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Global Recycling Day: 4 Tips for Recycling Your Waste at Home

World Recycling Day is a great excuse to up your recycling game at home. Where you might think you’re doing enough by involving yourself in curbside recycling collection, there are actually a few other things you can do when it comes to recycling waste at home. However, it’s also possible to prevent the production of waste in the first place, and that’s something else we’ll be touching upon in this article. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how you can manage your recyclable waste at home, not just on World Recycling Day, but every day of the year.

1. Don’t recycle anything smaller than a credit card

When it comes to the items you recycle, they need to be bigger than the size of a credit card. This is mainly because of the machinery that’s used to process all of the recyclable material they handle. Anything smaller than a credit card will likely get lost in transit, but if it manages to reach the recycling plant, it’s likely to fall through gaps or it even has the possibility of getting stuck in machinery.

Recycling machinery is exceptionally expensive, but it’s greatly relied upon. This means that those who are in charge of their integrity will do their utmost to ensure it remains in fully-working order for as long as possible, elongating its lifespan in the process. This means removing anything that could get jammed in the machines. This is something that could be prevented before it gets to the curbside.

If you have something that needs to be recycled, but it’s smaller than a credit card, then you should place it in the general bin instead. Not only does this protect the recycling machinery, but it also ensures the safety of the workers, so they’re not putting their hands into machines to retrieve items that have got stuck in there. It also helps to keep the recycling plant running smoothly for an indefinite period of time.

2. Don’t bag up or box up your recyclables, keep them loose

It’s not always possible for those who work at the recycling plants to un-bag your recyclables, mainly because of health and safety and also the time it takes to unpackage everything. If you bag up your recyclables, the people who work in curb-side collection will simply throw it into landfill waste, and you don’t want that. As such, make sure you’re keeping your recyclables loose.

Don’t put them into boxes or bags, especially if they aren’t recyclable themselves, unless they have been provided to you by your Local Authority. Usually, there’s only one exception to that rule and that’s bagging up shredded paper. However, shredded paper can’t always be recycled, so check on your council website before adding shredded paper into the mix of recyclable materials at the curbside.

It might, however, be possible to bring your shredded paper to your local recycling centre. There are many things that can be recycled there that cannot be recycled from directly outside of your home. So do your research if you’re looking to recycle as much waste as possible, But remember, don’t bag anything up.

3. Ensure your recyclables are clean, dry & debris-free

No matter what it is that you’re recycling, you need to ensure that everything is clean, dry and isn’t contaminated with food or anything that’s non-recyclab le. For example, you can recycle a plain paper envelope, but if it has a plastic window in it, it can’t be recycled unless you take that out and put it in the general bin. The same goes for pizza boxes. These can become greasy so you might find yourself only recycling the lid and not the bottom or sides of the box, which needs to go to landfill.

Plastic, paper, cardboard and glass all need to be clean and dry before sending them off for recycling. This is because moisture can damage equipment but it also provides a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, especially in the warmer months. If your recyclables arrive at the plant contaminated, they won’t process it and it will simply be sent to landfill, no matter the material. This is why you need to send your recyclables in a decent condition.

4. Do your best to reduce the waste you produce in the first place

There are multiple ways in which you can reduce the amount of waste you’re producing in the first place, including switching to reusable products rather than opting for single-use alternatives. Something that people often find beneficial when it comes to making the initial switch is to start with buying reusable cups.

There are many people who choose reusable coffee cups when on the go. The ones we have available here from VASO are perfect for both hot and cold beverages, keeping hot beverages warm and cold beverages cool for many hours throughout the day. We are also able to supply reusable straws for those who are looking to make their beverages look sleek and contemporary, no matter what you might be drinking.

Choosing reusable products over single-use items is the first step in reducing your carbon footprint. This is because you’re not producing anything that needs to be sent to landfill or recycled. Although recycling is a good thing, it’s always best to not generate that waste in the first place.

From reusable cups and straws to shopping bags and food containers, making that switch will mean that you’ll no longer have a reliance on single-use items and you’ll soon see the amount of rubbish you’re producing reduce in size considerably. Some of the other things you can do to reduce the amount of waste you’re producing includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Reusing as much as possible
  • Repairing items you need
  • Switching to reusable cups
  • Using reusable straws
  • Bringing your own bags to the supermarket
  • Purchase food from shops that require you to bring your own container
  • Donate items you no longer want to charity shops
  • Switch to digital correspondence as opposed to paper through the post