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Reduce Reuse Recycle Guide

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Reduce, Reuse and
Recycle!
Community Group Guide
2
This pack has been designed to help your group learn more about making less rubbish and
recycling even more! If you’d li...
3
Introduction
Millions of years ago, we did not have what is now known as rubbish, as nature recycled
everything. When hu...
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Reduce Reuse Recycle Guide

  1. 1. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! Community Group Guide
  2. 2. 2 This pack has been designed to help your group learn more about making less rubbish and recycling even more! If you’d like more help or advice, visit our website recycleforyourcommunity.com Contents Page Introduction 3 How long do things take to break down? 4 The 3 Rs 4 Activity: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle record sheet 5 What can I recycle at home? 7 What happens to your rubbish and recycling? 8 Make your group greener! 9 Other things to try with your group and at home 11 Play games! 12 How to: Carry out a Waste Audit 13 How to: Make your event environmentally- friendly 14 How to: Run a Swap Shop 15 How to: Organise a Litter Pick 16 Contacts and useful websites 17
  3. 3. 3 Introduction Millions of years ago, we did not have what is now known as rubbish, as nature recycled everything. When humans arrived, we began to make more and more mess! The invention of disposable items in the last 100+ years has made the problem a lot worse. In addition, in the last hundred we have seen an increase in the manufacturing of disposable goods, which has made the problem worse. In our part of east London, we create over half a million tonnes of rubbish each year... that’s about half a tonne per person! Where does rubbish go? Waste goes to landfill sites – big holes in the ground, which are often disused quarries. A landfill site is filled up over time and then covered over with soil and grass when it is full. There are lots of problems with landfill: - Rubbish in landfill sites is so tightly packed together and is not exposed to oxygen in the air, so it does not rot in the normal way. Instead, when things rot in landfill, they give off a smelly gas called methane. This can add to Global Warming. Chemicals and other liquid can leak from landfill into nearby streams and rivers, if it’s not contained properly with a protective membrane at the bottom. - Landfills take up a lot of space. This means less space for us (e.g. parks, houses) and for wildlife (e.g. takes away habitat for animals). We only live on a small island and are running out of space to make new landfill sites. - Putting things in landfill is a waste of valuable resources – a glass bottle will never break down in landfill, but it can be recycled endlessly. Making a new bottle takes up lots of energy and new resources.
  4. 4. 4 How long do things take to break down? Natural materials like cotton and paper will break down quite quickly, but man-made materials like plastic can take hundreds or thousands of years. So what can we do to throw less away? The 3 Rs Recycling is one way to send less of our waste to landfill, but there are two other important things to do to as well... all together they are called the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Reduce This is the most important – we need to make less waste in the first place. How? Buy less and use less... - Use less disposable things, so you won’t have to throw so much away - Buy and eat food carefully, so it doesn’t go off before you eat it - Buy things with less packaging or recyclable packaging Reuse Use things again or give them a new lease of life. How? - Reuse tubs and boxes for storing food, instead of disposable plastic food bags - Give your old things to charity instead of throwing them away - If you like making things, use your rubbish to create something new
  5. 5. 5 Recycle Once you have reduced your waste and reused what you can, then you can recycle! Recycling means breaking down something old to turn it into something new – often it’s made back into the same thing e.g. old paper is made back into paper or newspaper, but sometimes it’s made into something different e.g. plastic bottles can be made into a fleece jumper! How? At home – recycle your plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, tins and cans in your orange bags or recycling box (look at the recycling cheat sheet on page 5 for a reminder). If you live in Redbridge or Barking and Dagenham, you can also recycle glass bottles and jars in your recycling boxes. Away from home – use your reuse and recycling centre (the ‘tip’) and recycling banks to recycle glass bottles, clothes, shoes and more. ************************************************************** Activity: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle record sheet As a first step towards learning more about the 3Rs and thinking more about what we throw away, ask your group to take the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle record sheet home and fill it in every day. Reuse paper if you can – print the sheets on the other side of used paper or ask your group to use the back for something else afterwards. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle record sheet Make a record of what you reduce, reuse or recycle this week. Remember: Reduce means not buying or using something you would throw away – e.g. saying no to a plastic bag or eating all of your dinner! Reuse means using something again or giving it to someone else – e.g. putting your lunch in a lunchbox instead of throw-away bags or using both sides of paper Recycle means putting plastic bottles, paper, tins and cans in your recycling bag or bin, so they can be made into new things – e.g. recycling your drink bottle
  6. 6. 6 Put a tick in the boxes whenever you reduce, reuse or recycle! Day I reduced I reused I recycled Total no. of ticks ............. ........... ............
