FIND MORE ABOUT RECYCLING
Reducing waste at home
By reducing, reusing and recycling, we can all play a part in resolving the problem of our growing waste and global warming.
Below are some helps you can started on minimising waste in the kitchen. These small changes may at first seem inconvenient, but soon they will become second nature and can really contribute to preserving our environment.
Reduce means living more carefully and thinking about our choices so that you have less waste to get rid of later on.
Reduce food waste by not overcatering or throwing out leftovers.
Buy in bulk and store food in reusable containers to reduce packaging waste.
Make foods at home instead of buying takeaways or fast food to avoid packaging waste.
Avoid plastic wrap by storing leftovers in the refrigerator in bowls covered with a saucer or a small plate or in washable containers.
Bake potatoes in the oven without foil. Prick before baking.
Use towelling face washers as serviettes for family meals instead of disposable ones or tissues.
Drink tap water and carry your own water bottle or reuse water bottles.
Take your own mug to school functions, the theatre, conferences and other events where tea and coffee is served in disposable cups.
Where possible, hire, share or borrow kitchen appliances, rather than buy new ones.
Reusing means to use the same item more than once, preferably many times, rather than disposing of it after one use. Reusing saves the energy and resources that would have been used to make a new product and means that the product does not go to landfill, where it becomes a lost resource.
Reuse plastic containers, jars and tins for storing leftovers, soups, grains, spices, and as lunchboxes instead of buying new plastic containers. Use empty detergent squeeze bottles as bottles for watering plants or filling a steam iron.
Line the bin with used plastic bags. Plastic bags also make good freezer and lunch bags.
Collect egg cartons, yoghurt and ice-cream containers, buttons for kindergartens,day care centres and schools.
Maintain appliances to ensure maximum life and repair them rather than discarding them and buying new ones.
Use the inside wrapper from cereal boxes as frozen food bags or to wrap around lunches and treats.
Wash and reuse aluminium pie plates for baking and reheating food.
Make plastic containers into funnels and scoops.
Use small, empty plastic soft drink bottles as drink bottles for school or outings.
Recycling is when a waste product is reprocessed into either the same product or something different. For example, aluminium cans can be recycled back into either new drink cans or engine blocks for new vehicles. Recycling rescues the resources used to make the product in the first place from being lost in landfill, where they can no longer be used. Recycling conserves our valuable resources and lessens environmental impact because fewer areas need to be affected by resource extraction. Recycling processes may also use less energy and water than is used in the extraction of raw materials.
Recycle as much as possible through kerbside recycling.
In Victoria, most homes have kerbside recycling services. Generally, the following materials can be collected from most homes for recycling:
Paper and cardboard
Glass bottles and jars
Aluminium cans and foil
PET plastic soft drink bottles and fruit juice bottles (Code 1 – PET)
Plastic milk, cream and juice bottles (Code 2 – HDPE)
Milk and juice cartons
Always check with your local council about what is collected in your area, as there is some variation from council to council in the materials collected for recycling. The Council Waste & Recycling Services
page offers more details about what is collected in each council area.
Be careful not to contaminate your recycling. While placing wrong materials or putting food waste in the recycling may seem harmless, it can contaminate the whole load. If there is too much contamination, it may not be accepted by recycling companies and could be sent to landfill. Contamination threatens the viability of kerbside recycling by increasing the costs to the collectors, the recyclers and ultimately the community.
Buy recycled products. Buying recycled means looking for products and packaging that are made from recycled material. We are not truly recycling until we have ‘closed the loop’ and bought recycled products. Check out our Waste Wise Shopping Guide Search to find stores that sell recycled-content products.
Recycle your plastic bags at participating supermarkets.