While guiding you on how to hire a skip is our specialty, we do know a thing or two about recycling as well. Okay, so we know a lot about recycling, but we just love sharing our tips with you.
Being passionate about our planet, recycling is one of the easiest ways you can contribute to saving our environment. Why? Because you can literally start doing it right at home – right now. There are probably hundreds of items you can recycle at home just sitting there beside you. You probably put them in the general waste bin without even realising that they could actually be recycled!
To help you and your household master the act of recycling and make an even bigger impact on the environment, we’ve collated a list of 10 surprising items you can recycle at home.
Items you can recycle at home:
- Plastic bags and wrappers
- CDs & DVDs
- Wine corks
- Coffee pods
- Aluminium foil
- Ink cartridges
- Junk mail
Items you can recycle at home that you probably didn’t know you could:
1. Plastic bags and wrappers
From shopping bags and bubble wrap, to old chip packets and sandwich bags. Soft plastics just like this are all items you can recycle at home! In fact, they are perfect for turning into a particular material that can be manufactured into new goods.
So from now on, why not set up a separate bin for all your soft plastics and make a weekly trip down to your local REDcycle drop off point? The turtles will be eternally grateful.
2. CDs & DVDs
We are living in a time where Netflix and Spotify are dominating our source of entertainment. For this reason, clearing out our beloved old CDs and DVDs is probably on the horizon. We would suggest attempting to sell some of these first, but for any DVDs that no one wants, or perhaps CDs that are too embarrassing to resurface – your recycling bin awaits!
3. Wine corks
If you’re a household that likes to party, make the next morning cleanup even better by recycling your wine corks. We live in a renowned wine region, making us and fellow Australians large consumers of wine, however not even 5% of wine corks are recycled each year. Cork is actually a natural and biodegradable material that is much better placed in the recycle bin than general waste. You could even shred them up and use them for compost in your garden.
4. Coffee pods
Ah, coffee pods. They have saved us some money on the daily coffee run, but their single use form is notoriously wasteful. The plus side is, you can still make a difference because these are items you can recycle at home. Start collecting your used coffee pods and take them down to your closest Nespresso stores – they’ll make sure the coffee pods are put to good reuse.
Alternatively, there are now reusable coffee pods on the market. You just fill them up and use them like normal, and then when you’ve had your coffee, you empty out the residue, clean them and use them again and again – smart.
5. Aluminium foil
Aluminium foil is amongst the many surprising items you can recycle at home. This is particularly useful to know around Easter time where we dispose of mass amounts of chocolate wrappers. This also applies to cooking alfoil, disposable pans and the lids of your yoghurt containers. Providing you give them a quick clean, you can simply scrunch your aluminium foil items into a ball (the size of a small fist) and recycle them.
The humble toothbrush. It’s perhaps the most used item in your home. With daily use guaranteed, we tend to go through them quite quickly. But before you throw your old toothbrush in the garbage can, consider recycling it. From the bristles to the plastic holder nearly all the parts of a toothbrush can be recycled and reused to make something new.
7. Ink cartridges
Every year, over 18 million ink cartridges end up in landfills – this amounts to 5000 tonnes of material that could be recycled. There are a number of collection points you can take your old ink cartridges to. You can also register your workplace to ensure you’re not only doing good at home, but at work too!
During isolation, you’ve probably done your fair share of cupboard clear outs, but have you done the bathroom cupboard yet? If not, before you think about throwing away all that cracked and expired, half-used makeup, think again. You guessed it, makeup is included in the list of items you can recycle at home. TerraCycle has put together a nationwide Beauty Product Recycling Program which you can learn all about right here.
Sometimes they break sooner than we expected, sometimes our vision changes and we need a new prescription. Other times, we just want to update our look. Anyone who wears glasses, will know about the several pairs we tend to go through – but what do you do with the old ones? Recycle them of course! On your way to picking up your new pair of glasses, ask your optometrists where the best place is to recycle your old pair – some stores even collect them to make into a brand new pair themselves or donate to people in need!
10. Junk mail
Junk mail is called junk mail for a reason. It’s useful for those few days after first finding them in our mailbox, but once the sales are over we no longer have much use for these inked up piles of paper. However, just because they are called “junk” this doesn’t make them garbage. In fact, you can toss all your old junk mail right into the recycling bin.
Recycling is about much more than milk cartons, plastic bottles and glass jars. In fact, the list of items you can recycle at home goes on and on! There are a number of resources available to help you determine what you can and can’t put in a recycling bin. Alternatively, we are here to answer all your burning questions – be that a question about skip bin prices, waste types or recycling, we are here to help make the planet a better place.