVID-19 restrictions across the UK.

As such, we kindly ask you to please refer to the respective UK region’s official guidance regarding COVID-19 for further information relevant to you, as the situation continues to develop. Please do not hesitate to view our guidelines by clicking here.

        In particular the Information for visitors to public drop-off location at Our Lady’s:  It is possible for you to keep collecting waste at home but we kindly ask you to follow the government’s rules according to which tier your local area is in when it comes to dropping off your waste at a public drop-off location for recycling. This could mean that you must only drop off your waste while you are carrying out an essential task, such as visiting the grocery store, travelling to work, travelling to school or getting some exercise.

Please be assured the majority of active public drop-off locations are taking safety precautions to protect themselves and their community. When dropping off your waste, we kindly ask you to follow the government guidelines regarding social distancing.

Coffee capsules in crate outside church on car park side open all the time

Please place these items directly in the crate outside of the porch. Do not contaminate the recycling with cardboard materials even if it says Tassimo on it or not, and also no carrier bags at all, as they are made of a very different plastic, and spoils the recycling process.

Raising funds for PHASE — providing support and counselling to school children in Hitchin

We are collecting: Tassimo T-DISCS and Bags, L’Or capsules, Kenco lids and refill packaging.

(No other makes will be accepted.)

Recycling is just one part of our effort to LiveSimply.

There are some thought-provoking TED talks about plastics and recycling – click here to watch and listen.

Do you want to take part in a consultation that could change how we recycle and reuse some of our everyday items: see the Live Simply page for details of the Deposit Return Scheme consultation.

Join us from across Hitchin in making … Eco-Bricks!

This is continuing in 2020 – fill 2 litre bottles with a minimum of  400g of single use plastic only and take them to Walsworth Road Baptist Church, Saturdays 10am-12pm or leave them in the plastic boxes outside their church doors. Please do not leave them in our porch!

For full details of what to do and why to do it click on leaflet EcoBrick Hitchin Project Outline

If you have spare bottles can you bring them to Our Lady’s church porch so those of us who do not have any can fill one too.

Recycling schemes operating at Our Lady Church

Updated January 2019 – several new schemes have been added over the last year.

There are now 10 separate recycling schemes set-up in this parish in conjunction with Terracycle that will help us raise funds for various charities. These schemes recycle materials that typically cannot be put into the Local Authority household recycling waste.

The details of what you can and cannot recycle through the parish schemes are provided below, but you can also download this handy guide to read or print with all the same information.

There are even more schemes we are not set-up to offer at out church. Anyone interested in working out what else can be recycled in the UK with Terracycle, can follow this link.

  • Please bring all items for recycling to church and placed them in the labeled collection boxes in the “LINK”.
  • Please sort the waste into the categories below and put it in the labelled bins provided
    — mixing the materials does not respect the time contributed by the volunteers who collect the waste and send it on to Terracycle.
  • Thank you so much for all your support!


1. Spent writing instruments — with BIC

Raising funds for North Herts Sanctuary.

We are collecting: All writing instruments can be collected, regardless of their brand or material – ballpoint pens, felt tips, mechanical pencils, markers, highlighters and correction fluid containers.

Wooden pencils and crayons can also be collected for education charity Diapalante, in Senegal and Mauritania.

2. Oral care items — with Colgate

We are collecting: All brands of Toothpaste tubes and caps, Toothbrush outer packaging, Toothbrushes Electric and battery toothbrush heads only, Toothpaste cartons – regardless of material.

NB: In order to recycle this waste stream properly please cut open the toothpaste tubes and make sure all leftover product has been removed from the packaging, and please rinse well and let them dry before placing them in a plastic bucket.

Please note, waste that is NOT accepted:

  • NO Dental Floss and Floss Containers
  • NO Interdental Brushes
  • NO Toothache Kits
  • NO Breath Sprays
  • NO Denture Adhesives Packaging
  • NO Denture Tablets Packaging
  • NO Denture Cream Tubes
  • NO Battery Toothbrushes
  • NO Mouthwash Plastic Bottles
  • Tubes that did not contain toothpaste
  • Outer packaging that did not contain toothbrushes
  • Cartons that did not contain toothpaste

3. Coffee capsules

Raising funds for PHASE — providing support and counselling to school children in Hitchin

We are collecting: Tassimo T-DISCS and Bags, L’Or capsules, Kenco lids and refill packaging.

(No other makes will be accepted.)

4. Biscuit wrappers — with McVities

Raising funds for the Parish’s Hardship Support Fund.

We are collecting: ALL brands of Sweet or Non-Savoury Biscuit and cake wrappers, and ALL brands Cracker Wrappers.

(Please NO bags of sweets, dried fruit or nuts, marshmallows, chocolate wrappers, savoury snacks, etc.)

