How to encourage recycling in your community

How we deal with waste and recycling as a population is a growing issue in Wales and across Britain, with the vast majority of the resources that we rely on to sustain our life styles are limited.

Traditionally, we dispose of our waste by either burying it or burning it. However, the practice of burning or burying our waste creates many disastrous environmental issues. Burning waste releases climate changing gasses such as carbon dioxide along with other harmful substances. Burying waste also releases climate changing gases, most notably methane. Methane is produced through the decomposition of our organic waste and it's 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

There is also the potential for the contamination of water from decomposing waste together with the release of dangerous compounds into the soil and water supplies. Landfill sites try to minimise the potential for this but we can all do our bit to help.

Waste reduction and recycling should be seen as part of the wider effort to reduce our impact on the planet and ensure our lives are sustainable.

For example, recycling one tonne of steel uses just 5% of the energy required to produce the same from raw materials, therefore saving large amounts of carbon dioxide. Likewise, each tonne of aluminium recycled prevents the extraction and use of a massive five tonnes of bauxite and the associated impacts of processing bauxite.

Aside from risks of pollution, burying or burning waste represents a wider loss and potential waste of the vital resources our planet provides to us.

Useful websites

The Community Composting Network
Community Composting Network is the UK-wide organisation that supports and promotes community groups, social enterprises and individuals which are involved in producing compost from green/food waste and using it in their local communities.
Recycle for Wales
Recycle for Wales is the national recycling campaign for Wales.
Keep Wales Tidy
Keep Wales Tidy is a Welsh national voluntary environmental charity which works towards achieving “a clean, safe and tidy Wales”
WCVA Funding
Wales’ Third Sector Funding Portal, the one-stop shop for funding.
The Freecycle Network
A grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods.