Can you imagine, what with all the awful stuff happening in the world right now, the added horror of not having your bin collected? I’d be pure raging. That’s precisely the situation facing many residents in the Lisburn City and Castlereagh Council Area. I hope the tossers at the top start prioritising what’s important and rewarding the workers who help us manage our waste, before the situation becomes truly disgusting, with bins lying for weeks without being emptied. One would imagine, what with the proposal for a twelve and half percent hike in rates, that council workers on the bottom rungs might see a share of this. Yesterday I was chatting to John Daly, who was standing in for Frank on the U105 Phone-In, about how to manage our rubbish and our recycling in the home, so that we don’t consign mountains of waste to landfill.
Here are a few of the points I made:
I saw a request on Facebook for bedding donations for Almost Home Animal Shelter. I had an old duvet, a couple of pillows and some elderly towels, so I thought, now there’s the very place! The Mothership doesn’t like to think of animals being chilly, so she had a root about the hot press and gave me some items of which she was looking rid. The Small Child also contributed her old dressing gown. A delightful volunteer arrived at my door and was delighted with the rake of stuff we had. She sent me a photo of a cosy bed yesterday, made up for a little dog called Bella, complete with colourful dressing gown. This is a brilliant way to recycle bulky items which would otherwise end up being turfed into landfill. It’s a win-win for wee creatures everywhere.
Anyone fancy a spot of can crushing? You know all about my foibles when it comes to bin-hoking and can-collecting, but this week LSB took a boot load of cans up to Bryson House in Mallusk and got £20 for his trouble. This is an excellent fund-raising idea for any sports or youth clubs. All they need are fizzy drink enthusiasts, somewhere to store the cans so they don’t get all wet and dirty, and a van to transport them up to Mallusk. Check here for details.
Many’s a time I’ve mentioned this before, but I save crisp and sweet wrappers, toothpaste tubes and coffee bags for Terracycle, through Kicks Count NI. I drop off my bags at the Conservation Volunteers on the Ravenhill Road when I’m down that way (I don’t be going down one errand, no siree!) Click on the link above to find hints, tips and local hubs for collection. It may sound overwhelming at first, but by siphoning off just a few difficult to recycle items, you will see a significant drop in your black bin waste.
You may also want to consider the following:
Trot to the Co-op with soft plastic wrapping that you can’t recycle at home. Rosetta has a wee box you can fire these into, and I save up all packaging in a bread bag. (I’m talking plastic wrappers for pasta/rice and the film off punnets of fruit and vegetables.)
Drop excess plastic bags and packaging off to charity shops; they always seem grateful to receive them.
Eliminate waste at source by bringing your Keep Cup to coffee shops or sitting in while you sip.
Give the Refill Quarter shops a blast, and try the Body Shop in town which now has a facility to bring your own containers and fill them up in the shop. I’ve taken takeaway boxes the butchers in Forestside in the past and they’ve been happy to fill them with mince for me, so I haven’t needed to take plastic bags.
Switch to reusable period wear like WUKA pants, or try a moon cup if you can stomach it. Personally this was a no-go for me after I kept getting them stuck and was almost taking myself to A&E one a couple of occasions to have the f**king thing extracted.
It’s still a source of huge irritation to me, but here in Northern Ireland we don’t have the same system for recycling everywhere, and the advice given is often confusing and misleading. For a comprehensive list of what can go in to which bins, we can access the Binovation app. This is certainly applicable to Belfast, Bangor and Ards, but I’m not sure about the rest of the six counties. My friend Mary who works for Belfast City Council, tells me that if we wash out our containers at home and provide a higher quality of material, then we will see more products made from our recycling created here in Northern Ireland. This sounds like it has the potential to boost businesses here, so maybe we could get in on some of the growth that the Tories have been banging on about at the party conference all week. ‘Green Growth’- now that doesn’t sound like rubbish to me.