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July 23, 2017

Are you recycling like a champion?

There are so many things we can do with our stuff before we recycle it, but once it is time for a thing to be recycled, knowing how best to deal with it can be a huge challenge. It's no wonder so much stuff ends up in landfill! Well we've implemented a new system at home and I must say, it's working a treat! Here's how we sort our recycling:

Plain cardboard, tissues, paper towels: compost compost compost! This is all good for adding carbon to the compost heap. When we first went almost zero I was on the fence about paper towels, it only took one clean up of dog vomit to sell me on the idea of keeping paper towels in our lives!! Anything gross like vomit goes into our green bin, but paper towels are a happy addition to our compost heap

Toilet paper rolls: I plant seeds in toilet rolls then when they're big/strong enough to transplant I just plant them (roll and all) in the garden bed - again, it's a carbon hit for the soil

Hard plastics, glass jars, printed cardboard, foil, tins, aerosols etc: these all get rinsed, lids removed and then go in our council recycling bin. (I reuse glass jars for storage, they're handy when I make relishes and sauces from the excess in our veggie garden)

Plastic lids, bread tags and other small pieces of hard plastic: these go in a container, when the container is full they get sorted into lid types and put into jars to go into the regular council collected recycling bin

Bottle tops (of the beer persuasion): these go in a separate container and once full are treated like the plastic lids

Bottles and cans: these go to our dear friend Pirate who runs a rat rescue, she takes them to the depot for the recycling refund which helps to cover the costs of caring for all her furry critters

Soft plastics: there'e been a huge reduction in our soft plastics usage by avoiding packaging, but the ones we do accumulate go in the Redcycle bins found outside Coles shopping centres. Redcycle will collect any soft plastics used in food packaging like pasta, pet food (kibble), junk food, fruit netting, etc as well as plastic bags

Blister packs: these can technically be recycled but there's no-one in SA currently collecting them, so to prevent them going to landfill, for now they are being saved up in a jar in the hopes that a local recycling program for these opens in the future (now whenever I'm in a chemist I keep an eye out for blister pack alternatives, there are other options for many medications)

Batteries: these go in the dead battery drawer until we have enough to warrant taking them to Battery World or sita for recycling

Ink Cartridges: recycled through Officeworks

Polystyrene: recycled through coolfoam

Pump dispensers (like the ones on a soap on tap): we take ours to the Adelaide Sustainability Centre to be recycled through the terracycling program

E-waste: we save ours up and then recycle it through the Unplug n Drop bin at our local Bunnings, or do a run to sita

Toothbruses/toothpaste tubes: both recyclable through teracycle (there are teracycle bins at The Adelaide Sustainability Centre in the city) we've switched our teeth regime and now use homemade toothpaste and bamboo toothbrushes that are compostable

One of the first things I noticed about going almost zero was that my need to recycle things became less and less. Refusing and reducing are really the key to recycling like a champion!

Now let's all sort and conquer!

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