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Why Recycling matters

Not only can recycling help the environment, but we can all benefit from recycling things from around the house, at work and during our leisure time.If you’re not already recycling, find out more about how easy it is and how you can really make a difference.  For those who already recycle, discover the positive effect your recycling efforts are making and find out what else you may be able to do.

Recycling Conserves Resources and helps protect the environment

When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products are made by extracting fresh, raw material from the Earth, through mining and forestry. Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future. Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.

Recycling saves energy and reduces landfill

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials – even when comparing all associated costs including transport etc. Plus there are extra energy savings because more energy is required to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials ready for industry compared with providing industry-ready materials. When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites reduces. Landfill sites produce emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

There are three key factors when thinking about how to recycle - The 3 R's:


Recycling Etiquette

Recycling can sometimes be confusing and it can be difficult to know whether you are following all the right rules. Improve your recycling efforts by learning some recycling rules and check out which type of collection is best.Recycling collection schemes aim to, firstly, divert more waste from landfill and, secondly, facilitate efficient, profitable recycling.

How can I improve the way I recycle?

To reduce contamination and improve recycling efficiency, wash and squash!
Wash - Scrape out any food remains/pour away excess liquid. Rinse the container (use your washing-up water)
Squash - Crush metal cans. Squeeze plastic bottles flat to expel as much air as possible.
These steps help prevent contamination and reduce the volume of recyclate, making collections more energy efficient.
What about lids, rings and labels?
If you can remove labels and lids from glass jars and bottles, that's great, but don't worry too much because, in the recycling process, the items are re-washed. After crushing, any non-glass objects are removed.
Removing the caps and lids from plastic containers is more important. Plastic caps are often made from a different polymer type, and therefore have a different melting point when compared to the plastic used for the bottle itself. Too many lids will contaminate the load, so remove and throw away plastic caps where possible. The plastic ring around the neck of the bottle can be left on - a minimal amount of contamination is tolerated.
Remove paper clips, staples and plastic envelope windows from paper. Also remove excessive amounts of tape and labelling from cardboard packaging. Small amounts won't affect the recycling process unduly.
Can I recycle soiled paper?
Paper fibres cannot be recycled if they are contaminated with food. Here are a few tips - Put greasy wrappers into your compost/main rubbish. Tear out contaminated portions (e.g. a cheesy pizza box lid), and recycle the clean remainder. Use tissues as compost, as their dense fibres make them unsuitable for paper recycling.

How do I know what I can recycle?

Check out recycling provision in your area, if you are unsure contact your local waste collection/recycling company for details.

The following can be placed in your BLUE Recycling Bin

Types of plastic
Almost all plastic bottles are made from one of these plastics:
PET (bottled for fizzy drinks, cordial, cooking oil)
HDPE (bottled for milk & fruit juice, washing-up liquid, fabric conditioner)
PVC (bottles for still mineral water, toiletries, cordial)
Aerosols; Beverage Cartons; Carrier Bags; Drinks Cans; Foil; Food cans; Juice Cartons; Milk Cartons; Milk bottles; Plastic bottles; Tetra Pak; Yogurt Pots
Books; Cardboard boxes; Cards; Greetings cards; Magazines; Shredded Paper; Stamps; Wrapping Paper; Yellow Pages

The following items are recycled at WERS Waste Material Recovery Facility at Tuam Business Park on the Weir Road, Tuam, Co Galway.

Bricks and building rubble; Garden waste
Batteries; Computers; Cookers; Dishwashers; Hard Drives (Computer); Hearing aids; Household Batteries; Keyboards (Computer); Mobile Phones; TVs and monitors; Washing Machines; White goods
Beds; Chairs; Furniture; Mattresses; Sofas; Tables
Bicycles; CDs; Carpets; Clothes; Keys; Musical Instruments; Printer Cartridges; Shoes; Spectacles; Textiles; Toys; Video Cassettes
Keep it simple - Make space next to your bin for a recycling container, then it’s as simple to recycle as it is to throw it away.
Make life easy - If your local waste collection company offers a kerbside recycling scheme, take advantage and use it. To find out more about your nearest recycling centre and more information about your kerbside collection scheme, please call WERS Waste on 093 24027.

Routine Recycling - Make a visit to your nearest recycling facility at WERS Waste, Tuam Business Park, Weir Road, Tuam, Co Galway so don’t forget to drop before you shop!
Remember those glass jars from jam, marmalade and baby food jars to spice, pasta sauce and coffee jars – just give them a rinse in your left over dish washing water and recycle them with your other glass.  Don't worry about removing labels, they will come off in the recycling process.
Check the bathroom - Lots of items from the bathroom can be recycled too.  Shampoo and shower gel bottles are often forgotten, so start multi-tasking and rinse out those empty bottles whilst you're in the shower!  Putting a recycling bin in your bathroom to collect all those empty bottles and cardboard tubes from inside the toilet rolls is a great idea.

Remember the 3 R's: