Excellent waste management is a skill in which we should all strive for, one which is easily achievable with the right mindset and goals. How we handle our waste has detrimental impacts on the end recycling result, if it is handled in the wrong manner, this will impact the effectiveness and recyclability of the thrown away items. It is not only the way we dispose of our waste, but it is also the levels of which that we produce that we need to take into consideration. Reducing, repairing, reusing and recycling are four easily implemented strategies which will help reduce your waste consumption.
Recycling is an easily managed task, for best processes make sure you fully understand the recycling strategies in your area – these differ between local authorities. It is also good to research for yourself, the recyclability of an item if you are ever unsure. But, possibly the most important aspect of recycling is the correct waste segregation. Separating the different types of waste is vital to prevent cross-contamination, dividing waste into the different material types e.g. plastic, tin and paper will help ensure a successful reprocessing. Ensuring the waste is clean before disposing of is also an important step to prevent contamination, removing all dirt and food from recyclables is key.
Before you recycle or dispose of your items, it is always good to see if they can be repaired, reused or repurposed. Perhaps, you could donate them to a charity shop, a recycling bank or another individual – giving the items a new home. Often our much-loved items, clothing and products are disposed of due to wear and tear, this is where we should always consider repairing them before binning them – it can often be a very effective, simple process too. Reusing is a great often to reduce waste too, especially when it comes to food – a small bit of research will provide you with endless recipes and options to save and repurpose your unwanted food. Re-using can also be carried out in the form of ‘upcycling’ where you refurbish old furniture.
The 4 R’s of waste management all in turn will help you reach the goal of supporting a circular economy, to help make the world a cleaner, greener place in which to live.