Simple steps for recycling at home
When people talk about recycling, we’re struck by how often it’s a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. In real life, one size does not fit all! From clothes, to jobs, to what makes us happy, and yes, even recycling! Therefore, we wanted to explore some of the ways you can fit recycling into your own unique life and situation. So we have put together a quick guide with some simple steps for recycling at home to help you get started!
Please note this information is general and systems often vary between local councils, states and countries. Go to the recycling page of your local council – you’ll find some good guidance there.
But first – some key terms and how we’ll use them here:
- Recycling: This is the stuff that can go in your recycling bin, to be sorted and recycled
- Waste: the ‘normal’ bin – the contents of this goes to landfill
- Organic waste: This is the food waste that can be composted; generally fruit and veg scraps; we’ll share some links to guidance below
- Garden waste: This is the stuff that goes in the standard ‘green bin’ – grass, cuttings etc
- Soft plastics: Plastics that can be scrunched; can’t go in the recycling bin (but can be recycled – read on!)
- Composting: Composting breaks down organic waste/matter
You’ve done the clean out and got everything in good order but how do you stop it from getting out of control? We find that having different spots for the clothes we no longer need prevents the need to sort it again later- we are all for working harder not smarter!
Hence it’s a great idea to ceate one bag for hand-me-downs, one for a Clean Out Bag, one to be repurposed etc. That way, when the time comes you can just reach for the right section, without having to do a Big Sort first!
Stake out your recycling spaces
One of the easiest ways to be a good recycler is make sure it fits into your life comfortably. If it fits, it works!
All homes are different, therefore it’s worth spending a couple of moments thinking about what you can do with what you have. This includes where you can store, hold and process things to recycle.
This goes beyond the old rubbish and recycling bins; it could be measuring out the space under your sink to fit a compost bin and a soft plastics bag, or a spot in the cupboard for clothes to be mended.
Getting your recycling bin right
This is the ‘forewarned is forearmed’– look up what your local recycling service accepts and really get to know it.
We also recommend making sure your family does too! You could even print something that says which items go in which bin to put on the fridge!
What to do with your organic waste and composting
This depends on a few things – what your council collects (some are doing organics now), and what you want to do about composting. For small backyards, consider static or tumbling composting bins. Alternatively, you could even consider a smaller benchtop bin that ferments compost. If you have more room, consider a garden compost pile or bay, or even several bays for compost at different stages.
Want to find out more? We loved this article from the ABC.
Dealing with your soft plastics
This is one we talk about a bit because it’s SO much easier than we thought. Soft plastics don’t have to go in the waste bin, in fact if you’re a little prepared, you don’t even have to go out of your way to get rid of them! Simply collect them all up and take them to your nearest drop off point (often at your local supermarket! Check out the handy links below:
Replas uses the material as the resource to produce a huge range of recycled-plastic products, from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and more.
What to do with the ‘Other Bits’
Have you ever wandered if you can recycle things like old pens, computers, sneakers, TVs, or even old electrical appliances? Google is a great place to start! It is a good idea to research how to recycle or reuse before how to simply dispose of things. TerraCycle is another excellent organisation that is great at recycling the unrecyclable. There are also some handy drop off points at locations such as Officeworks for electronics and Sheridan for old bedding, for example. It’s definately worth checking out your local reclycling options so you have a handy list of all the drop of points to give new life to all those tricky used items!
Also, don’t forget to check out why we do what we do, and how we are tackling sustainability at Jumping Jack, visit our Sustainability page.
We hope that this has given you some simple steps for recycling at home to help get you started! Do you have any other tips? Please feel free to share below!