How to recycle like a pro this Christmas at home and as a business.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and everyone has got a lot on. Whether at home or at work Christmas is a busy period for everyone.
Work gets busier and home requires organisation and amid all the chaos we forget about the little things like the sprouts (we can hope), Uncle Bernard’s present and the recycling.
We can forgive the sprouts and hopefully Uncle Bernard won’t be offended by the last minute gift from the petrol station. However, recycling is a big issue and something we should prepare for over the festive period.
Businesses often see an increase of 30% in waste leading up to Christmas. Maybe even a back log with reduced collections and an increase in customers.
At home we face similar problems with endless cardboard and paper and reduced collections due to bank holidays. We often have too much for our household collections and resort to putting recyclables in the general waste bin.
But, with a little preparation and a look at our processes we could boss it this Christmas.
Take a look below at a few suggestions for some of the waste we come across in December.
Ok, so this doesn’t apply to most businesses unless they partake in Secret Santa but almost all wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. It’s often mixed with materials that aren’t recyclable and will end up in general waste.
However, check the labels. These could be recyclable, your envelopes are too. So have separate bags on the day to segregate what you can.
Alternatively, try and encourage your friends and family to wrap everything in brown paper and decorate with stamps and pretty (re-usable) ribbon. It can look just as great as all the other paper and much better for the environment.
We drown in cardboard at Christmas. Shops, factories and at home. Everything comes packaged in a combination of cardboard and plastic and it’s hard to know what to do with it all.
Businesses should plan for this increase so that they don’t have overflowing bins, or piles in corners that could represent a health and safety hazard and the increased workload to flatten the boxes to make more room.
We suggest businesses look at alternative ways to dispose of cardboard or simply reduce the volumes. For example baling the cardboard.
There is no surprise we are suggesting it, we supply the machines but we have proven they work. They can reduce the volume by up to 10:1 and save up to 80% on your waste costs.
The Government lists responsibilities on their website gov.co.uk for businesses to keep waste to a minimum.
However, we don’t as yet do a mini version for homes. At home we suggest flattening the boxes as much as possible to fit them in your recycling box or bin.
However, some councils won’t pick up if it is overflowing or left by the side. We suggest sharing the cardboard with guests, if they are staying at yours for Christmas the chance is that their recycling isn’t looking so full and could easily pop it in their car to take home.
Alternatively, local recycling centers will accept your excess cardboard. Whilst this isn’t the best solution, at least it is being recycled and not going to landfill.
Here is a sample of what cardboard and paper can be put in your household kerbside collection;
- egg boxes
- newspapers/magazines, telephone directories, catalogues/brochures (with staples removed)
- junk mail, leaflets (with staples removed), white/coloured paper, all envelopes (with plastic windows removed where applicable)
- greetings cards, non-foil gift wrapping paper, clean paper bags
- cereal boxes, ready meal boxes
- kitchen/toilet roll tubes, tissue boxes
- card sleeves from food packaging
- all types of cartons (Tetra Paks, soup, chopped tomatoes, custard, fabric conditioner)
- waxed paper coffee/tea cups
(Source City of York Council)
Plastic Bottles, Cans and Glass
Let’s be honest, there will be a fair few empty bottles, cans and jars around this Christmas. All that cranberry sauce has to come from something.
Plus the brandy bottles for the sauce, not to mention the wine and beer, the list could go on.
But luckily, if it shaped like a bottle, can or jar the general rule of thumb is it can be recycled. Kerbside collections cater for these items.
As a business that produces lots of the above there are also solutions to help you tackle them. Plastic and cans can be baled to make them into neat and tidy bales to send to be recycled and glass can be crushed. These items are essentially filled with air, take the air out and save space.
Christmas means batteries and items that will drink them up like there is no tomorrow. But what do you do with all your old ones? Throw them in the bin? Most people do.
However, there is alternatives. Most supermarkets have the facilities to dispose of old batteries safely and for free. Just remember to take them with you next time you go shopping.
So there you have it. If you are prepared for these waste items in advance and you have a plan to segregate them as you get them you can enjoy yourself and feel like you have helped the environment.
As Christmas is looming it seems to be getting busier. So, take this opportunity to book a FREE, no obligation, waste audit here. You have nothing to lose and you could be making amazing savings in 2019.
If you already have a recycling system in place and need to stock up on consumables then we haven’t forgotten about you either. Visit our online shop here. We have slashed the prices by up to 50%.