  7. 7. 7 What can I recycle at home? Cardboard If you live in Havering or Barking & Dagenham, flatten and place outside of your orange bags In Newham, put inside your wheelie bin or orange bags In Redbridge, flatten and put in your blue box Glass bottles and jars If you live in Redbridge or Barking and Dagenham, you can recycle glass in your blue boxes In Havering and Newham, you can take glass to your nearest recycling bank
  8. 8. 8 What happens to your rubbish and recycling? How are things recycled? What happens to your rubbish? Recycling is taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in East London, either Jenkins Lane in Beckton or Frog Island in Rainham. In Redbridge, recycling is taken to Ilford, where a slightly different process is used. All your recycling goes into a spinning drum with holes and along several conveyor belts. These processes separate different materials – e.g plastic bottles fall through holes in the spinning drum and magnets pick up steel cans. At the MRF in Ilford, paper and cardboard are sent straight to paper mills to be remade into new paper or cardboard. A final hand-check removes things the machines don’t recognise - non-recyclables like clothing and plastic packaging. It’s important to put the right things in your recycling bags and boxes! At the end of the conveyor belts, the separated materials fall into collection bays. The materials are squashed together into bales, which are stored in another section of the MRF, ready for collection. The bales are loaded onto lorries and transported to manufacturers. They use recycled materials to make new products - a new drink can be in the shops just 6 weeks after you recycled your old can!
  9. 9. 9 Your rubbish is taken to a Biological Materials Recovery Facility (Bio-MRF) in either Jenkins Lane or Frog Island. The only other Bio-MRF in the UK is in Scotland! The rubbish is dropped by a crane into a giant shredder and then put onto a special ‘bio-drying’ floor, which lets air pass through the rubbish, making it rot faster. This copies the natural process that occurs when biodegradable waste (like food) rots in open air. The waste is dried for 14 days using natural heat and microbes. This evaporates most of the moisture content. At the end of the process, the weight of the rubbish is around 25% less. Pushing air through the rubbish in Step 2 means the rubbish decomposes without producing methane gas. The used air passes through the roof of the Bio-MRF (pictured). The roof is covered in woodchips, which removes any smell and pollution. The dried waste is separated into different useful materials. Glass and metal can be recycled and anything organic can be composted. Most of what’s left is ‘Solid Recovered Fuel’, which is taken by companies to use as fuel. The whole process results in up to 80% of your rubbish being saved from landfill!
  10. 10. 10 Make your group greener! By putting in place a few simple actions with your group, you can make a big difference. Use our ideas to set up a green action plan together – once it’s set up, you can make it part of everything your group does, without too much extra work! A good place to start is by doing a Waste Audit of your group, so you know what to work on (See How to: Carry out a Waste Audit on page 13.) Bronze level - Does your group have recycling bins? Are your bins clearly labelled (recycling and rubbish)– you could get your group to draw pictures to decorate the bin, to show what goes inside, or even design a bin monster! (Pictured right) - Turn off lights and plugs! Make posters to put near light switches and plug points, to remind everyone to turn things off when they’re not being used. Lights left on waste about an extra 10-20% of energy compared to those turned off! Silver level - Buy Fairtrade products for snack breaks or tuck shops, or to sell at events – look out for the symbol (right) - Invest in reusable cups for drink breaks, instead of using disposable ones. Think what you spend on disposable cups a year – you will save money overall - Get involved in a litter pick of your local area – don’t forget to separate rubbish and recycling. See How to: Organise a Litter Pick on page 16. You can order a pack to help you get started from The Big Tidy Up: thebigtidyup.org Gold level – well done! - Hold an environmentally-friendly event. It could be giving your usual event an environmental theme, e.g. providing recycling bins, using reusable or compostable plates and cups and running ‘green’ activities. See page 14 for ideas and advice. - You could also organise a Swap Shop – it’s like a Bring and Buy sale, but free! Get people to bring their unwanted things so they can swap them with something they do want. Read How to: Run a Swap Shop on page 15.
