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Top 10: recycling tips

10 tips to improve your recycling habits, helping you to do that little bit extra for the planet.

Top 10: recycling tips

Most of us do our best when it comes to recycling, but there are a few simple things you can do to maximise the second life of your waste.

Who better to ask about this than our friends at PlanetArk. They suggest the following tips for recycling:

  1. Remove the lids from your plastic water bottles and make sure they are completely empty before you place them in the recycling bin. Leaving the lid on the bottle usually means there is still liquid inside which makes the bottle heavier than it should be, confusing the automatic sorting machine so that it wont be processed. You will also trap air inside the bottle the pressure of which can disrupt the baling process and require the work to be done twice – using unnecessary energy.
  2. Broken glass or ceramics such as ovenproof dishes, drinking glasses and mugs should be placed in the rubbish bin. This is because just 15 grams of this type of waste can contaminate one tonne of normal glass and render it non-recyclable . Other ideas are to get creative with mosaics, scatter the pieces around potted plants for some colour or place in the bottom of a vase to hold flowers in place when full.
  3. Take your plastic bags back to the supermarket for recycling. Plastic bags should be kept out of your home recycling as they can cause big problems for your kerbside recycling bin. Only put your recyclable items in the recycling bin and dispose of the plastic bags at your local supermarket or shopping centre where they can be recycled appropriately.
  4. Clean your recyclables of any food waste and stickers. A quick rinse is all that’s needed before recycling containers, make sure to remove any food  stuck on to paper or cardboard.
  5. When hosting a party place cardboard boxes in various locations for recyclables. After a big party or event we can tend to become a bit lazy in the clean-up process and through everything into garbage bags. Make sure you have clear signs up in places designated for people to leave their empty cans and bottles. It will also make tidying up a quicker process the next day.
  6.  Make an effort to reduce our food waste. By writing up a meal plan it will make shopping a less strenuous experience and stop you from purchasing things you don’t need or already have. It’s always better to buy when you need it rather than to have more just in case – as we usually end up throwing it out! Recycle food scraps with a compost heap, worm farm or bokashi bucket.
  7. Jam jar lids and steel twist tops can be recycled. As they are too small to be chucked straight into the bin, the best way to recycle these items is to collect them in an empty steel can and squeeze the top closed. then place the tin can with the lids inside into the recycling bin.
  8. Support recycling through your buying habits. You can ‘buy right’ and save valuable resources that can be re used later on by prioritising products with less packaging and reduce before you reuse or recycle. Choose products with packaging that can be recycled in your area or try to use products that have recycled content in their packaging or buy products made from recycled materials. For example, SAFE toilet tissue is made from recycled office paper. Every year, 12,000 tonnes of clean office paper is turned into 35 million rolls of SAFE toilet tissue.
  9. Your printer cartridges can be recycled. As cartridges are made up of a complex mix of plastics, metal, inks and toners they represent a significant investment in resources.  When they are disposed of into landfill these resources are lost. Make sure you collect your printer cartridges and dispose of them in collection points.
  10. Don’t let mobiles go to landfill or gather dust in a drawer! Help address the e-waste epidemic by recycling your used mobile phones and accessories. Simply drop them off at a MobileMuster collection points or post them in using a free recycling satchel from your local post office.

Do you have any other recycling tips? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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