Is recycling a new thing for you, are you unsure what it’s all about?
Read our short FAQ on recycling for beginners here. Find out why you should recycle, how to start recycling and some other leading questions that you may have. Once you have read our FAQ take a look a the other resources on the website to help you with more details.
Source: My Zero Waste
Why should I recycle?
Because if you throw something away, it is no longer useful, it ends up in landfill, incinerated, or in some other way contaminating the environment. If you recycle something, it can be recovered and become material for a new product, plus it does not go to into the waste stream.
Why is it important to recycle?
Because there is a real global problem with too much waste being produced by human beings. As a species we produce so much synthetic waste that we are literally running out of space to bury it, or dispose of it in other ways without contaminating the environment.
Is it really worth recycling?
Absolutely. There is also a benefit to business and industry. The cost of recovering raw materials from existing waste items is far less than the original manufacturing process costs. There is a benefit to the environment. Using recycled materials reduces the destructive extraction processes and energy required to obtain raw materials.
Does all this really affect home waste?
Yes, between 60% and 75% of all home synthetic waste can be usefully recycled, providing all the benefits as detailed above. The more people that engage in home recycling the more resources are available for reusing these materials for new manufacturing, plus lessening the load on waste disposal.
I pay council tax towards waste collection, so why should I care?
You pay national insurance for health care, but you wouldn’t jeopardize your health! It’s the same idea, we need to realise that caring for the environment is our personal responsibility, in the same way as preserving our own health and safety.
Recycling is too much effort, can’t I just opt out?
Many people think this and assume that recycling is just for ‘green fanatics’ However, there is now overwhelming research and evidence that demonstrate the problems of synthetic waste and environmental contamination is very real and threatening our health, weather patterns and planetary eco-systems.
Isn’t this just scare mongering?
No, it’s a genuine concern amongst scientists that waste contamination and its bi-products contributes to global warming, climate change that affect wildlife and crops. Plus it produces dangerous imbalances in natural eco-systems.
How do I know my recycling is being used properly?
Why not ask the Recycling Officer at your Local Council how the collected materials are recycled? They should be able to tell you what their recycling policies are how to find out more about what materials are used for.
Why should I do something now about recycling?
Because the biggest most powerful changes lie in the habits and attitudes of ordinary people. Becoming environmentally aware and responsible is no longer an option for the few. If we want to save our world from an environmental catastrophe we must all act now and together. This is the only way to send a clear message to politicians and decision makers that we need change.
How do I start recycling at home?
Start by doing what’s easy and simple. You don’t have to be an expert over night. The first step is to start realising that there is ‘no such place as away’ so when you ‘throw something away’ it just goes some place else, for someone else to deal with or most likely becomes a contamination in the environment.
What are the basics to recycling?
Start by finding out what recycling items can be collected from the kerbside by your local council. If they provide a box or bin, start using this to recycle these items at home.
If you’re in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania you can buy recycling bins and waste containers at Simplesan Hygiene at affordable price.
What about getting the details right?
Most local councils provide printed information or websites that detail what you can recycle and how to separate items so that there is no contamination. Some plastics need to be separated, such as milk bottle tops.
Will recycling at home cost me anything?
Recycling at home does not need to cost any money. It will cost you some time, because you usually need to wash, separate and store items for recycling collection. It may also cost something in transporting items to a drop centre (collection bank) if you don’t get kerbside collections.
This all seems very simple, is it enough?
Imagine if everyone did this throughout the country! it would reduce landfill waste contamination by a huge amount. Everyone’s small efforts make a vast collective difference. Please remember, you small contribution to recycling is very important.
I just don’t have time for this, isn’t there a simple option?
Yes, just do something to reduce your landfil waste. Even one small action every day, like using your own cup at work reduces polystyrene waste. Muliply this by several thousand and it becomes significant. Start small, but don’t opt out completely. Every action counts!