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How to Recycle More

It's not easy being green... but it is getting much easier all the time. With an increased awareness among all generations and children in particular getting on the bandwagon, it seems that recycling will become standard practise in all households before too long.

The Government has said that they hope to increase recycling from 27% to 40% by 2010 and with most councils offering a road side recycling service it should be possible. However not without the cooperation of households. In theory the council can prosecute people if they fail to separate their waste under the Environmental Protection Act. If you want to avoid this then take note of the tips below.

recycle symbol
  • Make yourself fully aware of what your council will accept in your recycling bin. If you “contaminate” your bin with something they do not accept there is chance the whole load could be ruined. Most recycling centres will accept labels on tins and other small contaminates but if you can keep it clean and separate it helps them do their job.
  • Start a compost and add all your kitchen and garden waste. Even things like teabags, shredded paper and coffee grounds can be used for compost. Many councils will offer a compost bin at a reduced price.
  • Most recycling centres will accept electrical items. It is important these are recycled as they will never break down in landfill. The centre will remove items which can be reused and may even refurbish it.
  • Furniture and clothing should always be passed on for reuse. Advertise it on Freecycle and someone will always take it off your hands.
  • When out and about, save your rubbish in a bag and take it home. Most rubbish bins in parks and shopping centres do not separate recyclables.
  • Avoid products which use a lot of packaging. Manufacturers will only learn how to reduce packaging if it is commercially viable to do so. Knowing that people avoid their products due to excess packaging should inspire them. Also never use a supermarket plastic bag – take your own. You are just advertising for the store...
It is much cheaper for councils to recycle our waste than to send it to landfill, so making the effort at home may just mean your future council taxes are greatly reduced – well that is worth a go anyway.