  11. 11. 11 Other things to try with your group and at home Try with your group - Try out a recycled-craft activity – try making a collage, model or a sculpture with the things you usually throw away - Share stuff – set up a system for sharing things such as books and equipment. Think of it like a library: Use a record book so you know who has what and set a length of time to borrow each item - Get a compost bin or a wormery, if you have a small area of ground; it’s a great way to recycle your fruit and vegetable scraps, as well as tea bags, old paper and cardboard Try at home - Put your whole family’s recycling skills to the test – make a ‘How much did our family recycle this week?’ sheet, then see if you can beat it the next week! How many bags of rubbish do you have compared to your recycling? Did you remember to reduce and reuse – do you have fewer bags altogether? - Have a waste-free lunch day – think about what you usually throw away e.g. crisp packets and single-serve yoghurt pots, and then try to make a lunch where you throw nothing away. Sandwiches, leftovers, fruit, drinks and other goodies will fit into reusable containers Have fun with reducing, reusing and recycling! Play games! Get your group thinking about recycling and the environment by playing some fun games. Rubbish Relay - Split the group into two or three teams and get them to sit along one end of the room - At the other end of the room a rubbish bin and recycling box/bag is set up for each team - The teams are given a bin bag containing15 to 20 items of rubbish. One at a time with one item, they have to run to other side of room and put it in the correct container - All teams continue until everyone has finished; get everyone to count correct items together; the winner is the team with the most correct items - Talk through what can and can’t be recycled; play the game again to see the difference!
  12. 12. 12 Squirrels and Trees This game is to get your group thinking about where things come from and the impacts of overusing natural resources. The game is similar to ‘musical chairs’, each round the number of trees available to squirrels will be reduced. - Split into two equal groups – squirrels and trees - Get the ‘trees’ to stand around the room with their arms out; each arm is one ‘branch’ - The group leader acts as ‘woodsman’. You start in ‘daytime’, when the squirrels will be on the ground looking for nuts, while the woodsman will be cutting down trees to make paper. When you shout ‘night-time’ the woodsman ‘goes home’ and the squirrels need to find one branch each to sleep on - Keep going until most of the squirrels are ‘out’ and a couple of trees are left; then swap around - After the game, get into a circle to talk about why you played that game? What does this teach us (about overusing natural resources, instead of reducing, reusing and recycling), etc? See Useful Websites on page 17 for places to find more games and activities How to: Carry out a Waste Audit Waste audits are a great way to get your group thinking about what happens to waste after it goes in the bin. They are a quick and easy way to find out the amounts and types of waste your group and/or your building produces. The results from your audit will help you figure out the ways you can reduce your waste and recycle more. 1. Identify what is already being done to reduce, reuse and recycle 2. Visually assess the amount and types of waste in your rubbish and recycling bins, thinking about the whole building: o Places that generate rubbish o Areas where recycling works well o Who is in charge of managing the rubbish/recycling? o Estimates on the amount and types of waste in rubbish and recycling bins 3. To go into more detail, you can carry out a hand-sorting audit: o Weigh the rubbish and recycling bags
  13. 13. 13 o Sort through the bins (with gloves!) and separate items into different ‘waste streams’ e.g. paper, plastic bottles, other plastics, etc o Measure and record your findings Be very careful if you decide to handle waste, you may need to complete a risk assessment and wear protective clothing. 4. Use your results – what does your group waste the most of; can more of it be recycled? o Determine if and where you need more waste or recycling bins – have one recycling bin for every rubbish bin, and remove any rubbish bins you don’t really need o Label your rubbish and recycling bins clearly with what can go in o Make sure everyone is on-board with and knows how to use the new system e.g. the building manager, cleaner and other people using the space – create posters to put near bins How to: Make your event environmentally-friendly Events such as open days and fetes are fun and a great way to get people together, but inevitably people will create rubbish while eating, drinking and having fun. You can do something great for the environment and work towards badges with your Brownies, Cubs and Beavers. It’s easier than you might think to turn your event green, just by making a few changes! Planning for the event: - Publicity – use free online event websites, including your council’s and our campaign’s (www.recycleforyourcommunity.com) to save paper. Print hard copies on recycled paper - Plan ahead - think about how much stuff you will need, to avoid creating leftover waste, especially food. Have a plan for any leftover food and drink, so it doesn’t go in the bin - Get support - get everyone involved on board with the plan! On the day: - Catering – the majority of waste at events comes from food, drink and their containers. Using lots of polystyrene cups may be easy, but remember how long they take to break down? Websites such as Vegware.com and Ecopartybags.co.uk sell biodegradable cups, plates, cutlery and takeaway boxes (which will break down in the Bio-MRF). These options aren’t very expensive; e.g. hot drink cups cost around £4 for 50, just 8p each!
