Why should I recycle?
If you still consider recycling to be someone else’s problem, then you really need to wake up to the huge implications of managing your waste. There are lots of reasons why you should recycle, and not just benefits for the planet either. Here are some of the main reasons why you should recycle more, starting from today:
No longer ‘optional’
Recycling is becoming a mandatory requirement for households in Northern Ireland, as councils across the province face pressure to meet strict municipal waste recycling targets which get tighter every year. Many councils have introduced measures to encourage households to recycle more and throw away less, for example cutting down weekly black bin collections to fortnightly collections, and supplying more recycling bins and boxes for different waste streams. If you’re confused about what goes in what bin, this is a handy guide to remind you.
Growing number of materials can be recycled
In terms of your recycled materials, it’s not just your plastics and cans that you can give a new lease of life to - you can recycle many more household items including shampoo and shower gel bottles, washing powder and liquid detergent bottles, packaging from toiletries and make-up and increasingly more and more plastic food trays and wrappings are recyclable – just check the manufacturers guidelines before you dispose of them. You can also now recycle food waste instead of putting it in your black bin, and clothes and textiles can be recycled or donated to be reused.
Savings to be made
One of the key reasons to recycle is the cost saving in reducing the need to make the same item again from raw materials – it costs much less to produce items from recycled materials, which saves natural resources and the energy required to make them from scratch. Keeping these production costs down means more long term savings can be made by the manufacturer and passed on to customers.
Better for environment
Of course, the main reason people choose to recycle is because it helps to protect and preserve our natural environment and reduces the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, which is where harmful gases are released into the atmosphere. Cutting down on these greenhouse gasses is an essential component of managing climate change. Landfills as an environmental problem are a concern also – not only are they unsightly to look at but they are dangerous as well.
Starting to recycle is easy
It really takes very little effort to start recycling if you don’t already. Keep separate bags for different rubbish streams under your kitchen sink so that you can easily separate waste from everything else and make the job less of a chore. It won’t take long before recycling become a habit rather than an extra effort. Make sure you keep the pick-up schedule for your different bins handy, so you know when to leave your waste out for kerbside collections.