In January, I noticed that several Fairfield residents were keen to make some sustainable swaps and lead a more eco-friendly life. To support this, I’ll be doing a monthly Eco Edit focusing on fact sharing on different sustainable swaps you may like to try out at home. This month I’ve been looking at how we can dispose of waste at home and in the local area.
In Central Bedfordshire we are provided with a green lidded bin which is collected fortnightly. I’m sure many of you know what can be recycled but here are some items you might not have realised you can include:
℘ Drinks bottles with lids on
℘ Bread wrappers
℘ Fruit and vegetable punnets
℘ Shampoo and skincare bottles
℘ Kitchen foil (scrunched up to the size of a
tennis ball so it can be separated easily)
℘ Tin foil takeaway containers
℘ Deodorant and hairspray cans
Small household appliances (kettles, irons, etc) will also be taken if they are left beside the green bin, or they can be taken to local household recycling centres. There are also local ‘reuse’ Facebook groups on which people give away items for free for others to reuse.
Terracycle is a company which recycles typically hard-to-recycle waste, usually funded by large businesses.
‘Plastic Free Letchworth’ collects for several Terracycle streams and you can add items to their collection boxes by visiting zero waste shop Bamboo Turtle, which is based in the Arcade in Letchworth.
Waste streams they currently collect for include:
℘ Baby food pouches, lids and snack packets
(rinsed out and dried)
℘ Pringles tubes
℘ Writing instruments (pens, markers,
correction fluid bottles, highlighters)
℘ LDPE(4) bread bags
℘ Chocolate wrappers, sweet pouches/bags
℘ Crisp, nut, popcorn and pretzel packets
℘ Flexible wipe packaging, roll-on deodorants,
plastic pots ,tubes, caps, pumps and trigger
℘ Plastic air fresheners and packaging
℘ Toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes
and packaging, electric toothbrush heads
By recycling items through these streams you will also be helping local charities raise money.
If you have clothing you wish to dispose of then please consider donating to a local charity shop or using the clothing bank at Fairfield Park Lower School – or perhaps hold a clothes swap with friends and neighbours.
Recycling is better than sending plastic straight to landfill, but there are also swaps you can make to reduce your use of plastic at home in the first place.
We are lucky enough to now have two zero waste shops in our local area (Bamboo Turtle in Letchworth and The Wholesome Weigh in Hitchin). These provide refills of dry food items (everything from grains and pasta to nuts and dried fruit) as well as household cleaning products and personal care – you just take along your own containers and pay for produce by weight. Adore Nature in Stotfold also provides refills of cleaning and personal care products, but not food.
Refills are an easy way to reduce your plastic usage and the products stocked in these shops are often kinder to the environment than brands you will find in the supermarket. Even the supermarkets are beginning to get on board: many now supply reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables instead of disposable ones, and allow customers to bring their own containers to meat, fish and deli counters.
Next Month… I’ll be looking at food waste. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or facts you’d like to share with us then please leave us a comment on the Fairfield Matters Facebook page.
Lucy Whittington moved to Fairfield Park in June 2019 with her husband and two sons. She is a teacher at Fairfield Park Lower School.