Recycling at home needn’t be difficult time consuming or a chore – with the right equipment, attitude and a bit of know how; it will soon become second nature! Children will be impressed by the various gadgetry that’s around to make recycling easier – but remember, all you really need are some simple storage boxes and a bit of enthusiasm!
In the Kitchen
You do not need to buy a special compartmentalized bin for recycling, although having one will make day-to-day recycling a little easier, as everyone now will know exactly where things should be going!
Have a bin for non-recyclable waste and separate storage for anything that can be recycled or reused i.e. food scraps, paper and tin.
Why Compost? Organic waste is biodegradable and produces methane gas as it rots. Rather than going to landfill, where its fumes can pollute the environment, organic matter can be safely and efficiently disposed of at home via composting, where, in time, it is converted into rich, organic garden fertilizer.
What do I Need?
A lidded box for compostable food scraps is essential in any recycler’s kitchen – it needs to be small to encourage regular emptying so smells and bacteria do not build up. A clean ice cream tub is perfect – remember which kitchen waste you can and can’t compost though: fruit and vegetables, teabags and egg shells – no cooked food, pet food or other waste!
Many local authorities encourage householders to compost their waste by offering garden compost bins at greatly reduced prices – ask at your local council offices if your borough operates such a scheme. Otherwise, garden composting bins can be bought from garden centres and DIY stores.
Your local authority probably provides boxes or bags for your recyclable products, and may well collect your newspapers and paper rubbish alongside your regular refuse collection. If you are not part of such a scheme, your newspapers and magazines can be recycled at your local recycling depot, or used in the home for other things!
There are many products on the market that enable you to compact your old newspapers and turn them into briquettes for your wood burning stoves and open fires! You basically make a papier-mâché mixture which is then shaped into a brick style log which will burn steadily on your fire! Generally, you can get one log from one newspaper. A great family activity and a brilliant and cost effective way to fuel your fire or stove!
Recycling Aluminium and Tin
Old tins cans and metal products make up around 8% of the average household’s dustbin contents, yet, it is claimed that in 2003, only 33% of aluminium was recycled and just 26% of other ferrous metals!
Domestic can crushers can be purchased to reduce your cans down to around a third of their original size, making their storage until disposal more manageable. Some can crushers are specifically for drinks cans, some for food tins, so do your research before making a purchase! Most recycling centres will take your cans crushed or uncrushed, so a crusher is not an essential piece of recycling kit. A similar effect can be achieved by enthusiastic crushing by hand or foot!
Shopping List for Serious Recyclers!
- Compartmentalized recycling kitchen bin
- Garden Composter
- Compost pot or crock for kitchen
- Storage boxes for newspaper and tin recycling
- Brickette maker for paper logs