10 ways to improve recycling at home

Rohan Mathew

Environmental pollution is arguably the biggest crisis of our time, so recycling and being conscious consumers is more important than ever. Making efforts to be more sustainable will improve your own quality of life as well as protect the planet. If you’re struggling to be better at buying and recycling responsibly, don’t worry – we all have to start somewhere.

To help you on your journey to improve recycling at home, we’ve compiled a list of 10 tips and tricks that will reduce your negative environmental impact, from initial research and skipping single-use products through to salvaging electronics and skip hire in Chorley.

1) Do your research

If you’re taking your environmental impact seriously, you’ll want to read up on what is and isn’t recyclable, and how different types of materials can be recycled. Make sure you know what the various symbols mean so you can recycle products appropriately.

To improve your recycling, you need to audit your consumption and waste disposal habits. When you identify areas where you create a lot of non-recyclable waste or don’t dispose of waste in the right ways, you can start to make changes and encourage others around you to do so, too.

2) Invest in reusables

Improving recycling at home isn’t just about disposing of things properly – it’s also about reducing the amount of waste you need to dispose of in the first place. To do this, you should invest in long-lasting reusable products instead of single-use plastics.

Think reusable water bottles and food containers, cloth bags, metal or silicone straws, make up pads instead of wipes, biodegradable cutlery and plates… the list goes on. Many retailers also offer savings when you bring your own reusable container or coffee cup.

3) Look for recycled products

You need to think smarter and pay more attention to everything you buy. Is there a version of the item you need that’s made from recycled materials? Does the product come with excessive packaging? Is the packaging all recyclable?

Plenty of products from books to clothing are now made from recycled paper and fibres, which can be recycled again when you’re eventually done with them. You’ll cut down on excess waste and support the recycling loop by buying recycled products.

4) Get creative with arts and crafts

There are so many creative ways to avoid unnecessary waste, especially if you have children. Everything from cardboard boxes to plastic bottles can be transformed into collapsible playhouses, new toys, or artwork. 

Adults can also reuse items to create thoughtful home décor or gifts, such as turning jam jars into candles or filling old candle jars and glass bottles with fairy lights. Alternatively, you could fill them with sweets, coffee, or tea, or with ingredients for a baking recipe.

5) Repurpose your water

No, we’re not suggesting that you drink your own bathwater or cook all your food in the same pot. What we are suggesting is that you take the water leftover from cooking or washing and use it to water your garden or houseplants.

Instead of running the tap or using a garden hose or sprinklers, this will save water and save you some money on your water bill at the same time. You might also want to install a water butt in your garden to collect rainwater.

6) Compost your food scraps

Similarly to water, you can also repurpose leftover bits of food by creating a compost heap or installing a compost bin in your garden. Most food scraps can go on the pile with garden waste to decompose, and eventually be used for growing new plants and vegetables.

Even if you don’t have a garden or any use for compost, you can still recycle your food scraps. Most local councils provide food caddies along with your recycling bags and bins for paper, cardboard, and glass, which you can keep in your kitchen for food waste.

7) Organise your recycling bins

Make sure that you have every recycling bin and bag provided for free by your local council, and that you’re filling them and putting them out for every regular collection. Plastics or glass should always be rinsed and dried before going in the recycling bin.

To make sorting easier, you might want to set up multiple bins in your kitchen for different types of waste. Many retailers sell sets of household recycling bins with colour-coded lids to help you organise your waste, which are especially useful for families with kids. 

8) Donate instead of disposing

If there’s something you really can’t reuse yourself that isn’t recyclable, think twice before tossing it in the general waste. Items that are still in decent working condition, such as electronics, clothes, toys, and books, can be given away to people who need them. Just try not to re-gift something to the same person who gave it to you in the first place!

Donate your unwanted items to charity shops, local schools, or homeless shelters, where people who need them can give them a new lease of life, instead of sending them to landfill. If you want to earn some extra cash, you can even sell new or good-quality items online.

9) Recycle electronics properly

Things like batteries and electrical goods are more complicated when it comes to recycling them. They tend to be made of a mix of recyclable and non-recyclable materials, and can contain hazardous chemicals such as battery acid and mercury.

Many electronics can be refurbished and sold on at a lower price, or broken down into parts that can then be used. Take old electronics like kitchen appliances or old televisions to your nearest WEEE centre (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) or donate them to local repair shops, but never mix them with the regular recycling or general waste.

10) Hire a skip for house clearances

Making updates to your home to increase its environmental efficiency can in turn create a lot of waste, though most of it will still be recyclable. The best way to manage large amounts of waste from household clearances and renovations is by hiring a skip. 

When you opt for skip hire in Chorley, from skip hire in Leyland to the south to skip hire in Preston to the north, your local skip provider will collect your mixed waste and take it to a sorting centre for you. Your waste will then be separated and sent on to the appropriate facilities to be reused.