Getting Started With Recycling at Home
Recycling is one of the most simple and effective ways that everyone can reduce their impact on the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a study showing that 17 trees and a whopping 26,000 litres of water are saved for each ton of paper that is recycled.
But paper and cardboard aren’t the only materials that we can recycle at home. In fact, most homeowners would be surprised by the amount of materials they’re throwing away that could be recycled instead. Aluminum cans, foil and trays, glass bottles, empty aerosol cans, and a variety of plastics are just some.
Paper products such as magazines, cardboard boxes and packaging should be stored in a dry and clean environment, such as your home office or spare room. You can save space by folding boxes flat and shredding papers. Remember that toilet paper, phone books, birthday cards, paper towels, envelopes, and some wrapping paper can also be recycled.
Metals and Plastics
Most food cans can be crushed to save space, but recycling centres usually prefer if you don’t crush aluminum cans. Paint and aerosol cans should be kept separate from other metals and have clear labels so that recyclers know they’re toxic waste. Metals can also be recycled, including bronze and brass.
As for plastic products, recycling centres usually only accept a certain rating, so be sure to check up on this before disposing of anything. Ratings #1 and #2 are widely accepted, while a #7 rating refers to polycarbonates that cannot be recycled. While polystyrene (#6 rating) is not biodegradable, some recycling centres are starting to accept it.
While you can crush tins or plastics to save space, glass objects should be kept intact for safety reasons. Be sure to give your glass bottles a quick rinse before putting them in the recycle bin. It’s not necessary to remove the lids or labels from glass bottles. Finally, glass bottles can be recycled infinitely, so don’t hesitate to stick them in the bin for another run.
Some recycling centres also accept electronic goods. If this isn’t available in your area, consider passing on your old computer or smartphone to someone else instead of throwing it away. This applies to just about everything in your home. If it cannot be recycled, there’s inevitably someone who can make good use of it.
That said, it would be wise to take an occasional look at what recycling centres in your area accept. For example, your old mattress can be recycled in a variety of locations around the UK. For more information, you can look here to learn how to recycle your mattress in your local area.
Once you have a clear idea of what the recycling centres in your area accept, you can get started with creating sorting bins for each material. It may take some time and effort in the beginning, but the satisfying feeling of knowing you’re doing your part to save the environment is one that we can all appreciate.