How can I recycle more stuff on my own?
We’ve had an email from Melissa:
I’m Melissa from Argentina. I love recycling but there are not many things I can do here.
That’s why I’ve got to ask you… Is there any way of recycling more stuff on my own??? I recycle paper, bottle caps and cardboard.
In my country there aren’t a lot of places where I can recycle and I think that’s because people (not everyone) don’t care about that.. That’s very sad!
It is very sad – but an interesting question: these days so much recycling in the UK etc relies on local council provision (or in some areas, on supermarkets/other businesses) – how would we recycle if those systems weren’t in place?
I think we’d reuse more – a plastic bottle repurposed as a plant cloche doesn’t need recycling, neither does a glass jar reused for homemade preserves, a t-shirt upcycled into a shopping bag or scrap paper clipped together to make a notebook. We know that we should reuse before recycling – but I think that would be even more apparent if there wasn’t an option to recycle. Despite the name, this site is more about reusing than recycling – because it should come first and is easier to do on an individual level.
What we think of as proper recycling – breaking something down and making something new from the base material – is a lot harder to do at home, especially without specialist skills or equipment. It would probably be easier (but not exactly easy) to work with local authorities/community groups to set up recycling schemes working with local recycling/reclamation companies. Does anyone have any experience/advice about doing that sort of thing? Or are there any things that can easily be recycled (not just reused) at home?
Any other thoughts/advice for Melissa?
(Photo by septober)