A Guide to Waste & Recycling in Salisbury
Why Reduce Waste?
Our planet has limited resources of raw material, and a limited capacity to absorb the pollution we create every time we transform those resources into goods and products. Our planets whole life support system is now in danger because our consumer society has stressed those limits beyond what can provide a sustainable future for ourselves and for future generations. We have to cut down on the amount of we consume and pollute, and the first step in this process is to reduce the amount we waste. This guide will help you recycle as much as possible including those things which out councils do not presently collect but recycling alone will not solve the problems we face.
The Waste Hierarchy
Recycling can reduce the amount of new material entering the system and the energy needed to process it, but this can only ever be a part of the solution. We all need to use the ‘waste hierarchy’ approach, as it is far better to reduce the amount of stuff we use in the first place, reuse what we have and re-purpose items where possible, before finally throwing what’s left in the recycle bin or compost – hopefully with nothing left for landfill.
Recycling is good for high value and easily recyclable waste such as glass, paper and metal, but the picture is very different for plastic. It is a low value and costly material to recycle, and plastic waste can pretty much last forever. Ideally, single-use plastics should be eliminated completely, and other plastic use reduced as far as possible.
Don’t throw it all away
We have to move on from the 20th century model of a throw-away society where we continually buy more new things to one in which things are made to last and to be repairable. Another great way to reduce/re-use is to try our many great charity and second-hand shops and keep an eye out for car-boot sales, bric-a-brac stalls and jumble sales at churches and community events.