A bin for this, a receptacle for that – and different collection days for all of them… Never have householders had so much to think about – and do – before finally seeing the back of their waste. The rigmarole of recycling puts off tens of thousands of people in the UK from doing their bit to save the planet – and it’s not because they don’t care. They are people who just find it all a bit overwhelming. Are you one of them?
Householders who find themselves frantically sorting through their waste as the bin lorry approaches probably wish there was a better way. Well, there is! Recycling need not be a headache. You can do your bit to help the environment and save time and money with some simple organisation.
Recycling-as- you-go can take the pressure off, free up space in your home and prevent the build-up of nasty niffs and rubbish. When you are busy, it’s probably hard to imagine finding the time to recycle. But, by following a few simple rules, you could go from being a reluctant recycler, who does the bare minimum to avoid the embarrassment of having a sticker slapped on your wheelie bin, to a champion for the cause.
You can be an eco warrior in your own home, reduce rubbish build-up and finally master recycling with these easy-to- stick-to tips:
- Start reducing your waste at the point of purchase.
By making a few changes to your shopping list, you can reduce the number of items you waste later on. For example, you could start buying rechargeable batteries, invest in a bigger pack/bottle of something you use regularly or cut out unnecessary purchases. All these things will save you money as well as reduce waste.
- Recycle as you go.
Never be tempted to put all your waste into one bin with the intention of sorting through it at a later date (closer to collection day). You will either put it off until it is too late, and end up praying the bin men don’t look too closely at what you have put out, or find yourself facing an unpleasant, as well as daunting, task.
- Organisation is key.
Have a set ‘home’ for each recycling container and make sure everyone in your household knows where they are. Ideally, they should be as close as possible to your kitchen. For some people, a really easy way to stay on top of the task is to hang old carrier bags on coat hooks – one for plastic, one for glass and one for tins. The contents can be transferred to recycling containers when they are full. In the meantime, they are off the floor and out of the way, reducing clutter. Stacking boxes like the Sortera from Ikea will keep your recycling organised and tidy too. Remember to flatten cardboard and neatly fold paper so that you can get more into your container. Anything that can be recycled but is not currently subject to a kerbside collection should be stored in a separate container, preferably in a shed or garage, and taken to your nearest household recycling centre. Get into the habit of making regular trips so that waste does not build up.
- Food waste.
Very few people look forward to opening the lid of their food waste bin! You can save yourself from having to do it too often by cutting out any unnecessary food purchases and freezing food you do not plan to eat immediately. You can also reinvent your culinary skills to make tasty meals from leftovers. Remember bubble and squeak? Foods you can recycle include: meat, fish, dairy, bread, cakes, pastries, pasta, rice, teabags, coffee grounds, egg shells and plate scrapings. Keep your food waste caddy in a kitchen cupboard and clean it thoroughly every time you empty it.
- Know your bin days.
It is no use getting to grips with recycling and then forgetting to put it out. A great way to remind yourself is to write a list of what waste is collected on which day and stick it to the inside of a kitchen cupboard.
Did you know, you can recycle at least 70 per cent of your household waste? However, Government recycling, reuse and composting statistics show that, currently, only around 50 per cent is being recycled. With a bit of organisation, everyone could be doing their bit, including you – with minimum hassle and mess.
If you hate recycling, these tips could turn a task you dread into something you actually enjoy. The next time you are tempted to put a recyclable in the wrong bin, think of what you will achieve if you follow the simple rules above… You will have a cleaner, fresher and clutter-free home – and you won’t have to cross your fingers when putting the bin out.
If like many people you keep your recycling outside your front door we can factor this into the bespoke design of your new porch.