As today is the annual Global Recycling Day, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to discuss how to play a role in protecting the environment and giving our waste a second life. Sorting household waste is an effort in which many people try to participate.
Depending on your local community's rules, your type of accommodation, habits, and what is possible for you, I imagine your experiences may be quite different, and I would love to know more!
- What level of waste sorting is available near you?
- Do you provide travellers with several bins for sorting and/or a compost space?
- How do you encourage sorting? For example, do you leave them a message, explain it in person, or maybe you even mention it in your house rules?
- Is this a point on which you receive questions and requests?
I can't wait to read your answers.
@Nick good topic, but not a good hosting experience. I leave the council's instructions, plus a clear but non-heavy reference in my information sheet. Guests are in general really poor at sorting their rubbish, although there are only three categories: waste food, specified recyclables of all the usual kinds (even glass going in the same bin as the others), and non-recyclables. I don't require that the guest empty the inside bins, this forbearance partly intended to make my re-sorting task easier. Very regularly, I have to don rubber gloves and dive into the outside bins, taking non-recyclables out of the recycling bin, and vice versa. And there seems to be a real resistance to doing the food recycling; perhaps that may change as more UK local authorities take it up.
I should add, for the food recycling, there's a prominent inside caddy with liners, and an outside caddy. It is easy.
We use a different profile for work purposes, as we feel it is essential to separate work from leisure and have a better work/life balance.
Korea has strict rules for recycling and hefty fines if trash and recyclables are not handled appropriately. I have bags that look like this at home for recycle items, and separate plastic bags for food scraps.
We asked guests to rinse and separate accordingly, or at least rinse and put everything in a large plastic bag so Henry or I can sort it later. But we always handle the actual "taking the garbage out" (1~2 times a week) because we have cctvs monitoring the trash bins (in the apartment complex) and public areas so if it's not done properly, the management office will go thru the video, find you and issue a fine. We have details printed out and posted above the trash bins at home and also in the printed house rules (that has all the details) Most of our guests needed some help at first, but usually made the effort to try and did a pretty good job 😄
Oh @Colleen253 I feel you! ' Every day I’m left musing why folks struggle with this so much. And I’m continually amazed at how many struggle with it'. Wow, you must have read my mind! @Nick , we've had recycling here for decades, yet STILL people don't seem to know how to do it. My guests from countries that have no recycling whatsoever have absolutely no idea. I am continually sorting out my rubbish bins, despite my best efforts to educate them.
So, I currently have five bins. Each is clearly labelled with what can go in:
We also have a new scheme in our state, Containers for Change, where you can take your drink containers to a depot in return for 10c each. The great thing is that you nominate a charity for the money to go to. I hardly ever have disposable drink containers (except wine bottles, which for some reason don't count!), so I'm not currently doing it. But once I open up again to guests, I'll have a separate bag for these too.
@Kath9 That's so great that you can recycle things like bread tags, plastic lids and actually know what they get remade into.
In Canada there is a deposit on all drink containers, whether it's booze or juice and they have to be recycled.
I find that while a lot of people will separate the recyclables, it's washing or rinsing them out first that people like to skip.
While it doesn't look so nice as the way you have them labelled, I think that actually attaching a sample of what goes in each bin to the outside of the bin can help with people not mixing things up. A plastic bottle screwed to one bin, a tin can to another.
What would be cool is if they made recycling bins look like what goes in them. A container that's metal and looks like a big tin can ( you could even paint a Campbell's soup label on the outside), a plastics recycling bin shaped like a water bottle, and so on.
There was a shop in a Mexican town I lived in for awhile that sold Mexican blown-glassware. You could bring in your glass recycling, they weighed it out and gave you a credit slip that you could use to buy the glassware. What they collected got melted down and fashioned into new glassware.
I do but my guests don't care. They'll throw trash meant for grass and they'll throw recycables in the trash. They see a barrel they throw it in. It's difficult for me to not physically go inspect it the night before trash service because the waste company fines you for improper disposal. Because of that, I can never really relax or stray too far from my listing.
I've found it so interesting reading this thread! Thanks so much everyone! I'm in Wales and my county, Pembrokeshire, specifically has huge recycling targets - we achieved the highest in Wales this past year and Wales is 3rd in the world. It's so important to us as sustainable hosts that guests do their bit too - since I've popped our own eco-policy physically in the listing and in our online listing description too we have had a lot more success with guest recycling as they connect more with the overall experience we want to provide. But as has been mentioned, sadly the different systems all around the UK make things a bit a tricky and we inevitably have to don the gloves and get sorting still!
Steel containers are "general purpose". Green is for Glass, yellow -for paper, plastic and metal.
Some areas have both systems. Another- only one of them. Somewhere, there is another type of container- blue. Only for paper.
Actually, we are far away from the point, where everything will be recycled and all people will separate their trash. Decades away.
30+ years...is a lot of time. Most areas are totally overbuilt. In recent years, Sofia is consistently placed at the top of the unflattering ranking of cities with the worst air quality and repeatedly earned the title of most polluted EU capital.
No one knows how to solve this problem. Half of the people are still using coal to heat their homes in winter.