Trash or Treasure?
A major shift in peoples’ thinking can help turn the tide on pollution. It’s about going back to the common practices our previous generations took for granted. When electrical appliances were New Zealand made or imported in smaller numbers, they were repaired and restored where possible. Real thought needs to go into buying a better quality of appliance, ones that come with guarantees and spare parts readily available.
In the light of Chinese imports, this may not always seem logical. The sheer volume of appliances manufactured and imported has brought the price down so significantly. Repairing a toaster or a printer for instance, may well cost more then buying a new one. If this is the case, the best scenario is to enquire first at the electrical shop about buying spare parts. If this isn’t possible, then the item should be recycled as metal, plastic or whatever its major component is. When choosing appliances, aim for value and quality over price.
Think of ways to reuse the items you want to throw away, i.e. jars, bags, envelopes, scrap paper and old clothes. Glass jars and bottles are now being crushed and added to our roading aggregate, a very successful method of recycling as it reduces the amount of quarried stone or rocks taken from riverbeds and the associated costs of transporting it to the crushing site. Broken concrete can also be recycled, or used to help secure our river banks against flood damage.
Clothing, unwanted bric-a-brac and household items, furniture and toys may enjoy a new life at the hands of someone less fortunate, or someone with more imagination.
Household food scraps can be composted, or start up a worm farm.
Before throwing anything into the rubbish bag, it pays to think; is this recyclable, could it benefit anyone else?