Maintain

The art of recycling your household waste

While some South African cities are way ahead when it comes to recycling household waste, there are others, Joburg for example, that still need to get on board. We offer a few tips on how to deal with your rubbish – and do you bit for the environment as well. Most households generate vast amounts of rubbish, much of which can be recycled or reduced. Finding space to store your waste between refuse collections or trips to the recycling centre is an important consideration.

 

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While some South African cities are way ahead when it comes to recycling household waste, there are others, Joburg for example, that still need to get on board. We offer a few tips on how to deal with your rubbish – and do you bit for the environment as well. Most households generate vast amounts of rubbish, much of which can be recycled or reduced. Finding space to store your waste between refuse collections or trips to the recycling centre is an important consideration.

 

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  • Recycling

Recycling as much of your household waste as possible makes sense. There are many manufactured goods made from natural raw materials like metallic ores, petrochemicals or timber. These are either non-renewable resources or are being used up faster than they can be replenished.

 

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  • Sorting

Sorted into separate containers, a large quantity of household waste is reusable. This may seem like a lot of hard work for those not already in the habit of sorting, but once a system is set up it only takes a few seconds to put it into practice.
There are recycling centres and drop off zones for those living in areas that do not practice recycling as part of good waste management, but sorting your household waste will also make you think twice about what you are throwing away and how it could be reused in the home.
In areas that do not have any form of recycling, take into consideration that, while the local municipality does not offer the service, you will invariably find indigent labour that realises the value of household waste and actually make your life easier by digging through the dustbins or landfills to eke out a living by selling your recyclable waste.

The simplest method of sorting rubbish is to set up a row of hooks to hold plastic bags, or have separate bins. Label each so that it is clear which bag or bin is for plastic, glass, or aluminium. When each bag or bin is full you can simply drop it off at your nearest recycling centre – if there is one close to you – or pop it in the dustbin as a separate waste item.

 

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  • Reducing waste

With the recycling centre organised it’s time to take care of organic waste. Setting up a small compost heap provides you with a rich humus that improves the soil in your garden. There are compost-making containers available on the market that comes in a range of styles and sizes, some designed to fit into a small corner.

You can add vegetable matter, broken up eggshells and egg cartons, newspapers and cardboard boxes, to you compost heap. Don’t put meat products onto the compost heap, as these will rot and attract unwanted rodents.

 

  • Reusing waste

If you enjoy doing crafty projects, think before you throw. There are thousands of ideas on the Internet that use various items of household waste in new ways.

Pop onto our easyDIY Recycling board for even more crafty ways to recycle household waste.

Janice Anderssen

 

 

 

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