  14. 14. 14 - Activities – if you’re running craft activities or games, try to make them environmentally- friendly too,: use clean rubbish for junk modelling, make a recycled collage or play Rubbish Relay (see page 12) - Rubbish and recycling facilities –put plenty of clearly-labelled rubbish and recycling bins in the right places, e.g. at food stalls and messy activity areas. If you’ve used biodegradable cups and plates, shout about it and make sure people know that it won’t be going to landfill - Cleaning up – you may need to litter pick during or after the event, so have some volunteers ready! Finally, make sure all your rubbish and recycling are going to the right places How to: Run a Swap Shop A ‘Swap Shop’ or ‘Give and Take Day’ is a way of passing on things that you longer need or want to a new owner and pick up something you do need. All for free! These events extend the life span of items that would otherwise end up in landfill and provide items for free to your community - a particular benefit to individuals and families on low incomes. You can make a Swap Shop as big or small as you like – it could be just for your own group, or for the public to attend. The basic ingredients: 1. A venue 2. People 3. Publicity Preparing for the event:  Booking the venue and getting volunteers – to donate items for starting off with, to bring refreshments to sell, etc  Advertising is key for a public event - distributing leaflets and posters, contacting local press, preparing banners or posters to put up on the day  Arranging what to do with leftover items at the end – contact a couple of local charity shops, they are usually very happy to take things On the day:  Arrive at least an hour before the event opens to the public  Setting up – one or two tables at the front for people donating items, several for ‘taking’  Managing the event – if you think you will be very busy, you can have a ‘giving’ period at the start (e.g. 10-11.30am) then ask people to come back for a ‘taking’ period (e.g. 12-
  15. 15. 15 3pm). Or for smaller events, if you have some items to start off with, you can allow giving and taking for the whole day  Make note of what has been donated/weigh donations  Move donations to the taking tables and lay them out  Take photographs  Make tea and coffee and replenish refreshments  Optional: run kid’s activities and an information stall e.g. about how to reuse and recycle How to: Organise a Litter Pick A litter pick is a great chance to get involved in improving your local area. Why do one? - It’s enjoyable – you’ll get outside and have fun with your group! - Make a difference – you’ll see the effects and want to keep it looking good - Prevent further littering – it’s a fact that people are less likely to litter in a clean area - Work towards badges – if you’re in Beavers, Cubs or Brownies This is a just a rough guide to give you an idea of what you’ll need to do; for step-by-step guides and resource packs, visit thebigtidyup.org The basic ingredients: 1. A suitable location that needs cleaning up! 2. People to join in 3. Equipment for picking up and storing the litter Preparing for the event:  Decide on a location – somewhere in need of tidying and somewhere that will be safe. Remember you will need to ask permission of the landowner or council  Get people involved – you could advertise the event to get local people involved too  Arrange how you will get rid of your collected litter – the council may provide a skip or collect it for you, or you could arrange to take it to a reuse and recycling centre (the tip)  Write a risk assessment to plan ahead for any potential issues  Sort out equipment – you will need litter pickers, gloves, high visibility vests, bags for rubbish/recycling, litter recording sheet/s (so you know how much litter you collected) and a first aid kit (you can borrow a litter picking kit from us, contact us - details at the bottom of the page) On the day:  Introductions – make sure people know what to do and go through the Health and Safety  Managing the event – split people into teams of three. One to pick the rubbish, one to hold the bag/s and one to record items picked up  Take photographs  Record the total number of bags of rubbish and recycling you collected!
  16. 16. 16 Contacts and useful websites Contact us Recycle for your Community is a partnership between, Keep Britain Tidy, East London Waste Authority, Shanks East London and the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham and Redbridge. Useful websites For more facts, figures and advice go to: recycling-guide.org.uk recyclenow.com For more fun stuff aimed at children, have a look at: recycle-more.co.uk www.recyclezone.org.uk - To have a look at a variety of recycled products, visit: recycledproducts.org.uk remarkable.co.uk

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