Children’s Guide to Recycling
As many of us know, recycling plays an important role in protecting our environment and so, it is vital that children understand its' importance from a young age. Many schools will use eco-committees, through Eco Schools NI and green flag applications, to help young people understand why and how they can reduce their carbon footprint, however, it's always useful to ensure they fully understand the process.
At Regen Waste, we are passionate about the recycling process and believe in the importance of everything understanding and embracing the process. Here's a handy guide to recycling for children.
What Are the Three R’s?
When learning about recycling, we are often told about the 3 R's. These stand for:
- Reduce – How we can use less?
- Reuse – How we can use something at least twice?
- Recycle – If waste has to be sent away to be reused and transformed into something, this is called recycling.
Using the three R's helps to cut down on the amount of waste we produce as they conserve landfill space, energy and natural resources. As well as this, they also help us to save money and land as communities will dispose of less waste in landfills.
What Is Recycling?
The process of recycling means taking waste and turning it into something new. If we don't recycle then our waste will get sent to a landfill, where it can sit for hundreds of years before fully decomposing. As more and more rubbish is piled on top, the landfill can get too big and will be closed.
What Can Be Recycled?
The good news is that most things can be recycled and turned into something new. For example, old glass bottles can be melted down and turned into new bottles. Some recyclable items are:
- Newspapers and Magazines
When we recycle these items, it's important to remember that they need to be separated into different bins. These bins are colour coordinated and each colour represents the materials you are allowed to put in them.
Black/grey – This is mixed waste and is taken to landfill.
Blue – This is mixed recycling including plastic and cardboard.
Green/brown – This bin is used for compostable waste.
Tubs – Sometimes, smaller coloured tubs can be used to recycle glass. This is usually collected with the blue bin for general recycling.
Some homes might not have all of these bins but don't worry, as you can also bring the items to your local recycling centre. Find out more about drop off points and recycling centres near you.
Why Should We Follow The Three R’s?
By following the three R’s - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - we can:
- Reduce what we send to landfill – Sending less rubbish to landfills means that less damage is done to the environment and landfills won't fill up as fast.
- Protect our natural resources – By reducing what we use and recycling what has been used, we put less strain on natural resources.
- Reduce pollution – If companies don't recycle, they will need to use machinery to make new materials for their products. By using less and recycling, there will be less pollution and we will protect the environment.
It's easy to see there are many reasons why we should all reduce, reuse and recycle! After teaching your little ones about the importance of recycling, why not take a look at how you can encourage them to start recycling this summer. For more recycling tips, make sure to follow ReGen Waste on Twitter.