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Dean Botham

Why Should I Recycle and How Should I Store It?

Recycling Storage

Are you an avid recycler? Do you want to recycle more, but the thought of finding the space for it feels impossible? If you don't recycle, here’s why you should, and if you want to recycle more, here’s some recycling storage inspiration for your space.

Why should I recycle?

Recycling preserves precious resources

We can get anything we want at the click of a button, so it’s easy to think that the earth has infinite resources. But it doesn’t. The earth is becoming ever more populated but its resources won’t last forever. That’s why it’s important that we save resources and recycling is an important way we can do that.

It saves energy

Recycling turns materials into new products which uses less energy than making something new. Extracting raw materials uses a lot of energy and is harmful to the planet.

Recycling can slow down climate change

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our planet, and recycling can help slow it down by:

  • Reducing the need for the extraction and processing of raw materials which causes air and water pollution.
  • Saving energy which cuts down greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reducing the amount of waste that gets sent to landfill. Waste that rots away on landfill can produce methane, a gas that is a big contributor to climate change.

If I start recycling more, how can I store it?

Okay, so you know recycling is great for the planet.  However, there are things to think about if you’re going to make it work.

Recycling storage is one of those things. If you don’t have a lot of space, here are some tips on storing your recycling until collection day.  

Can you reuse an item?

First, ask yourself if you can reuse an item. Yes, these tips are about recycling storage, but it makes sense to avoid your recycling piling up if you can.

For example, you can reuse glass jars for storing odds and ends. You can keep paper and card for crafting on rainy days with the kids. The possibilities are endless. 

Get creative with reusing things as much as you can so you can avoid an overflowing recycling bin or box.  

Think about where your recycling storage should be and how to make the most out of it

When it comes to recycling storage, location is key. Where can you store your home recycling bins, bags, or boxes so that they:

  • Don’t get in the way?-you don’t want to be tripping over your recycling every time you’re in the kitchen.
  • Are convenient enough for everyone to use?-will a bathroom recycling bin encourage people to recycle more?

Equally important is the how, especially when you are short on space.

Here are some ways you can ace recycling storage without taking up any precious floor space:

Use the vertical space: 

Think about stacking recycling bins or boxes, or hanging a recycling bag on the back of a door/cupboard.

Get creative: 

There are some great hidden recycling storage solutions like bins that pull out of a kitchen cupboard.

Maximise your recycling storage space

Once you know where you are going to store your recycling and how. You need to maximise your storage space. Flatten items like cartons, boxes, and drinks cans to create space in your recycling bin, bag, or box.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of inspiration on recycling storage. If you’d like more tips and interesting articles on all things recycling, check out the rest of our blog.

In the News - Coffee Pods

Recycle Coffee Pods

With more of us working from home, or just wanting to enjoy a luxurious cup of coffee whenever we fancy one, the popularity of coffee pods has surged. 

It’s great for the coffee companies and a treat for us, but maybe not so good for the environment, as a YouGov poll of over 4,000 coffee pod drinkers found that 35% of them didn’t know that coffee pods were recyclable. 

They can be forgiven for thinking that though given that regular coffee pods are usually made from plastic or aluminium, or both, these materials can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill. 

But there’s some good news on the horizon for all of you confused coffee enthusiasts, two of the biggest names in the UK coffee industry have joined forces to launch a recycling programme for coffee pods. 

‘Podback’ is being launched by Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK and it will provide consumers with a few easy ways to recycle their coffee pods. As part of the scheme, you’ll be able to recycle pods from brands including Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, L’OR, and Starbucks at Home, and the plan is that the initiative will be expanded to eventually include coffee pods from all brands that use plastic or aluminium pods. 

How will you be able to recycle your coffee pods? 

  • Take them to a Yodel Collect+ point: There are over 6,500 drop-off points in the UK that are open 7 days per week. You will be able to order recycling bags online from the participating brands and these will also be available in supermarkets soon. 
  • Leave them out for kerbside collection: If you live in Cheltenham or South Derbyshire, you will be able to sign up for kerbside recycling for your coffee pods from 10th May. Other councils are in discussions about adopting the Podback scheme, and you can check whether your council is participating, how they will collect the pods, and order recycling bags here

Making coffee pod recycling even easier

There are ongoing discussions with major retailers about an idea to start a ‘handover at home’ scheme which would make coffee pod recycling even easier for consumers. 

If the idea became a reality, you could hand over your used coffee pods for recycling when your groceries are delivered. 

There are also calls for all brands and retailers of plastic or aluminium pods to join Podback so there is one simple and far less confusing way for people to recycle their coffee pods

What will happen to the collected coffee pods?

They will be taken to a specialist processing plant where the packaging will be separated from any leftover coffee grounds. The coffee grounds will be used to create soil improver and renewable bioenergy. The plastic and aluminium from the pods will be recycled and turned into new products like drinks cans or plastic garden furniture. 

Are there better choices than a capsule coffee machine?

While your pods are a quick and easy way to enjoy a delicious coffee, there are more eco-friendly options like;

  • Bean-to-cup coffee machines: These can leave a dent in your wallet, so be sure to shop around. They do grind your coffee and make your drink for you, though. 
  • Ground coffee or pump espresso machines: These do take a bit of work, but the result is tasty and satisfying. 

There you have it, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy coffee and do it sustainably. You might think that recycling your coffee pods is no big deal, but every little bit helps, especially if we all do it. 

 

In the News - Kids growing produce

Kids Growing

Primary School Children Encouraged to Get Growing 

A social enterprise in Lisburn in Northern Ireland has joined forces with an organic materials recycling firm and a potato company to launch an initiative encouraging primary school kids growing their own produce. 

