Here in Wales, we’re already one of the best in the world at recycling. But why settle for third place when we could be number one? As we enter a brand new year, what better time to start thinking about the small steps we can all take to help make Wales the world’s number one recycling nation? If you’re drawing up your New Year’s resolutions, here are five dead easy ones you can add to the list that’ll help you do your bit for the environment. If we all do them, they’ll make a huge impact!
1. I will… recycle one more household item
In Wales, over 90% of us are already recycling most everyday household items – such as food tins, plastic drink bottles and butter tubs. But there’s always room for more! Other household bits and pieces are more likely to get missed when it comes to recycling day, with cleaning products and toiletry bottles, foil and aerosols all among the common culprits.
So, for 2024, why not make sure all these, as well as other recyclable household items, make their way into your recycling every time? Aerosols include things like hairspray, shaving foam and deodorant, so none of these need go in with the general rubbish – just make sure they’re empty before recycling them. With foil, all you need to do is make sure it’s clean and scrunch it into a ball!
2. I will… ensure that anything that can’t be recycled from my kerbside recycling service gets disposed of correctly
Not everything that’s recyclable can be collected from outside your home (yet!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still recycle them! This requires a little more effort, but simply being aware of where you can take things means you can drop off your recycling when you happen to be passing by, rather than making a special trip each time. While some Local Authorities will accept the following things in your kerbside recycling, here’s where you can recycle them if yours doesn’t:
Clothing – revamping your wardrobe after getting new clothes for Christmas? Don’t consign your old clothes to the bin! If they’re in good condition, sell them on a platform such as Vinted, eBay or Facebook Marketplace, or donate them to a charity shop. If they’re worn out and unwearable, you can recycle them at a textile bank or even (if you’re feeling creative!) upcycle them into something new.
Electricals – again, electrical items can be sold or donated, but if they’re broken and beyond repair, some councils do collect small electrical items from your home, so it’s worth checking whether yours does. If they don’t, you can take them to your local household waste recycling centre.
Batteries – all those new toys and gadgets for Christmas inevitably mean more household batteries to recycle. Again, some local councils will collect them from your home, but if not then many shops and supermarkets also have battery recycling points.
If you’re ever unsure about where you can recycle a particular item, you can always consult our Recycling Locator.
3. I will… ensure I make the most of my food so that nothing goes to waste
Did you know that 25% of our rubbish bins is made up of food? And that over 80% of that binned food could have been eaten? There are so many simple things we can all do to make sure no food goes to waste, such as:
Plan ahead – write a meal plan and shopping list and stick to them.
Buy only what you need – buying loose fruit and veg is a great way to make sure you don’t end up with excess ingredients that get thrown away.
Store food properly – keeping ingredients in the right place will help them last as long as possible, and for most fruit and veg, that means keeping them in the fridge!
Using everything up – when preparing meals, are there any ways you can incorporate remaining ingredients from the fridge?
Take a look at our sister site, Love Food Hate Waste, for lots more advice on making your food go further. It’ll save you money, too!
4. I will… recycle food waste that can’t be eaten
If you can’t eat it, recycle it! Our inedible food waste can be recycled into something useful: energy to power our homes. So, make 2024 the year you start recycling every last bit of food waste – used teabags, eggshells, bones, plate scrapings and leftovers that can’t be safely stored to eat later, you name it! If you don’t already have one, you can order a food waste caddy here.
5. I will… keep my food waste caddy fresh
Some people think recycling food can be disgusting, but recycling food waste is actually way more hygienic than putting it in the bin! That’s because your food waste caddy gets changed more regularly, and food waste gets collected by your local council more often. Here are some very simple and easy things you can do to keep your food caddy fresh as a daisy:
Use a caddy liner – lining your kitchen caddy will stop it getting mucky, keeping food waste contained, reducing smells and spills and making it easy to change.
Change your food waste caddy regularly – empty the contents of your kitchen caddy into your outdoor food waste bin regularly, before it gets too full, to prevent any bad smells. Tie up your caddy liners tightly before moving them from your caddy to the food waste bin.
Keep your caddy clean – every few weeks, give your caddy a rinse in the sink. For a more thorough clean, disinfect it with leftover hot water from your kettle and some washing-up liquid.
Are there any recycling resolutions you’d add to this list? We’d love to hear them, so do share them with us on our social media channels!