If your trash is overflowing, it is surely time to sort your waste. According to statistics, we produce 590 kg per year per person, twice as much as 40 years ago. However, by changing their behavior and habits, they should reduce considerably.
Sorting your waste daily has become easier in recent years, in particular thanks to the measures that have been put in place. Most communities offer guides to help people find their way. Here are some tips are given by Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency).
1. Limit packaging
Reducing waste is above all a matter of choice when we do our shopping. Indeed, supermarkets often offer bulk products. Rice, vegetables and dried fruits, cereals are sold in tanks, it is enough to use glass jars or airtight boxes to store them afterward.
2. Put your waste in the right place
Difficult to navigate when it comes to sorting your waste! A new tool called “What to do with my waste” is available on the internet. Just type in the search bar the product you want to part with to find out where to throw it. Convenient!
3. Stop food waste
If you have a garden, compost is without a doubt the best solution to reduce your waste As for those who raise hens, they will enjoy your peelings! For people who are not lucky enough to have a little land, there are small tips to avoid overfilling your trash. Coffee grounds, for example, can be put in the sink, which will be cleaned at a lower cost. Also, remember to junk removal or waste removal and keep your glass jars: they will always be used to make jams, terrines, bulk purchases or even serve as packaging for a gift.
4. Exchange, give, share
Your children’s clothes are no longer used? Give them or drop them in a relay! Are they stained or punctured? Make them rags! If you only use certain devices a few times a year, buy one or more of them or borrow them. We throw away between 16 and 20 kg of electrical or electronic equipment (refrigerators, telephones, computers, etc.) per inhabitant in a year: it is time to change our habits!
5. Go to the recycling center
With more than 4,500 recycling centers in France, you surely have one near you. It is possible to throw in all kinds of waste: green waste (brush, leaves, branches, etc.), bulky waste (tires, cardboard, rubble, furniture, household appliances), hazardous waste (paint, used oil, solvents, etc.).
6. Limit the use of batteries
Batteries cannot be thrown in the trash of all comers, they must be placed in a container provided for this purpose. To limit their number, it may be wise to buy devices that can be plugged into a sector (Mp3, toys, etc.) or that have a dynamo (flashlight for example). It is also possible to invest in rechargeable batteries.
7. Reduce paper
Our mailboxes are often flooded with flyers and various advertisements. A huge waste that represents 24 kg of paper per year per household. You can remedy this by pasting a “no advertising” message. As for old envelopes and bills that are good to throw away, recycle them to write a shopping list or write down a phone number!
Why it is essential to recycle your waste
Selective sorting is now part of our daily lives. But do we know that this sorting makes it possible to make very important savings?
More and more municipalities have implemented selective sorting in cities. If this may seem restrictive, you have to understand why it is so important to recycle your waste. There are many reasons. We present to you the 5 most important.
1. Respect the environment
Sorting your waste helps preserve the environment. Recycling its boxes avoids the felling of thousands of trees each year. Recycling glass saves sand. Recycling plastic reduces oil consumption. Recycling aluminum reduces the extraction of bauxite, a rock rich in alumina Al2O3 and iron oxides.
According to the Joint Inter-municipal Transport and Processing Union for Household Waste in the Toulon area (Sittomat), sorting waste in 2013 saved 3,166 tonnes of wood in the 26 municipalities in the Toulon area, 16,583 tonnes of paper and cardboard, 1,153 tonnes of crude oil, 7,031 tonnes of sand and 1,040 tonnes of bauxite.
2. Save energy
It should also be understood that a packaging consumes more energy during its manufacture than when it is recycled. Selective sorting, therefore, saves energy and water. To use Sittomat’s figures, a tonne of recycled cardboard saves the equivalent of 1 year in energy consumption for a resident and 6 months in water consumption.
One tonne of recycled glass saves the equivalent of 2 months of energy consumption and 8 days of water consumption by a resident. One tonne of recycled aluminum avoids the equivalent of 1 year of energy consumption and 5 months of water consumption by a resident. Finally, 1 tonne of recycled steel saves the equivalent of 9 months of energy consumption and 6 months of water consumption by a resident.
3. Reduce greenhouse gases
The manufacture of packaging consumes more energy than recycling, but also emits more greenhouse gases, which leads to global warming. Do we realize that these small innocuous everyday gestures, which consist for example of throwing a bottle in the glass bin, can effectively fight against global warming?
Recycling a tonne of paper or cardboard means, for example, avoiding a 270 km car journey. Recycling a ton of recycled plastic saves a car trip of 15,300 km. As for recycling a ton of glass, it means avoiding a car journey of 3,700 km. Sorting 30,000 tonnes of material means avoiding nearly 140 million kilometers of car travel!
4. Develop employment in your region
According to a report by the Institute of the circular economy, published in 2015, recycling, reconditioning, repair of end-of-life objects, reuse of materials and also the ecological design of products would create 440,000 jobs by 2030. These jobs could be very diverse: from a simple technician to an engineer, the demands will be multiple.
On the Pôle Emploi site, many positions are already available in this area. We are looking for those responsible for collecting household waste, people to receive, identify and carry out waste control or work in sanitation and water management.
5. Save on the cost of waste
Finally, recycling saves money on the treatment of your trash. In fact, sorting decreases the volume of your waste, which allows real savings, since burying waste is very expensive. Sending our materials to the landfill costs 50% more than recycling.
Sorting out, therefore, has a positive impact on the local economy. When you know that almost 40% of what we throw away is recyclable, we understand better the savings that we could make if we were a little more scrupulous! Only 5% of our waste should end up in the landfill, which is clearly not the case at present. For your organic waste, think of compost!
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