Recycling - can you do more?
Recycling levels in Dorset are among the best in the country but we still need to do more.
Recycling is very easy. Every council in Dorset provides a kerbside recycling collection service to the majority of residents. This means you can put certain items in a recycling container provided by your council (e.g. bag, box and/or wheelie bin) and it will be collected from your kerbside.
You can take items that won't be accepted in your kerbside container to your local mini-recycling centre or a household recycling centre. Remember to wash and squash things like drink cans and plastic bottles.
Why not set yourself a target to recycle more, or start recycling if you are not yet doing it already. Did you know that up to 85% of all the waste you produce each week is recyclable?
Depending on your lifestyle, around 80-85% of all the waste you produce each week can be recycled or composted.
Before any recycling, over half of your weekly waste is made up of 'dry' recyclables, with paper and glass being the heaviest items. Uncooked food and garden waste makes up a quarter of your waste.
To work out your own household recycling target use our form: Calculate your own household recycling target (pdf, 11kb) (opens in a new window) . It is a table where you can list all the materials you think you would like to recycle and by adding them together, you can work out your own target. 50% should be easily achieved, 60% is good, but over 70% is excellent.
There are 3 steps to maximizing your recycling
It applies to all rubbish you produce; from the office and garage as well as from the kitchen.
Step 1 - Use your council kerbside recycling collection service
Services vary across Dorset - from the separate boxes and bags for different materials in some of the districts to the brown bin schemes to collect food and garden waste in others. Make sure you recycle all the materials your council scheme collects.
Step 2 - Take other materials to your local recycling bank or charity shop
Recycling banks are usually close by. Supermarkets will often have a good range of banks in their car parks, collecting materials such as paper, cans, glass, plastic bottles, aluminium foil, clothing, shoes and plastic bags.
Charity shops always welcome good, saleable items.
Step 3 - Home compost degradable items
Composting is the best way to reduce your waste. Uncooked food, such as vegetable and fruit peelings, tea bags, tissue/kitchen roll and thin cardboard, e.g. cereal packets, tissue boxes and toilet rolls along with garden waste can all be recycled in a compost bin. Good quality compost will be produced within six months.
Reducing the amount of waste you actually create is very important. Thinking about your shopping habits will reduce the amount of goods and packaging that you will ultimately have to throw away.
You can also decrease the amount of waste you produce by trying to reduce much of the junk mail you receive. Each year some 20kg of junk mail lands on your doorstep. Some may be for you and some for people who used to live in your house and left years ago. Most of it is not read.
Your junk mail can be reduced by registering online with the Mail Preference Service (opens in a new window) the names of people for whom you want to have junk mail stopped. This can be the names of everyone in your family and anyone who used to live at your address.
What do I do next?
- If you have lost or broken your recycling bin, bag or box, contact your local council and ask them to let you have a new one
- Order your compost bin and start composting your kitchen and garden waste
- Register with the Mail Preference Service to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive
- Talk to your low-recycling neighbours, family or friends to see if you can help them recycle more or to someone who is a good recycler if you need any help