Why Recycling Really IS Important – And What You Can Be Doing to Help
Feb 13th, 2018
Australia sends circa 20 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year and the impact this has on the environment is distressing to say the least.
With the release of toxic substances into our soil, water and waterways, not only does landfill pollute the surrounding environment and effect our biodiversity with the poisoning of local vegetation and animals, but it is also a major contributor to global warming.
When waste is compressed and covered in landfill, the oxygen is removed which results in the release of Carbon Dioxide and Methane – harmful greenhouse gases which are a proven cause of global warming.
The effects of global warming are already substantial and unless we become more environmentally responsible, the impact on our planet and our health will be devastating.
Extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes, floods, heat waves and drought will become more frequent and more intense. Such severe weather conditions will damage crops, resulting in a food shortage, inflated food prices, and in extreme cases, famine. With the melting of the glaciers and rising sea levels, scientists predict that by the end of the century up to 670 coastal communities in the USA will be chronically – and some permanently – flooded. The increase in extreme heat will drive cases of dehydration, heat strokes and even death (usually linked to pre-existing cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, or the elderly).
And what with the greenhouse gasses polluting the air, and the increase in rainfall spreading water-borne disease, illness will be on the increase. The list goes on….
If we want to protect our planet, as a nation we must become more environmentally responsible and we must all do our bit to help the cause.
We’ve compiled a list of some quick and easy changes you can make today, to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill:
Consider Your Purchases:
Look carefully at what you purchase. Is the product made from recycled materials? Is there excess packaging? Is the packaging environmentally-friendly? You can also buy second-hand items which would otherwise be sent to landfill, on Gumtree or from a charity shop – and save yourself a few pennies in the process!
By being selective with your choice of purchase, you can reduce your landfill waste in no time.
Re-Use & Repair:
In the Western world, with an abundance of affordable products at our fingertips at any one point in time, we take wastefulness to the extreme. We have a tendency to throw items away without a second thought, but with some smart thinking, the longevity of a product – and your bank balance – can be increased significantly.
Rather than throwing worn shoes away, take them to a cobbler for repair – you might get another year or so out of them. Electrical appliances, fittings and fixtures, furniture and bikes can often be repaired. If you can’t do this yourself, take it to a specialist shop, or visit a repair centre, such as The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre which is a non-for-profit organisation committed to the prevention of usable items going to landfill.
And you can donate used televisions, computers and phones to those in need, via a charity such as Computer Bank, or to a specialist recycling centre if they are no longer usable.
Also, rather than buying disposable lunch containers, coffee cups and cutlery, wash and re-use your existing ones – a little effort can go a long way.
Recycling at home is super easy; simply place your recyclable materials – including paper, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, plastic containers and aluminium cans – into the yellow-top bin ready for council collection.
This is where it gets fun – be creative!
Find new uses for unwanted items. For example, fix an old ladder horizontally to a wall and you have a fantastic bookshelf. Craft an old barrel or drum into a coffee table, re-purpose bottle caps into tealight holders, use an old suitcase as a storage container or bed for your dog, or create a funky clock with an old bicycle wheel. You can find a whole host of other ideas here.
Not only will you be diverting waste from landfill, but you’ll also be creating some funky new functional and decorative pieces for your home – or as gifts for friends and family.
Use a Recycling Company
For any items which cannot be reused or repurposed, rather than taking them down to the local rubbish tip where they are likely to end up in landfill, hire an environmentally-conscious skip bin company. At Cheapest Skips not only do we aim to provide the cheapest skip hire in WA, but we also endeavour to have as much as possible of your waste recycled.
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