Why is waste a problem?
Waste causes considerable environmental damage and landfill sites are responsible for releasing 25% of the UK methane emissions. Reducing the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill is a very effective way of reducing the UK’s methane production and may help to slow the increase in global warming.
In North Somerset the combination of an effective recycling and waste service, and residents’ efforts to recycle more have resulted in a reduction in the proportion of waste sent to landfill from 59 per cent in 2009/10 to 20 per cent in 2015/16, reducing the cost of sending waste to landfill by about £15m over the same period.
Most importantly, when we bury or burn our rubbish we are losing valuable natural resources and the energy and time used to make the product. The vast majority of these resources cannot be replaced. If we carry on this way indefinitely, we would run out of these resources. This also creates additional environmental impacts associated with the extracting of the new resources, its manufacture and distribution of those goods.
North Somerset Council now has a comprehensive kerbside collection scheme with recycling centres not far away. The kerbside collection and recycling centres send goods to recycling companies.
We can assist by buying recycled materials and products. Buying products made from recycled materials saves valuable resources, conserves energy, and increases the demand for recycled materials – it’s definitely an environmental winner!
The more products we make from recycled materials in the UK, the better it is for the environment. It cuts down on the amount of goods we import, and reduces our carbon emissions from transporting new goods long distances.
There are so many recycled products to buy today – anything from toilet and kitchen rolls, through to pens and pencils, office paper, kitchenware, clothes, art and furniture. Most supermarkets stock tissue, toilet tissue and kitchen paper made from recycled paper.
Locally there is:
- Bristol wood recycling project. 13 Cattle Market Road, St Philips, Bristol, BS1 6QW 0117 972 3219 www.bwrp.org.uk
- The charity shop, Changing Lives, will recycle reusable furniture www.alabare.co.uk/ChangingLives.php
- We have no shortage of other charity shops in the town to recycle other items.
- Other items can be offered free on North Somerset Freecycle http://groups.freecycle.org/NorthSomersetfreecycle/description
These online stores specialise in recycled, environmentally friendly and natural products: