RECYCLING AT HOME
Reducing, reusing and recycling household waste is easy and can save you real money — especially now that pay by use schemes are being expanded throughout the country. It is now easier than ever to do your bit towards caring for the environment and building a cleaner, healthier life for your family. It’s time to join the Race Against Waste!
It’s simple. If we all reduce the amount of rubbish we produce, reuse more of the products we already have and recycle as much as possible, we will dramatically reduce our waste levels – a crucial goal for Ireland’s environment.
The time to act is now. Over 3 million tonnes of household and commercial waste were generated in Ireland in 2004 – an increase of 12% in three years. We cannot sustain this. It places severe pressure on our environment and our waste management services – landfill is the main waste disposal route but we are running out of landfill space.
Check out how you can help to make the Race Against Waste a success for our communities now and in the future.
We need to reduce the overall amount of waste we produce in Ireland and each one of us can help. For example, when you’re in a supermarket, don’t bother using a separate plastic bag for fruit items such as a bunch of bananas. That’s one less piece of plastic to throw out later!
To reduce the amount of rubbish we throw away, we need to be aware of it when we go shopping. For example, buy items that use less packaging or can be recycled.
We also need to remember it when we are about to throw something in the bin: is there any way to use this item again ?
WHY REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF WASTE WE PRODUCE?
It’s essential. We are running out of space in our landfill sites but we are disposing of more waste now than ever before. Reducing the amount of waste we throw away will help prevent a waste management crisis. Research from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that between 2001 and 2004 the amount of municipal waste (household and commercial) increased by 12%.
It’s easy. Always think twice before you throw out something — check if you can use it again somehow or if you can recycle it. When you’re shopping, buy items that are not disposable, but capable of reuse.
It’s quick. You can see your contribution to the Race Against Waste immediately.
EASY WAYS TO REDUCE WASTE AT HOME
- Avoid buying heavily packaged goods.
- Try to buy loose fruit and vegetables instead of pre-packed.
- Buy concentrated products that use less packaging.
- Buy products such as washing powder in large containers to reduce packaging.
- Take your reusable shopping bags with you to the shops every trip.
- Try to get off mailing lists for junk mail, faxes and emails.
- Use reusable products wherever possible eg. use a nappy laundry service and save disposable nappies for holidays or long journeys.
- Use refillable and rechargeable products when possible eg. a refillable ink pen rather than a disposable biro, rechargeable batteries and cameras.
- Buy products made from recycled materials.
- Choose products in packaging that you know can be recycled
- Buy products made from recycled materials
- Use and refill your own durable drinks bottle
- Try to keep your bin from filling up.
- Try growing your own vegetables
- Get a compost bin!
Have you ever reused an empty ice-cream tub for storing leftovers instead of just throwing it out? That’s how easy it is to reuse everyday products and materials and make your contribution to the Race Against Waste. By reusing items, we also avoid the costs that would be involved if we were to recycle them or dispose of them as waste.
Reusing items is quick and easy to do — in fact, you’re probably already reusing a lot of household products so see what else you can do. Why not get your old shoes re-heeled instead of buying another pair, and bring those old clothes to your local charity shop rather than throw them out…
WHY SHOULD I REUSE ITEMS?
- It’s essential. We are running out of space in our landfill sites and we are disposing of more waste now than ever before. So the more material we can reuse the better. Research from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that between 2001 and 2004 the amount of municipal waste (household and commercial) increased by 12%.
- It’s easy. Instead of throwing out an item, try to reuse it in some way. You may already do this a lot, so just do it more e.g. use an empty jam jar for storage.
- It’s quick. You can see your contribution to the Race Against Waste immediately.
- It’s free! If you are simply reusing an item you have already bought, it saves you from buying another.
SOME TIPS FOR REUSING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
- Give unwanted clothes, furniture, bric-a-brac or books to family, friends and charity shops or have a car boot sale. Don’t forget to buy from charity or second-hand shops too and pick up lots of authentic bargains.
- Refurbish your sofa to create a fresh new look instead of buying a new one.
- Mend clothes and get shoes re-heeled so they last longer.
- Buy products with refillable solutions eg. washing powder, detergents, salt and pepper mills.
- Look for long-lasting (and energy efficient) appliances when buying new electrical items — keep them well-maintained to increase their life cycle and repair them when necessary.
- Reuse scrap paper for writing notes.
- Use washable dishcloths instead of disposable wipes.
- Take your packed lunch in a sandwich box instead of wrapping it in kitchen foil or cling film.
- Avoid buying disposable products eg. razors, plastic plates or cutlery.
- Reuse empty jam jars and old ice cream tubs for storage or keeping leftovers.
- Take your reusable shopping bags on all shopping trips.
- Use rechargeable items instead of disposable ones eg. batteries and cameras.
- Reuse envelopes by sticking a label over the old address.
- Pass on old magazines to others —perhaps give them to your local doctor or dentist’s surgery.
Many of the goods we use around the house can be recycled — ranging from old newspapers to cans and more.
Composting is a particularly effective method of recycling organic household waste.
Read more about recycling household waste and composting (As Gaeilge)