Follow our 8 simple steps of what YOU can do to make a difference:
Step 1: Organise household bins: Put three bins in your kitchen or storage area: one for recyclables, one for compostable vegetable waste and one for general waste, that way you can separate 'at source' which is a proven way of waste minimisation, especially if you home compost. There are also an increasing number of councils who are offering an organic waste collection (or a three-bin system) in addition to waste and recycling services. Check with your local council if this service is available to you.
Did you know that when organic waste decomposes in a landfill, it creates the greenhouse gas methane, which has a global warming potential about 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide?
Step 2: You can recycle: Paper, glass, metals (food tins, drink cans, jar lids, wine bottle screw tops), plastic bottles of types 1 (PET) and 2 (HDPE) are all widely collected through kerbside recycling services or drop off collection depots. Increasingly more local councils are expanding their recycling services to include all grades of plastics 1-7, plastic bags, aerosol cans, even tin foil trays! Check with your local council for collection details in your area.
Did you know that one recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours? Or that recycling steel cans to make new cans uses 75% less energy and around half the water?
Step 3: Be clean and conserve space: Rinse out bottles and cans so it’s more pleasant for the recycling operators. Squash plastic containers and cans to save space. Remember, metal lids on jars and wine bottle screw tops will recycle as well as they are made from steel or aluminium, but make sure you take them off!
Step 4: Recycle greeting cards, cardboard gift and toy boxes: Reuse or recycle your greeting cards. New Zealanders send around 225 million cards every year. Your paper collector will recycle your old cards. Wrapping paper, gift boxes, toy boxes can all be flattened and reused or recycled.
Step 5: Make a difference by saying "No": Use a reusable shopping bag when you go out to do all your shopping. Only use a bag if you really need to and if you do take one, re-use it and/or recycle it.
Step 6: It's not just packaging which can be recycled: There are collection points around for e-waste, hazardous materials and paint – just ask your local council.
Step 7: When on holiday check out the local arrangements: We consume 3 times more bottles and cans over the holidays and in seaside areas it’s an additional 400%. If you’re going away, check what the local arrangements are. Check out the local council for more information on what recycling services are availalbe
Step 8: Make a resolution to reduce, reuse and recycle even more. If we all do our bit New Zealand WILL remain clean and green