We are all very conscious now, in this day and age, that we need to take better care of our planet. We are very aware that each small thing we do might help to improve life for the generations that will occupy this planet after us. One thing that everybody in Wimbledon does now – because it is so easy – is recycle. However, especially if you are part of a big family or you live in a house share with quite a few people, the recycling can easily get quite out of hand. It seems now that there are so many types of packaging that can be recycled and it feels like everything you would usually throw away can be categorised into one of the boxes that the Council usually leaves you. Therefore, keeping the recycling tidy and out of the way is something that requires real attention.
Clean it: Depending on where you live will probably affect how often your recycling collection is, but in Wimbledon, SW20 it is not likely to be more regularly than every week and it could be every two weeks. Therefore, you do not want to be just finishing with your food packaging and then tossing it straight into the box without at least giving it a quick rinse first. Quite apart from creating a really rather foul stench, some recycling collection services will refuse to collect your recycling if it is clear you have made no effort to wash it out first. This is particularly important for your empty milk containers and tinned fish as they are particularly powerful culprits when it comes to stench. Cleaning your empty food containers might even cut down on general house cleaning because you won’t spend an age doing needless domestic cleaning just to try and sniff out one particularly smelly milk carton in the recycling box.
Follow the instructions: If your boxes are anything like the ones I’ve had at any of my homes then they will be covered in various directions and instructions so that you can be left in no doubt when it comes to the intended purpose and contents of each box. It is very important that you sort your recycling appropriately at home. Usually there are only three categories; 2 boxes and a food bin. When your recycling gets to the sorting plant in the SW19 area it will have to be further divided so if you have made every effort to ensure that you have done your duty at your end it will make the professionals’ jobs easier. Also, if it is clear that you have not sorted your recycling, again the collectors may refuse to collect it and then you’ll be left in a real pickle as the recycling builds to an unmanageable level.
Space: This instruction is 2-fold.
1. Make sure that your boxes have a definite space in the home where they live and where they are returned to every time you bring them back from the roadside on recycling day. This way you can keep your house clean and make sure that you have a system that everybody knows about and can therefore stick to.
2. Make sure you maximise space within the boxes themselves. This means folding everything down – specifically cardboard juice cartons and cereal boxes. Anything that can be flattened should be flattened. Obviously this doesn’t apply to glass bottles but plastic bottles and milk containers should be flattened in order to make room for other items. Air doesn’t really weigh anything but it can be very annoying if you are carrying your recycling box to the street in Wimbledon and your inflated milk container keeps floating off of its own accord.
So keep your recycling neat and tidy, it is only a tiny home cleaning responsibility but it can make a big difference.