Recycle Week 2018
Tuesday 25 September 2018
Recycle Now is an initiative launched by WRAP, the UK's leading sustainability body. This week Recycle Now is working alongside local authorities across the UK to help identify waste materials that continue to cause the public confusion, and spread advice on how to deal with them.
Saving the planet sometimes feels like a task only a superhero can manage, so it's important to remember that if each of us changes one habit that helps conserve our environment, overall that adds up to a sizeable difference. According to Recycle Now, 84% of people in the UK now say that they are motivated to be good recyclers. It's fair to say that through documentaries like Blue Planet II, people have begun to recognise more than ever the need to look after our planet and that recycling is a key process we can all adopt as habit.
Across the Chilterns AONB, four local authorities are working to improve the public's recycling efforts and this week several initiatives are publicised on their websites. We'll highlight some of these below, but as a general reminder of how you can help personally we've put together what we're calling our Top 5 'RE' List:
RE-CYCLE (top of the list of course)
- One of the most efficient waste systems on the planet has to be the COMPOST HEAP. Your food waste bin could literally half if you compost fruit, veg, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, egg boxes - even shredded bills! Just remember not to try to compost cooked food scraps as these can encourage vermin. If you're struggling for space, there may still be a solution for you, so do take a look at Composting Indoors for more advice. The local authority websites for Herts, Bucks and Beds also offer general advice on composting - as well as publishing specific recycling guidelines for their own areas.
- South Oxfordshire District Council are holding a number of events to give residents advice about collections and waste this week, whilst Bucks offer their own 'Waste Wizard', an online tool that allows the public to enter a waste item and receive advice on whether it is recyclable. Both initiatives recognise the majority of us want to recycle but need more information on the detail to make our efforts count.
- Rather than disposing of items no longer needed at recycling sites, try to be more creative and find ways of re-using redundant belongings. A number of Bedfordshire's household waste recycling centres offer Reuse Shops where items can be donated, and money generated from their sale is used to fund and develop the project. Reuse shops reduce the amount of waste sent for disposal and benefit residents financially in the long run by reducing costs. Don't forget, charity shops across Chilterns AONB will also take most unwanted items like toys, books, clothes etc. and help reduce waste, as well as raising money for their own cause and providing low-cost goods for the general public to purchase.
- Car boot sales are an option if you want to make money directly
Campaigns for reusable bags and cups have had a dramatic effect on recycling over the last year and positively reduced non-recyclable plastic waste; now another initiative is tackling disposable water bottles...
- Refill is a free tap water initiative designed to reduce plastic pollution and promote healthy hydration by making refilling your own water bottle easy. In the Chilterns Henley has joined the scheme with participating organisations including cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and others. Businesses simply put a sticker in their window alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to come in and fill up their bottle – for free! We hope other Chilterns towns will take up the scheme too.
- If we try to reduce our consumption, we can also reduce waste. There are more of us around globally, fewer natural resources to go round and less space to house waste! So reduce energy consumption by choosing energy efficient bulbs, switching off lights when you leave a room and choosing to walk rather than drive.
- Reduce waste by choosing to buy products that have no packaging or at least use recyclable wrapping. If we don't the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will only worsen!
- Whenever you decide to throw anything away just stop and think about whether it can be repaired? If you can't repair it, maybe someone else can. And we should all try to keep our belongings well-maintained too. Did you know that dusty coils on your fridge can increase energy consumption by 30 per cent? Just wipe over the back of the fridge to reduce dust and your bills. Ensuring your car tyres are at the correct pressure doesn't just improve your safety - it reduces fuel consumption too - and helps conserve our planet.
Why not RE-read our top 5 tips, RE-jig your routines and help RE-vitalise the planet?