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Recycling Tips

Recycling does not have to be a chore, with a few simple changes it can be seamlessly integrated into everyday life. Just follow our simple tips below and start making a difference.

Why Recycle?

The more you recycle, the better it is for the environment and the better it is for your pocket. Even if you do recycle your waste, there’s probably still more items that you can recycle or reuse than you realise.

Recycling doesn’t have to be difficult; follow these simple tips to recycle more at home, work, and school.

Recycling at home

You can make a big difference by recycling at home, here’s how:

  1. Have a system: keep a recycling bag, box, or bin next to your rubbish bin as a reminder for everyone in your house to recycle.
  2. Flatten cardboard boxes: you can fit more into your recycling box or bin that way
  3. Recycle plastic bottles: don’t forget items like shampoo and mouthwash bottles. Most councils will accept most types of plastic in recycling, though if in doubt, the label on the bottle should tell you it it’s recyclable.
  4. Recycle all paper and cardboard: it’s not just newspapers that you can recycle; envelopes, wrapping paper, birthday cards (as long as they don’t contain glitter) and phone books can all be recycled. All types of cardboard can be recycled, so don’t forget the toilet roll tubes and drinks cartons.
  5. Most metals can be recycled: items like aerosols and kitchen foil can be recycled, as well as your tins and cans.
  6. Keep a carrier bag in the hallway: this way, you can collect any junk mail and put it in the recycling.
  7. Make a point of going to a recycling point: if you do this on the way to work, or the supermarket, recycling becomes a part of your routine.
  8. If you aren’t sure what you can recycle, look it up: check your local council’s website for advice and information on what you can and can’t recycle.

Recycling at school

  1. Have recycling points stationed around the school: if possible, have a recycling bin, bag, or container in every room. Offices, staff rooms, and kitchen are areas where a lot of waste is generated and potentially thrown away. Have a recycling container next to general waste bins as a prompt to get people to think before they throw.
  2. Get everyone involved: teachers should lead by example by recycling as much as possible and encouraging pupils to be involved as well. All school staff, such as cleaners and teaching assistants should be involved so that everyone knows the expectations across the board.
  3. Improve awareness of recycling: use posters to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and clearly label recycling points.
  4. Review and monitor: keep track of recycling levels and use this information to motivate people to keep the effort going, and to make changes to recycling activities if necessary.

Recycling at work

Improving recycling at work makes good economic sense. Estimates suggest that UK industry could make savings of up to £6.4 billion by reducing waste and using resources more efficiently.

  1. Set up a recycling scheme: it reduces waste being sent to landfill, saves energy, benefits the planet, and saves your company money. Promote your scheme with posters placed around your workplace. Station recycling containers in convenient locations.
  2. Recycle for charity: some items such as mobile phones, computer equipment, stamps and printer cartridges can all be recycled to help to raise funds for charities.

Recycling is great, but prevent waste in the first place

While recycling can turn our waste into new products or energy, reducing the amount of waste we create in the first place is even better. An easy way to do this is to shop smart when you go to the supermarket.

  1. Take your own bags when you go shopping: this means you avoid using plastic bags unnecessarily and paying the charge.
  2. Plan your meals and make a list before going shopping: this will help you to avoid overbuying and buying things you don’t need.
  3. Buy refills: buying refills of detergents, coffee, and hand wash is more environmentally friendly and it’s usually cheaper.
  4. Avoid excess packaging: packaging adds cost to goods, and excess packaging is wasteful and not good for the environment. Look for unpackaged products or buy products that are packaged in recyclable material.
  5. Avoid disposable items: buy rechargeable batteries, low energy light bulbs, and razors with interchangeable heads.

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