How to be a Recycling Superhero

How to be a Recycling Superhero

Are you the recycling Superhero your house? Do you ferret around in the bins tutting and separating paper and plastics that the rest of your family have thrown away without a thought?

Recycling rates have been increasing in the last few years but rates have dropped despite stringent EU targets to recycle 50% of all household waste by 2020. There are many thoughts on why this might be but a big factor seems to be confusion!

Most of us have to sort our rubbish into four or five different bins, but in Newcastle-under-Lyme  there are nine bins for every home – are they kidding!

Ten Top Tips to Help you Recycle

If you still need some help to get in touch with your inner Womble, here are my tips to help you get to grips with your recycling:

  1. Make it Easy – have an easy to clean, washing up bowl for glass, plastics and tin and a good quality Bag for Life for all your paper and cardboard in your kitchen or utility. Encourage family members to sort their rubbish straight into the right container. I have a bag upstairs too for all recycling and then sort it once a week.
  2. Shop Smart – loose fruit and vegetables and home cooked food have a lot less packaging then pre-packed food or ready meals. You can save money and feed more healthy meals to your family!
  3. Batteries & Bulbs– score your old batteries with a coin so you know they are dead and pop them into a zip lock bag in your kitchen drawer, these can then be put out with the recycling or taken to a recycling point such as Aldi and Boots. You can save your low energy bulbs too – but don’t mix them with your batteries.
  4. Larger Items – aerosol cans, old paint, small electrical items are all non-recyclable so you need to store these for your once a month trip to the Recycling plant. Telford has a brand new recycling centre at Hortonwood whilst the Shrewsbury centre is at Battlefield. Both offer excellent facilities – it’s amazing what you can recycle these days, Telford & Wrekin Council even have an A-Z to help you.
  5. Donate it – as well as clothes, books and household items which can be given to charity do you know that Reviive is a community interest company that collects and sells furniture and electrical items and supports charities. You can also donate to the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical Store in Wolverhampton, they collect and deliver right across Shropshire.
  6. Giving and Getting for Free – the Freecycle Network is an international grassroots and entirely non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free online, there are lots of Shropshire groups.
  7. Selling on line – As well as EBay where you can set up as a trader to sell your unwanted items, sites like Gumtree and Pre-Loved allow you to buy and sell in your local area.  There are also lots of local Facebook Groups such as Telford & Shropshire Sales with over 34,000 members.
  8. Printing – keep paper that has only been printed on one side to use again, you just need to work out which way the paper goes back into the printer!  You can also cut it up and use them to make note pads.
  9. Use it in the Garden –there are lots of possibilities from yoghurt pots for seedlings, CDs and DVD to make bird-scarers, or you can cut the bottom off large clear plastic bottles to make mini-cloches to protect seedlings.
  10. Composting – is one of the simplest and most effective recycling methods for both your garden cuttings and your kitchen waste. If you’ve got kids they would just love a Wormery! Let hungry worms devour your waste and provide you with compost for your garden.

If you make a little more time to recycle it really can give you a good feeling that you are doing your bit for the planet and you are well on the way to being a Recycling Superhero.  If you’ve got any top tips please feel free to share them on our Facebook page – the funnier the better!

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