Kinder Garden Cooks, along with Natural World Products (NWP) and Patch Seed Potatoes have collaborated to give 280 pupils a bag of New Leaf Compost from NWP (made from local household food and garden waste) and a newly-bred purple seed potato from Patch Seed Potatoes.

The owner of Kinder Garden Cooks, Sharon McMaster, said that the initiative will help children learn about growing food and help schools to develop outdoor spaces for horticultural use. 

The Chief Executive of NWP said it was delighted to partner with Kinder Garden Cooks to support the scheme and added that it was satisfying that the children will be growing potatoes in the compost that has been generated from local food and garden waste. 

Could you get your kids excited about growing vegetables? 

Spring is here and you might be thinking about venturing into the garden. Why not let the kids tag along and start growing your own produce as a family? Encouraging kids to grow vegetables helps them:

  • Become more adventurous about what they eat-they’re more likely to want to eat something that they’ve grown with their own two hands.
  • Take more of an interest in nature.
  • Learn about how things grow. 

Growing vegetables with kids-where to start

Kids will enjoy growing things that grow fast (they can be impatient, in case you haven’t noticed), things that are easy to grow, and things that look nice as they grow, so a good place to start is with growing vegetables like cherry tomatoes which are delicious in salads and on homemade pizzas! 

How to grow cherry tomatoes 

What you’ll need:

  • A plant pot
  • Multipurpose compost
  • Cherry tomato seedlings
  • A seed tray 
  • Gardening gloves
  • A trowel
  • A fork

How to grow them:

Plant your seeds in the compost in the seedling tray. They should start to sprout within a few weeks. 

Once a few leaves appear, transfer the seedlings into a pot. To do this, lift it very carefully with a pencil and scoop it out into the pot. 

April is a good time to do this, so it’s perfect timing! As the seedling grows, keep transferring it into bigger pots until you are using a 12-inch pot. 

You can grow cherry tomato plants indoors on your windowsill or outdoors on a balcony. 

How to keep kids interested in growing vegetables 

Kids have notoriously short attention spans at the best of times, so what are the best ways to keep them interested in their new green-fingered pursuit? 

  • Give them jobs-kids love to feel part of things so ask them to pull weeds or fetch things for you. 
  • Let them touch the soil-this is one time where you shouldn’t be too concerned about them getting their hands dirty.
  • Let them plant seeds, though this might not be a task for very small children in case they try to eat them! 
  • Encourage them to decorate the plant pots
  • Get creative and help them make things like butterfly houses and bird feeders. Kids will love the idea that they are doing something to help wildlife. The Woodland Trust has some great step by step guides. 

Other vegetables you should consider growing with kids

Once they’ve mastered the cherry tomatoes, you can try your hand at strawberries, peas, carrots, and herbs like basil and mint. When they taste what they’ve grown, there’ll be no more fussy eaters in your house, just green-fingered nature lovers (hopefully!)

If you are interested in even more helpful tips and interesting articles. Check out our blog.

Dear Recycling Bins: Our Recycling Advice Column

Family Drawing

Dear Recycling Bins,

I’m a parent with a problem. My little one is now no longer so little but my loft, spare room, and garage is chock full of baby and toddler gear. Little people do come with a lot of stuff! I want my spare room back and my other half keeps complaining about the state of the garage, so I need to get rid of some of the clutter. The thing is, I don’t want to throw some perfectly good things in the bin. What do I do with all my baby gear? Thank you for your question! Babies definitely do come with a lot of stuff and while there are probably some sentimental things you want to hold on to, here are some tips on what to do with the rest.

Sippy cups and food bowls

These are mostly made of easily recyclable plastics like PET or HDPE so they could go in your recycling bin. If they are still in good condition, you might consider donating them to a charity shop or passing them onto friends and family who may need them.

Baby bath

You can sell or donate it if it’s in good condition because there’s a huge market of cash-strapped new parents on the lookout for baby stuff. But if it’s not in great condition, it can go in your recycling bin if your local council accepts rigid plastics. You can check what is accepted in your area here.

Dummies

You can’t usually recycle these, and because they can harbour bacteria, they aren’t suitable for donating either, so sadly these will have to go in your rubbish bin.

Mattresses and cots

If they are in good condition, they can be sold or donated, but if the mattress has the remnants of too many ‘accidents’ on it, arrange a bulky waste collection or take it to a recycling centre.

Toys

Toys can be sold or donated to a charity shop, church, or playgroup if they are in good condition. If they aren’t in good condition, it may be possible to recycle them, but they will need to be taken to a recycling centre as most councils won’t accept them as part of their household recycling schemes.

Clothes

Clothing is sometimes accepted in kerbside recycling, but check the rules where you live. You can also drop unwanted items off at textile banks and recycling points. Many charities welcome donations of baby clothes, and did you know that some, like the British Heart Foundation, offer a free collection service which you can arrange via their website?

Books

You might think books can be recycled with cardboard and paper, but because they are bound with glue, they are not usually accepted for recycling. Your best bet it to sell or donate them to charity shops, libraries, or playgroups.

Baby car seats

Baby car seats are hard to recycle because they are made of mixed materials, usually rigid plastic, metal, and fabric. Obviously, they are made to withstand impact too which means that separating the different materials for recycling could prove very difficult. Check with your local council as they may be accepted at recycling centres.

Charity shops don’t tend to accept them as there’s no real way of checking their safety, and many people will be wary of buying these second-hand, as most manufacturers recommend that they should not be used for more than 6-10 years.

We hope this has shed some light on what you should do with your baby gear. Happy decluttering!