Around the world, households throw out and an enormous amount of waste every week. Whilst we do have recycling for paper, glass and some plastic there is a lot of other things that can be collected and recycled. This requires a little more effort, but it’s better for the planet and will reduce the rate in which you fill up your bins. Here are some things around your home that you may not know you can recycle.
If you still use regular alkaline batteries rather than rechargeables, you can actually get them recycled. There’s a lot of metals that can be recycled from old batteries such as cadmium, zinc, manganese, and cobalt. Keep a container or jar in your cupboard near where you store your fresh ones. Once the jar gets full take it to your nearest drop off point. Your nearest Aldi will have a recycling box for batteries, but Google for other options in your town to be sure of the nearest spot.
Another e-waste consumable that not everyone bothers to recycle is printer cartridges. The majority of cartridge manufacturers will recycle these. If you can save up a few from your home and office, you may even be able to organize for a return satchel. When purchasing printer cartridges, always be sure to buy genuine products from the original manufacturer.
Any plastic that you can scrunch up in your hands, such as a plastic bag or food packaging can be recycled. However, this cannot go in your regular recycling with your plastic bottles. You can collect these in an extra bin or inside another plastic bag. Once you get a full bag, just take it to the supermarket with you. Many supermarkets will have a box for depositing these for recycling. You can look up more information about which types of soft plastics are recyclable in your area and your nearest drop off location.
Several brands of home coffee machines use coffee pods. These single-use capsules are great at locking in freshness but leads to a huge amount of wasted metals. As a result, coffee companies such as Nestlé have introduced coffee pod recycling for their Nespresso coffee pods. If your coffee pods are not recyclable you can donate them to your local florist. When preparing coffee pods for recycling simply use a waterproof tub to collect the pods. Add some paper towel to the bottom to absorb any coffee water that leaks out of the discarded pods. This will prevent the pods from becoming mouldy.
You are meant to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. That means billions of toothbrushes are used every year around the world. Some brands are moving towards bamboo handled toothbrushes rather than plastic. You can, however, recycle your plastic toothbrushes, so save up a collection of those between your family. Google how to recycle these in your city, some toothpaste brands will send you a free return satchel that will let you recycle toothbrush and other dental products of any brand.
Old computers have a lot of expensive metals in them, and they are also bulky. Before throwing out old computers in your hard rubbish or taking them to the local dump, do some research. You will probably find a place that takes old computers for recycling nearby. Recycling computers saves a lot of bulky metal from clogging up your local landfill.
How Can You Help?
Simply start collecting what you can around the house. You can just keep a lot of it in one tub or jar and sort it later when you get enough of something to warrant the effort in recycling it. You could also try and get a recycling tub at work or at your child’s school. This will help get more people to recycle and collect enough to send away much faster.