5. Sliced bread loaf Type-4/LDPE plastic bags — with Hovis

Raising funds for the Parish’s Hardship Support Fund.

We are collecting: Any BREAD packaging bag made from type-4 or LDPE plastic.

(Waste NOT accepted: Any other bread packaging which isn’t LDPE plastic, including but not limited to; bread rolls, baguette, pretzel, crumpet, garlic bread & fruit loaf packaging)

6. Crisp Packets — with Walkers and KP Snacks

Raising funds for the Marine Conservation Society — helping people to discover, value and enjoy being connected to our seas, to inform better decisions today, which will ensure seas full of life and eliminate pollution in our seas and on our beaches for future generations.

We are collecting:

  • Any brand of crisp bags and multi-packs outer bags.
  • Any brand of nuts, pretzels, popcorn, and hula-hoops packets.

NB: In order to recycle this waste stream properly, please empty all packaging of its food content.

(Waste NOT accepted: Meat snack bags.)

7. Pringle tubes

Raising funds for the Marine Conservation Society.

We are collecting: Any size of Pringles tubes, and the plastic lid and seal on Pringles cans.

(Waste NOT accepted: Any crisp packets or other types of tubes.)

8. Pet food bags and pouches — with Whiskas and James Wellbeloved

Raising funds for the Marine Conservation Society.

We are collecting: Any wet pet food pouches, all pet treat flexible plastic packaging and pouches, all dry pet food flexible plastic packaging.

NB: In order to recycle this waste stream properly, please only leave accepted packaging types. Please ensure all excess and leftover product has been removed from all packaging. We can only accept pouches which are EMPTY, WASHED CLEAN and DRY on the inside and out – Please rinse the wet food pouches thoroughly and let them dry before bringing them to the LINK. This is to avoid bacterial and fungal hazardous contamination and exposure of people handling the waste at the parish and the recycling centre.

(Waste NOT accepted: Cans, Cardboard packaging, Paper packaging, Hard plastic packaging, Plastic bottle – please recycle these in normal household waste recycling bins.)

9. Hygiene products pouches — with RB®

Raising funds for the Marine Conservation Society.

A recycling program for specific dish-washing, cleaning and fragrance flexible packaging.

We are collecting ONLY: Finish dishwashing tablets doypacks, Air Wick fragrance twin pack plastic sleeves, Vanish Stain remover powder doypacks.

Please make sure all leftover product has been removed from the packaging, and place them in a box.

(Waste NOT accepted: Other brands of these products.)

P.S.: To assist us and others helping, in not needing to spend long periods of time sorting through the waste received, please segregate the waste brought, respecting the various bins provided and don’t leave it all mixed together. Thank you so much for all your support

Let’s help make our future a greener, more sustainable gift to all of Creation in our share Common Home! God bless us all in all that we do!

Michael and Deolinda Eltringham

How to recycle contact lenses

TerraCycle® has partnered with ACUVUE® to make contact lenses, blister packaging and outer foils recyclable nationwide.  This will be very good news for all users of contact lenses who can now have their waste recycled as well – Just drop your waste off at participating public drop-off location, there are over 600 Boots Opticians and a network of Independent Optician practices throughout the UK.  To find your nearest public drop-off location, search Terracycle’s interactive map site. They will accept for recycling:

  • Any brand of soft, disposable contact lenses (daily, 2-weekly and monthly),
  • any brand of contact lens blister packaging,
  • any brand of foil from the contact lens blister packaging.

However waste that is NOT accepted:

  • Outer card box packaging (these can be recycled with your standard household recycling)
  • Rigid gas permeable contact lenses or any other form of hard contact lenses
  • Contact lenses solution bottles
  • Eye drop bottles
  • Contact lenses storage cases.

Alternatively you can create an account or log in to the TerraCycle® website and join The ACUVUE® Contact Lens Recycle Programme page as a private collector to send us your waste and earn TerraCycle® points.

How to recycle used inhalers

News about a scheme to recycle inhalers that many sufferers would often put in their general waste bins.

For all asthma sufferers, they can now take their spent inhalers to be recycled, in a new scheme sponsored by GSK:

To find out where is the nearest hospital, pharmacy (chemist) or doctor’s surgery that are taking part in this scheme, you can use the following webpage:

In Hitchin there are 3 sites: both Boots chemists and then one in Hermitage Road.

For more details of how it all works please visit GSK’s website:

GSK also provides a full list of which products can and cannot be recycled as part of this scheme:

Recycling success in 2017

Recycling achievement report for Our Lady Immaculate and St. Andrew Parish

May 2018

The following amounts have been collected and payments will be made shortly to the various good causes.

North Herts Sanctuary – £100.00 from writing instruments and equivalent to 10650 items collected.
Our Lady’s church hardship Fund – £104.00 from biscuit wrappers and equivalent to 5000 items collected.
Phase – £865.00 from Tassimo, L’Or, Kenco packaging items and equivalent to 78000 items collected.

November 2016

In this season of Advent I bring glad tidings from the recycling projects in our parish!   As part of our efforts to gain the LiveSimply Parish Award a number of collections of various waste items are on-going in the parish, working together with the Terracycle company and others, to raise funds for the parish and other charities.  From myself and the LiveSimply team a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that in the last 12 months (1st Nov15 to 31st Oct16) has contributed items for recycling.  In total we have raised £531.00.

Here is a report back, from items collected:

The Writing Instruments appeal – funded by “Bic” we have collected just over 40kg, which raised £80.00 for the North Herts Sanctuary across the road.  This is equivalent to over 4000 items sent for recycling instead of going to a landfill site in the UK!!!  In total since 2013 this raised £305.98.   Currently there are two Primary schools collecting for us, they are Our Lady’s and White Hill, but I would love it if all schools in Hitchin would come on board as well.  Is there anyone able to help this to happen?

The Coffee Packaging appeal – funded by “Kenco” we have only collected 23kg, which only raised £25.00 for PHASE.  This is a collection facility that is poorly supported in our parish, with some 800 families, we get few of these items for recycling, so I appeal to all parishioners that drink coffee in your homes and at work – please help us double the collection rate over the coming year.   In total since 2014 this raised £80.34.

The Tassimo appeal – funded by “Tassimo” we have collected some 551.5kg (over ½ ton) of all types of Tassimo discs and bags, they raised £326.00 for PHASE.   This is a collection facility that is very well supported by our parish and further afield, so if you already use this make, don’t throw the waste away, bring them to church instead – by the way, there is no need to empty the residues out of each disc, just let them dry out.   Please be aware that Tassimo will only fund waste recycling for their own products and not any other brand.  For those using other brands, please use alternative schemes elsewhere for recycling.  In total since 2014 this raised £1082.00.

So Phase, the local charity set-up by Churches Together in Hitchin to provide faith and counselling support in Hitchin secondary schools, is to receive this year directly the combined amount £351.00

The Biscuit Wrapper appeal – funded by McVities, we have collected almost 11kg, equivalent to about 4500 wrappers, which raised £100.00 for our parish’s hardship fund.  And even better news: from now until the end of January 2017 we can take part in their Biscuit Wrapper round-up competition, and if we become one of the top 20 sites in the UK, we could be awarded a share of £500 prize funds on offer, so if anyone is tempted enough to eat sweet biscuits, make sure that the wrappers are brought to be recycled!  Please note that the wrapper must say that is from a sweet biscuit type product or it will not be accepted by McVities.   All savoury product wrappers are excluded.  In total since 2013 this raised £274.00.

The Mobile Phones recycling – over a year ago Terracycle stopped accepting these, but we recently teamed-up with another company “Phone Recyclers” and have sent them 35 collected mobile phones and raised £100 for the parish funds.  With Phone Recyclers we will be able to continue to provide this facility and raise funds for the parish from recycling mobile phones.

However, we have to stop the collection of Laptops/tablet computers since Terracycle have also discontinued that service and we have not yet found a suitable alternative service.

We have also collected several bag loads of coloured milk bottle tops or plastic lids – that have been taken to either of the nearest Lush Cosmetics shop in Luton or St. Albans to be re-used in their products packaging manufacturing site.  The type of coloured plastic that they use in their factory is only of type HDPE or High Density Polyethylene or type-2, shown asor  – please remember that if the lids do not specifically show a recycling sign with a number 2 in it, then it will not be suitable to them, as it could contaminate the whole batch and make it useless.

These lids can also be recycled through the NHDC grey bin scheme, which is hand sorted in St. Albans, and most often is sent out of the country to be re-processed, on the other hand, our option allows for this type-2 of plastic to be re-used as a raw material for packaging in Poole, with environmental benefits all round!

If you haven’t a copy already, take a list of recycling projects in the parish, and use it as a guide.  Please come and see me with any related questions you may have, and thank you for your support!  We should all be very proud of all that has been achieved in the last 3.5 years of recycling.  Full totals can be seen on the LiveSimply notices.

My appeal today is for greater support if possible from everyone in the parish.

All that was waste – that did not end-up in a landfill site somewhere on Earth.   Once again, it’s not money I am after – it’s some of your rubbish!

Thank you very much!

May God’s Earth be blessed with all our efforts !

Deolinda Eltringham

For a copy to download click here. appeal-for-parish-support-04-12-2016-newsletter