As this year’s rainy summer plods on and the school holidays remain still far from over, Recycling Lives would like to share some handy recycling tips with you that can help you keep your domestic waste down to a minimum – even with the chaos of kids stuck at home!
Every year in Britain, we chuck away almost 450 million tonnes of household waste, most of which ends up in landfill or – at best – in an incinerator somewhere, polluting our atmosphere. Rubbish like plastic bags can take hundreds of years to break down, so it’s best to find ways to both minimise and reuse our household waste. With many areas of the country only 10 years away from completely filling their local landfill sites, it’s crucial we all do our bit – starting now!
About 60% of household waste could be recycled, so we’re here to share a few ideas on how you can improve your recycling record!
- Set up a Cardboard Box
Not a box made from cardboard, but a box for your unwanted paper, card and cardboard! Paper products make up about 20% of the stuff we throw out – anything from newspapers to cereal boxes. ALL of this can be recycled, so get collecting!
- Feed your stomach, not your eyes!
We throw out about £12 billion worth of food every single year here in the UK – about 7.2 million tonnes. Try not to go shopping when you’re hungry, as you’ll end up buying more than you can manage. Why not invest in an energy-efficient chest freezer for your kitchen or garage so you can freeze your leftovers?
- Get green fingers!
Raw food such as potato and carrot peelings can be chucked into a compost bin where it will decompose into some yummy food for your plants. You can even buy composting worms to help with the process, which is great news for the kids if they’re into creepy-crawlies!
- Wotta lotta bottles!
An average household of four people in the UK uses around 330 glass bottles and jars every year. Recycling just two glass bottles saves enough energy to boil a kettle with enough water in it for five cups of tea, so get collecting that glass for the bottle bank!
- Can it!
While mining for metals takes a whole lot of energy, recycling the metals we already have uses much less. Chuck a big box in a corner of your kitchen somewhere and use it to collect all the drink and food cans you use throughout the day – a quick rinse and they’re ready for recycling!
- Heavy Metal = big bucks!
Many large metal items from in and around the house can be worth a few bob if you get in touch with your local scrap metal merchant! Contact a reputable dealer who complies with all necessary environmental legislation and see what you can get for that iron bed frame or bath-tub!
- If it’s too big for your bin, it could be Bulky Waste!
Recycling Lives’ Bulky Waste scheme allows you to book a collection for any household items that are too big for your wheelie bin – washers, dryers, hoovers, chests of drawers – you name it! For your new or nearly new furniture, we’ve also got Furniture Donation Network!
- Get some wear out of your old clothes!
Why not have a sort out and bag up any old clothes you don’t wear anymore? Anything good enough to be worn again can be donated to a charity shop, anything else can be chopped up and used for stuffing, rags or patchwork blankets!
- Ever ready to recycle?
Here in Britain, we use over 30,000 tonnes of batteries every year – mostly, those faithful AA batteries that run everything from alarm clocks to smoke detectors. But, batteries contain some chemicals that are really harmful to the environment, so make sure you get your old ones recycled – many supermarkets now have battery bins for that very purpose!
- Make a call on recycling There’s
no need to throw out your chunky old mobile phone handsets – many mobile phone companies will recycle them for free and, if you’ve got a newer model, you might even get a bit of money back!
There’s lots of ways you can improve your recycling record this summer – why not get the whole family involved in making your household a cleaner, greener one?