Waste Recycling Tips For The Average Consumer

  • Consumers keep the economy stable by purchasing products made by manufacturers. This cycle is essential to keep supply and demand balanced. However, it so happens that overuse or excess demand puts a strain on the supply chain as many resources are finite. Moreover, the buildup of trash increases to the point where landfills overflow and we have more junk than we know what to do with.

    To battle this never-ending trash problem, waste management company experts advise reusing products, recycling them and reducing how much consumers purchase. A majority of recycling is handled by municipalities and plants but it can be undertaken on smaller scales. If the average consumer was to make the effort to manage waste, we wouldn't have such a huge trash problem on our hands, the environment would be better off and the effect on our health would be minimized.

    Recycling paper and cardboard

    Paper makes up a high percentage of waste in landfills, as much as 40 percent. This is unfortunate considering it can be recycled. The same goes for cardboard.

    • Glossy paper from magazines and brochures can be recycled, contrary to what many think. However, not every municipality may accept them. In the absence of service, consumers can use them for artwork, waterproofing floors when painting or fixing something, making a collage out of images and framing it, and even using the paper as gift wrap.
    • Offices generate a huge amount of waste paper which, rather than being dumped in the trash, can be used to line pet cages, as kindle, gift wrap, to make paper Mache products, and as garden mulch.
    • Newsprint is another source of junk paper which has huge potential for reuse and recycling. It can be used as packing material, to wash windows, for paper Mache, scrapbooking, to hold seeds when planting, as gift wrap, and as pet cage lining.
    • Like ordinary paper, cardboard can be recycled into useful products. It only takes imagination and a steady hand. The internet has a huge collection of repurposed cardboard items and a quick search will list out how to make them. A few examples are using it as drawer dividers, to make napkin rings, footstools, and phone docks.

    Recycling plastic bags

    Efforts have been made to ban plastic bags but the truth is they're just too useful and affordable. Still, they make up a lot of the waste in landfills. Creative individuals have taken it upon themselves to repurpose ordinary bags into fully usable products like stools, baskets, lampshades, artificial flowers and shopping bags. Of course, it takes some skill to make them but as with paper, the internet has instructions.

    Some uses that don't need instructions include using plastic bags as stuffing in toys, cushions, curtain valances and shoes to retain shape, to prevent water from leaking out of cracked vases, as decorative streamers for parties, and as makeshift shower caps.

    Recycling e-waste

    E-waste is currently a major issue because much of the world uses and depends on electronics for numerous activities. Innovative recyclers can find a number of ways to turn electronic junk into something useful. Those who don't have the time or the mind to go this route can still help temper the problem by donating old but functional products to orphanages and charities, returning them to the store if there's a buyback program, selling them on online stores, and using cloud storage to cut down the number of physical storage devices used.