Dear Recycling Bins: Our Recycling Advice Column
Dear Recycling Bins,
I need your advice!
I’m a busy mum of three with a million and one things to do every day. I know that recycling is so important, and I want the planet to be left in a fit state for our children when they grow up, but because I’m so pushed for time, it feels like it’s just something else that adds to my to-do list.
Recycling takes time and that’s probably the main thing that stops me recycling as much as I should. How can I make recycling easier for me and my busy family?
Thank you for your question. While recycling does take time, we promise you it’s worth the effort. You’re keeping valuable materials out of landfill and preserving our precious resources. There are some things you can do to make recycling easier though.
Have somewhere to store your recyclables
Invest in a recycling bin for the kitchen and/or bathroom. This means you can store your recyclables and save time on trips to the recycling bin. You can get the whole family involved too and teach the kids about what they can and can’t recycle.
Give your recycling a rinse when you do the dishes
Items that contain food or other debris will cause contamination if they aren’t rinsed out, so save time and do your bit by using the leftover dishwater to rinse out your recyclables. It also means there won’t be dirty containers left in your kitchen causing a smell.
Remind yourself about collections
Set a reminder in your phone about what’s being collected and when so you can be prepared and avoid missed collections.
Get clued up about what you can and can’t recycle
To avoid wasting time standing over your bin wondering whether something can be recycled, visit your local council’s website and check what they will and won’t accept in their kerbside recycling programme. Find out where your local household recycling centre is and what they accept so you don’t end up throwing things away when you really don’t have to.
If you do have to pop to the recycling centre, schedule it into your routine, so you can save time and kill two birds with one stone. Go on the way to the supermarket or after the school run.
Avoid waste and find out if something’s recyclable at the source
When you’re in the supermarket, try to buy things with as little packaging as possible and if there is packaging, choose items with as much recycled content as possible. This will help you reduce waste and know if something is recyclable right from the get-go.
Make getting rid of food waste easy with composting
The majority of kitchen waste is usually food waste, but if you want to reduce the amount of food you throw away or your local council doesn’t have a food waste recycling programme, why not start a compost heap in the garden? You can put everything on it from vegetable peelings to coffee grounds (though no meat or fish) and after a little while you’ll have some nutrient-rich mulch for your garden.
We hope this helps!