How to Get Involved in Recycling
Recycle at Home
There are two ways to deal with your waste at home; you can use your local council or a local recycling business.
Most of us live in areas with a kerbside collection scheme so the important thing is to USE IT! Your local council will provide you with containers, usually boxes or bags and will collect either weekly or fortnightly in most cases. Different councils collect different materials though so make sure you find out what you can and can’t leave.
Once you know what can be recycled in your area you need to sort your rubbish into the relevant containers (you can request extra containers from your local council if you find you need them).
Make sure you put your recycling out onto the kerbside on the correct day. You’ll find that most councils ask for the containers to be out by a particular time of the day so make sure you don’t miss the collection by getting your containers out nice and early.
There are many businesses now dealing in waste and recycling and most people will find they are a useful service in addition to their local council’s schemes. Many of these businesses specialise in certain areas so if you have a bulky item that isn’t covered by your kerbside collection scheme it is worth researching which local companies recycle the item as they may run a collection service too.
Recycle in the Garden
The key to recycling in the garden is COMPOST! Millions of tonnes of garden waste end up in landfill sites every year but grass cuttings, twigs and leaves are a fantastic source of nutrients and can all be used to make compost.
You can also add teabags, fruit and vegetable peelings, newspaper and cardboard to your compost heap, give it at least 6 months and you’ll have some top quality compost. Give your garden a treat and use home made compost. Visit our guide on How to Compost.
Recycle at School
One place to start is your local council. The majority of local councils have a special waste and recycling scheme for schools and they will advise you on collection times and how you need to separate the items. They will also supply the containers or bins you’ll need.
Much as is the case with home recycling you might find it easier or more practical with some items to contact a local recycling business. Many schools and colleges will accrue over time a selection of broken computer monitors and televisions for example. Rather than have them sitting in a store room it could be worth contacting a recycling business who specialises in CRT Recycling. The chances are they’ll come and collect them. You might be able to arrange a contract with a local business to make regular collections for items not covered in your council’s collection scheme too.
When you start your recycling scheme make sure everyone in the school is involved, pupils, teachers, cleaning staff, kitchen and catering staff. Basically anyone who could generate any rubbish should be educated so they are aware of how much can be recycled rather than put in with the normal rubbish.
Make sure that there are enough recycling containers around the school and that they are clearly labelled to show what they’re for, paper, plastics, cardboard, etc. It is also a good idea to put posters up reminding everyone to recycle and where to put their recyclable waste. Don’t have one or two containers hidden away somewhere, have one or two in each corridor or hall so that they are easy to find and handy. People are more likely to use them if they don’t have to make a special trip out of their way.
The benefits of recycling in school will be visible very quickly since the school will generate less waste. You can also use your recycling scheme as an educational tool; your pupils can monitor your scheme and be given the task of finding other ways to help the environment on a day to day basis.
Recycle at Work
There really is no excuse for not recycling office waste. All that is needed is a policy for staff to follow and plenty of containers for separate materials to be deposited. Instead of having one bin for staff to empty their waste baskets into have numerous containers, one for paper, another for plastic, one for non-recyclable waste and so on. If the work place is a factory the same ethos applies just on a larger scale, as long as the company makes it easy for staff to recycle (by providing and labelling recycling containers and making them accessible) you’ll find that most are more than happy to separate their rubbish. Posters work too, advertise to your staff that you are running a recycling scheme and advise them where the recycling containers are and what can go into them.