How to reduce your waste
Calderdale produces approximately 78,000 tonnes of waste every year. This would roughly fill the Piece Hall courtyard from bottom to top. Most of our household rubbish is disposed of in landfill sites, but we are running out of space.
Here are some suggestions for how you can help:
Reducing what we buy in the first place is the most effective way of reducing waste. If we don’t buy it in the first place it cannot, in the long term, become waste. Up to a quarter of the rubbish we throw away is packaging. Millions of carrier bags were given out to shoppers in Calderdale last year. Most are used once and then thrown away adding to the huge pile of rubbish going into landfill sites.
What we should be doing is Smart Shopping!
You could think about the following before buying a product:
- Do we really need the product?
- Do we need the additional packaging that is being offered?
- Are we being given something we just don’t want?
- Is there an alternative which does not create waste?
- Should we pay a little more now for something that will last much longer?
You can also consider the following when out shopping:
- Choosing products with less packaging.
- Buying loose vegetables and fruit where possible.
- Supporting the bag for life schemes.
- Re-using carrier bags.
- Putting everything into one bag rather than taking a different one from each shop.
- Choose refills where available.
- Use cloth nappies (contact the Change Project Nappy Laundry service on 01422 847080).
If you follow these shop smart ideas you will put pressure on retailers to stock fewer items with unnecessary packaging. More packaging means more rubbish and higher prices.
If you do your bit and smart shop you will reduce the amount of rubbish we have to get rid of and you could save yourself money.
Waste reduction and recycling have a wide range of environmental benefits. They reduce demand for raw materials preserving natural resources and habitats. They also reduce both energy use and pollution, result in less waste going into valuable landfill space, and promote public awareness and personal responsibility for the waste we create.
However, recycling has not actually taken place until we buy products made from recycled materials. For recycling to be economically viable and recycling schemes to be successful, there must be a market into which collectors of waste can sell their materials. Buying recycled creates a demand for the collected material, aiding the development of the materials reprocessing infrastructure and therefore increasing opportunities for recycling.
As well as helping the environment, buying recycled also helps to generate investment in new industries and creates new jobs.
The process of buying recycled is called "closing the loop" as a product cannot be described as recycled until it has been incorporated into a new product, thus coming full circle. This process ensures that the supply of waste materials balances demand, and stimulates the market in recycled products.
How can you help?
Calderdale produces approximately 78,000 tonnes of waste every year – which would roughly fill the Piece Hall courtyard from bottom to top. Most of our household rubbish is disposed of in landfill sites but we are running out of space.
Here are some suggestions for how you can help:
- Choose recycled products such as tissues, toilet rolls, kitchen towels, writing paper, pens, rulers and plant pots.
- Look out for the recycling symbol and the Buy Recycled logo.
- Buy it, Recycle it, Buy Recycled and close the loop.
If each house in Calderdale receives just one item of junk mail a week – this equates to 4.5 million unwanted letters across the district each year. If you want to cut the amount of junk mail you receive contact the Mailing Preference Service for an application form on:
- Username Mail Preference Service
- Telephone 02072913310
The Mailing Preference Service
- Website Mail Preference Service
If you receive unwanted faxes you can get your name removed from mailing lists by contacting the Fax Preference Service:
- Username Fax Preference Service
- Telephone 020 7291 3320
- Website Facsimile Preference Service
To put a stop to non-addressed, hand delivered mail like magazines and flyers that are delivered direct by your postal worker, write to:
Door to Door Help Line;
Sandy Lane West
State in the letter that you no longer wish to receive non-addressed, hand-delivered mail. Make sure you include your full address and postcode.
Love Food, Hate Waste
In the UK we throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink a year. For recipes, tips and tools to help you reduce food waste from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign go to Love Food Hate Waste
Benefits of reuse
Just because something is not useful to you anymore does not mean that it has no use. Many of the items we throw away every day can be useful and may have a value to people who are not so well off, both in this country and abroad. We need to think carefully about how we dispose of some of these items, for example:
- I.T. equipment can be reused either locally or even abroad.
- Furniture and household equipment can be refurbished, usually through local authorities or community recycling groups.
- Unused paint can be put to good use thus reducing damage to the environment caused by dumping in landfill.
- What really seems like rubbish can be used for other purposes, such as plastic drinks bottles as garden cloches for seedlings or how about using that plastic carrier bag as a bin liner at home.
Other ways you can help to reduce waste in Calderdale include:
- Use recycled paper for printing and photocopying and use both sides of the paper.
- Paper used on one side only can also be reused on the other side for telephone messages, reminder notes, shopping lists, kids’ scribbles and so on.
- Send e-cards rather than paper cards at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
- There are plenty of websites around that provide lots of different designs.
- Use a cloth hankie.
- It takes 6,000,000 trees to make one year's worth of tissues for the world.
- Look after your vehicle’s tyres.
- By maintaining the correct air pressure. This can almost double their lifespan.
- Avoid using disposable items, such as plastic cups and paper plates whenever possible.
- Keep a mug, bowl and cutlery at work instead.
- Avoid using disposable nappies.
- A wide range of modern, easy-to-use reusable nappies is now readily available.
- Drink tap or filtered water rather than bottled water, which generates a lot of waste plastic.
Other ways to reuse old stuff include:
- Reuse plastic carrier bags and remember to take them with you when you go shopping. You could also try re-usable cloth bags.
- Reuse envelopes by crossing out the old address.
- If you have things that you no longer want, but which are still useable, such as children's toys and clothes, find someone else who wants them. You can also take them to charity shops.
- Save the front half of old greeting cards to reuse as postcards or gift tags.
- Instead of always buying new, repair items that are worn or slightly damaged where possible.
- Try joining a Freecycle group.
For more suggestions and information about recycling, visit: Recycle Now .