Waste & Recycling

Students from Swansea University conducted a roadshow, being a part of SWELL (Sustainability and Wellbeing) at Fulton House on Friday the 17th of February. This was carried out in order to learn about people’s recycling habits and raise awareness of common mistakes and contaminants of recycling.

Importance of Recycling

Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. Recycling is important to both the natural environment and us but what is of great importance is to keep in mind that it begins at home. When you think of recycling you should really think about the whole idea; reduce, reuse and recycle. We’ve been careless up to this point with the way we’ve treated the Earth and it is time to change; not just the way we do things but the way we think.

Recycling is Important because:

T• o Make Environment Clean

• Conservation of Materials

• To Save Energy

• Reduce Garbage in Landfills

Some recycling facts

Studies have shown that:

• More than 60% of the rubbish that ends up in trash bins can be recycled.

• Around 16% of the cost of a product is spent on its packaging which is completely wasted if not disposed of properly.

• 80% of a vehicle can be recycled.

• Aluminum cans can be recycled completely and put to use in a short time.

• Thousands of glass jars and bottles are thrown away every day.

• Glass can be recycled 100% and reused.

• Glass products which end up in landfills do not decompose at all.

• It has been observed that 24 trees are cut down to make one ton of paper.

• On the contrary, recycled paper is proved to create 70% less pollution compared to normal non-recycled material paper production.

• Plastics, which can often be recycled, take around 500 years to decompose.

• One recycled tin can save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.

• 70% less energy is utilized to recycle paper compared to making it from raw materials.

• Similarly, when you recycle one glass bottle, it can save enough energy to power a personal computer for 25 minutes

Non Recyclable and Recyclable items

Of course, waste has to be assorted into particular categories – namely paper and cardboard waste; cans; compost; non-recyclable waste, and plastic waste among others. With all those categories, it would be easily for someone to incorrectly assume that some genuinely non-recyclable waste is constituted as recyclable.

For instance…

• Crisp packets

• Styrofoam packaging (in takeaway boxes etc.)

• Soiled aluminum foil/cans (don’t confuse with tins)

• Light bulbs and ceramics

• Pizza boxes and other soiled cardboard

What about plastics?

Well…it depends on plastic type and local authority. Each plastic type should have a resin code numbered 1-7, and plastics numbered 1 or 2 are generally widely recycled. Irrespective of this, since plastic contamination renders the entire recyclable waste pile unrecyclable, either Swansea University residences, local authority responsible (i.e. Swansea Council) should be consulted, for which plastic resin types are recyclable.

Examples of recyclable waste

• All organic waste, including food waste

• Glass bottles and jars

• Paper – including colored papers and newspapers

• Some bottles, carrier bags and conventional plastic bags

• Box board and brown paper bags

(just remember to separate out some components of recyclable material, to prevent contamination)

The Three R’s of Sustainability – Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

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