We understand that waste sorting can be a terribly boring chore.
However, it is necessary because the more waste that collects over time, the harder it will be to remove. This is why we’ve compiled a list of 12 tips on waste sorting.
But before kicking off this list, remember to focus on waste and not garbage. Garbage comprises materials that have no resale or reuse value whatsoever. However, waste can be sorted through and subsequently resold or remodeled. Now, let’s move on to the list!
12 Tips On Waste Sorting
1. Refuse Unnecessary Packaging
If you buy an item and notice the seller wrapping it up in a copious amount of bubble wrap, stop them right there and have the amount brought down. Actions like these will bring down the amount of waste produced at home and will thus lead to lesser waste to sort through.
2. Clean Your Recyclables Before Washing Them
When you eat something that comes in a plastic cup, like ice cream, throw it in the sink with your other used utensils instead of trashing it. This way, you can wash the food remains off the cup, which will, in turn, make the job of those working at the recycling plant much easier. Apart from this, you can also clean recyclables with used napkins.
If you’ve got some sludgy, squishy waste at home, then it’s best to compost it. This kind of waste also leads to overflowing landfills (if untreated) and produces highly polluting methane gas.
However, you can turn things around by using your coffee grounds, vegetable peels, and damp paper bits as fertilizer for your plants.
4. Don’t Crumple Paper Before Throwing It Away
Leaving paper as it is is better than crumpling or tearing it up before throwing it away. This is because the intact paper has more value since its fibres are stronger, and it can be used more often.
5. Compost Unrecyclable Paper
This includes paper such as plasticized and greaseproof paper, paper with glue on it, used toilet paper, old coupons, and credit card receipts. You can even compost oily pizza boxes!
6. Reuse Glass Containers
Recycling glass is a costly affair, and that is why we recommend reusing glass containers as often as you can. In addition to this, try not to use bottles with long necks because they can’t be returned, and the process of recycling them is extremely complicated and pricey.
7. Keep Your Can Tags
Whenever you open a can of soda or beer, you’ll probably see a tag on the lid. We suggest letting them be because if you remove them, they’ll blend into the rest of the waste and be unlocatable. When this happens, they end up disappearing and never get recycled.
8. Use Toothpaste Judiciously
If you’re careful about the amount of toothpaste that you use, then the quantity of plastic waste generated will be lesser. Squeeze as much as you can from the tube, and remember to recycle it once it’s completely used up.
9. Avoid Snack Packaging
Have you ever noticed how certain snacks come in plastic packaging which is covered by a thin aluminum film? The plastic covering can be recycled; however, it’s quite tough to do so, and only a handful of companies undertake it. Find out how this type of recycling works and also try to reduce your use of such products.
10. No More Polystyrene Tray
Whenever you buy some electronics that come cushioned under a layer of styrofoam, make sure to recycle the foam. It has decent market value, and the process of recycling it is not too expensive.
However, polystyrene trays with plastic wraps that are commonly used to protect vegetables and fish aren’t as easy to recycle. So, anytime you purchase items like these, take your own containers and ask the shop owners to pack the goods in those instead of wrapping them up in polystyrene trays.
11. Be Careful While Disposing Of Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste can’t be disposed of callously the way regular trash is, and companies that generate this type of waste should take up the responsibility of dealing with it. One way to do so is to set up collection sites where such hazardous substances are safely dropped/picked up.
Some common kinds of hazardous wastes are:
A. Lamps, Ink Cartridges, Batteries
When disposing of ink cartridges, wait at least 24 hours. This lets the ink dry up entirely and makes the items easier to recycle.
Moving on, many supermarkets and stores have collection sites for these kinds of wastes to make them safer to dispose of.
B. Toxic Brews
Coffee capsules contain plastics and aluminium and are hence, relatively difficult to recycle. This is why you’ll notice that many coffee brands run collection drives at their stores for the disposal of these capsules. However, this isn’t enough, and we should all try and make a move to coffee grounds instead.
Many medicines come in blister packs, which are quite toxic and can’t be recycled with regular plastics. This is because they contain certain chemicals that are very detrimental to the environment.
So, to dispose of blister packs, you must take them to specialized collection drives that are often run by drugstores and pharmaceutical companies.
12. Educate Yourself
Lastly, be well aware of what kinds of materials can be recycled and what can’t. Apart from non-recyclable paper, paper clips, film wraps, and steel sponges also can’t be recycled. If dumped irresponsibly, such items usually end up in landfills, stinking them up and overcrowding them.
So, read up on recycling and what goods come under the ambit of recyclable goods.
As a final step, find out about how recycling plants function where you live. Once you’ve sorted through the waste generated by you, call up any recycling unit and have them come and collect the trash.