What is Waste?
Waste is anything we have used that is not being re-used or absorbed back into nature.
Waste comes in different forms:
- Solid: paper, plastic, cans, building rubble
- Liquid: water from our bath, shower, washing machine, sink
- Wet or organic: food scraps, garden clippings
- Gas: e.g. carbon dioxide produced by our cars or burning fossil fuels
Waste is such a waste
- Resources are valuable and should not just be thrown away
- Reusing and recycling items saves space in expensive landfill sites
- Recycling reduces the need for mining new resources
- Waste reduction and recycling reduce pollution and litter
- Incineration is expensive and can release dangerous toxins.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
- Reduce and avoid: Only buy what we need, not what we want
- Reuse: Think of ways to reuse products and packaging
- Recycle: Separate waste and recycle rather than send to landfill
- Dispose of waste responsibly: Do not litter, put waste into the correct bin.
Different kinds of Waste
- Dry waste/mixed recyclables: things we can recycle (paper, plastic, glass, cans)
- Hazardous waste: things we should not place in the normal bin (CFLs, batteries, poisons)
- Organic/wet waste: things that can go to a compost heap or worm farm (fruit, vegetables, garden clippings)
- E-waste: computers, cell phones
What we can do at home
- Separate household waste into recyclables, wet/organic waste and general waste for landfill
- Use kitchen or garden waste to start a compost heap or worm farm
- Use natural products instead of toxic chemicals for household cleaning and pest control
- Ensure that CFLs (containing mercury)are safely disposed of and not put with general waste
- Take electronic waste and batteries to an e-waste facility