Over the last week I took part in the #IRecycleRight campaign with my local council, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

This campaign is designed to encourage people not only to recycle but to recycle the right materials in the right way.

Now as I still live at home I must say my mum has taught me well on the recycling front. We have our three recycling bins and food caddy in the kitchen.

So, why is it important to recycle?

Recycling conserves resources. When we recycle, materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources which will help to protect natural habitats for the future.

Recycling saves energy. Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials.

Recycling helps protect the environment. Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.

Recycling reduces landfill. When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites decreases which reduces emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

So, what have I learnt?

In the first six months of last year, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council had a recycling rate of 57%. Whilst this is great news, there are still a lot of recyclables being placed in the black bin and therefore going to landfill! If we all just take an extra 5 minutes a day to look at what we are putting in our general waste bin we could up this percentage! The biggest culprit of recyclable materials found in the black bin is food waste (23.5%) and paper/cardboard (16%). These are the easiest items to differentiate!

so you don’t forget, here are a list of examples of the items that can go in each bin.

brown bin

Using your brown kitchen food caddie is easy. Just put your waste food into the caddies and when full tie up the bin liner and put it into your brown bin along with your garden waste.

Food which you can put inside includes:

* Dairy
* Fish
* Fruit and Veg
* Meat and bones

* Bread and pasty
* Tea and coffee grounds

As the summer months approach, the amount of garden waste we produce in our homes usually increases – so if you’re getting green fingered this summer, don’t forget that that lots of things can be recycled, including:

* Freshly cut grass
* Weeds
* Leaves
* Home grown fruit and veg
* Flower cuttings

Top tip: In Antrim and Newtownabbey, every house should have received a reusable red tag to request more food waste liners. When you need more liners just attach this to the handle of your brown bin on your next collection day and the crew will leave you more bags!

Blue bin

People often don’t realise that some items in the kitchen can be recycled in the blue bin:

* Plastic tubs, like butter or margarine tubs
* Plastic pots, like yoghurt or pasta sauce pots
* Plastic trays, like fruit trays and plastic take away dishes
* Cleaning products like bleach bottles can go in here too
Common bathroom items which can be recycled:

* Shampoo bottles
* Aerosol cans
* Empty loo roll cartons
* Cleaning bottle

These are all items that majority of us will defiantly come across in a normal week about the house, so why not do your bit for the environment and recycle!

Will you change your ways and be able to say #iRecycleRight?

speak soon,

lotsa love

AG xxo

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