Recycling household items is vitally important to reducing waste sent to landfill as well as our carbon footprint. It is important we ensure that our practices at home centre on making our recycled goods as easy to repurpose as possible when they eventually reach recycling plants.
Here are five tips on being that little bit smarter when it comes to recycling.
1. Don’t be lazy
After a long day, or when in a rush, it can be tempting just to throw things straight in the bin. Likewise, when it comes to bin day and you can see the lorry coming down your road, you can be forgiven for throwing the bedroom and bathroom bins into the general waste. However don’t be tempted to take the easy way out. Take a look at what you’re throwing out and identify recycling wherever possible.
2. Drawers are your friend
Use an old set of drawers to keep your recycling separate according to your local authority’s collection policy. This set of drawers can be kept in the utility room, back porch, garden shed – wherever is best for you and your circumstances. Not only is it a great way of keeping recycling separate, but it makes use of old drawers that might be unused (or disposed of) otherwise. If your recycling is collected on a weekly basis, get into a routine of sorting through the drawers – and don’t forget to give them a clean regularly, too.
3. Wash out your recycling
The easy option is always to throw the dirty yoghurt pot into the recycling drawer – but don’t be tempted! Wash it out – thoroughly – and ensure that it’s clean. This will help it be recycled more efficiently and it will stop your recycling drawers from smelling and attracting rodents and insects. This is really important when it comes to meat and dairy products especially.
4. Avoid plastic bags
Plastic bags cannot currently be recycled. Therefore don’t be tempted to place recycling in plastic bags, as most local authority collection teams won’t take them away. The best way of ensuring this is to reduce your use of plastic bags by utilising cloth-based ‘bags for life’. With many plastic bags being in circulation, ensure you take them with you when you shop and not just to supermarkets – clothes shopping around Christmas time can be so much more efficient if you take your own bags.
5. Take your batteries to the supermarket
Many supermarkets have facilities to recycle your old batteries. Don’t put these in your general household waste as the chemicals within batteries are very harmful to the environment. If they go to landfill then this will negatively impact the immediate environment surrounding it. Simply pop your old batteries in your pocket and take them to the supermarket on your next visit. This is a great way of entertaining children, too – fun games can be made from disposing of the batteries in an environmentally-friendly fashion.