Recycling – It’s Worth It!
Recycle Week takes place every September and aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and get people thinking about what they throw out.
We’ve been offering a recycling option for all of our customers’ old mattresses for some time. This involves us picking up old mattresses when we deliver new ones. It’s ultra-convenient for you, and great for the environment.
There is of course much more you can do than recycle your old mattress. Read on to find out how to get involved, and the reasons why recycling is so important to us and our planet. And don't forget to take our quiz and find out what kind of recycler you are!
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There are lots of reasons why we should recycle. Landfill sites have a negative effect on the environment. They allow methane into the air and pollute the earth with toxins. Burying waste has a finite lifespan – we simply don’t have the room on Earth to keep burying rubbish. Much of this will take centuries to biodegrade.
Creating new products from old materials – recycling, in short – is also faster and more cost-effective than sourcing materials to make new products from. Reusing materials saves a huge amount of energy. This, in turn, benefits the planet and its ecosystems on the whole.
- Recycling 6 tea bags creates enough energy to make 1 cup of tea
- Up to 60% of discarded rubbish could be recycled
- 1 recycled tin can saves enough energy worth 3 hours of television
- A recycled aluminium can will be back on the shelves within 6 weeks
- Recycling every newspaper would save 250 million trees per year
It’s also worth pointing out how easy recycling is! From putting different products into different coloured bins rather than your main waste bin, to taking larger items to recycling centres and composting as much as you can, only a slight adjustment in your everyday routine will make all the difference.
Recycling in the home
Firstly, consider the packaging your purchase comes in. It should give a clear indication whether it is suitable for recycling or not. Establish this prior to purchase and you’ll save yourself time and energy further down the line.
Secondly, if you find yourself regularly recycling or composting whole vegetables or fruit – as opposed to peelings and scraps – consider buying less in future.
Keep your recycle bins to hand
Keep them close by and you’ll quickly get into the habit of putting recyclable materials in their proper place. It’s as easy as putting them into a waste bin.
What can I recycle at home?
Different local authorities will provide different facilities. In general, you’ll be able to recycle the following:
- Food – including veg and fruit peelings, tea bags
- Dry items – including cans, glass, paper, plastic
- Garden – including grass, leaves, plants, flowers
Recycling outside of the home
Unless you live in a property that has a lot of land and its own recycling plant, the chances are that there are some things too large to recycle within the home. Your local area should have an area for recycling larger items. It should also have a place for disposing of hazardous substances and electrical equipment safely.
Items such as mobile phones, batteries and white goods can all be taken to your local recycling centre. Bulky items such as wood or branches can also be taken to your local recycling centre. It's best to take these to a centre as unless you are able to chop them down into bite-sized pieces. Large items will take too long to break down in a home composter.
Composting is easy, cheap, and beneficial for your garden. Many councils offer free or reduced-fee composting bins. You could also make your own compost bin out of wood. If you are composting food scraps alongside garden waste, make sure your composter has a lid. This will not only keep pests out but helps to keep the heat in, aiding the breaking down process.
What can I compost?
You can compost fruit and vegetable peelings and scraps, paper that does not have a glossy sheen, and garden waste. The combination of these three composting groups will break down to form a rich, nutrient-heavy mix to put back on your garden once it’s ready.
The trick of good composting is to get the consistency right – it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. This is partially dependent on the wet-to-dry ratio you put in it. Too much paper will dry it out, too many peelings will make it too wet. If you’ve got a good ratio but still have problems, leave the lid off to allow rain in, or leave it on to allow the heat to dry it out.
Composting can take time, so to speed things along, ensure anything you put on your pile is small in size – it’ll break down so much faster. Be sure to stir your compost regularly. Your compost will need air to help the process.
Good luck with your own recycling and make sure you get involved this September. Together, we can really make a difference.