As landfill sites approach capacity, householders everywhere are beginning to listen to experts on the subject of responsible waste disposal and effective recycling to reduce the amount of landfill waste.
The most effective way to approach waste recycling within the home is to involve the entire family in the effort. There is little point in trying to tackle the issue of recycling single handed; it is all too easy to de-rail the project if the children continue to throw plastic bottles into the food waste, etc.
Take the learning process of recycling in simple stages, starting with acquiring appropriate bins for separation of waste. If you have a designated area attached to the kitchen such as a laundry or utility room, this is the ideal place to accommodate your recycling area. A shredder for paper will be needed for paper products that display your name and address.
Separate containers will be required for plastics; paper and cardboard; organic waste; glass and metal. Paper waste products are pretty obvious and include anything constructed of paper such as the sleeves from grocery packs; discarded homework; old household bills (shred them first for security reasons, especially if they carry your identity details); junk mail and cardboard boxes such as cereal packets.
Plastics are particularly damaging to the environment and one of the more important items to recycle. They should be washed clean of all food materials and stripped of paper labeling before being stored for recycling. To limit the amount of plastic coming into your kitchen, have a water filter installed to provide safe and clear drinking water for the family, eliminating the need for all those plastic water bottles. If you do have plastic bottles, collapse them before storing to avoid having your recycling bin full within a few hours!
Metal is usually in the form of drinks cans, which should be crushed flat. Bottle tops and empty food cans are also suitable for metal recycling but remember to wash food residue from the cans beforehand.
Glass bottles are the most cumbersome recycling items as they cannot be collapsed or crushed and most people try to make a regular trip to their town's bottle recycling area to get rid of wine bottles and soda bottles. Ensure that you check on your local regulations for glass disposal as they can differ between states.
Recycling is a life skill that children should be taught from as early an age as possible. In fact, many children and teenagers display a healthy attitude to recycling after the policies adopted in homes and schools over the past decade and it is more likely that adults in their forties and fifties are disinterested in prolonging the life of the planet.
To further improve your home recycling policies, try some of the recycled products available in supermarkets next time you go grocery shopping; that way you can contribute to a greener planet by approaching the problem both as a user and a recycling expert.