What’s wrong with waste?
Household waste contains all sorts of materials, including plastics, metals, papers and food stuffs. Producing these items in the first place uses natural resources and energy; and dealing with them when they are no longer needed puts a massive strain on the environment. And, there are huge quantities to deal with; in 2017/18 771,800 tonnes of household waste was produced in Hampshire alone.
What can we do?
Dealing with our society’s waste can seem like an enormous task. But if we all apply the basic principle of “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle” we will get Results!
Thanks to environmental legislation from the EU, there are plenty of local authority schemes in place to help tackle the waste problem:
- Kerbside collections of recyclables by your local authority
- Recycling banks – where you can deposit glass bottles, clothes, shoes and other items.
- Household Waste Recycling Sites. Also known as ‘the Tip’. Here, you can sort your waste to make sure it all gets re-used or recycled; there are separate containers for electrical, wood, metal, garden waste, paint, batteries, used oil…and more.
Aside from these schemes, there are many things you can do with you unwanted items: goods can be donated to charity shops, redistributed via ‘Freecycle’, or sold online or via your local newspaper.
The average home in the UK throws away £470 worth of food every year. Added up, that’s 7 million tonnes in total country wide – and more than half of this food is still perfectly good to eat.
Top Tips to reduce your food waste
Visit Love Food Hate Waste for plenty of ideas, inspiration and recipes for your leftovers, or follow our favourite tips:
- Plan your meals and shopping lists so that you only buy food you know you need.
- Keep food properly stored and wrapped to keep it fresh as long as possible.
- If you cook too much, divide the leftovers into small portions and freeze them. This prevents waste and ensures you always have a handy meal ready when you need one.
Most towns and cities have excellent re-use networks and projects; many of which are set up as social enterprises. Here are just a few examples of local projects in Southampton:
- The Southampton Wood Recycling Project
- Jamie’s Computers
- Re-Cycle Bikes
- Community RePaint
- Scrap Store
- SCRATCH furniture re-distribution
For imaginative solutions on re-creating waste, check out some of these websites, or get googling for more information and inspiration:
And finally… Always try to buy recycled or re-used products when you can!
- Air and Waste Management Association The Air & Waste Management Association is a non-profit, non-partisan professional organization that enhances knowledge and expertise by providing a neutral forum for information exchange, professional development, networking opportunities, public education, and outreach to more than 8000 environmental professionals in 65 countries.
- The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management the leading professional body for waste and resource management.
- The Environment Agency
- Environmental Services Association ESA is the trade association representing the UK’s waste management and secondary resources industry. ESA’s Members provide essential waste and secondary resources management services to the public and private sectors.
- Keep Britain Tidy
- Marine Conservation Society
- Net Regs
- Project Integra partnership in Hampshire
- Recycle for Hampshire
- Recycling & Waste World Recycling & Waste World is the UK’s leading source of information for the recycling and waste management industry. Published each week, it contains the latest industry news, in-depth features, regular columns from legal and environmental experts, up-to-date metal and material prices, information on legislative changes, tenders and job opportunities.
- Smart Living
- WRAP WRAP works in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help businesses and individuals to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.