How we Could Make Rubbish Collection More Eco-Friendly
Did you know that in the UK the average amount of rubbish collected from one household each year is equivalent to one tonne in weight? That’s really quite a lot. And yet when asked, most people say that they wish they could waste less, but just don’t know how. Especially when it comes to food waste.
And our food waste problem seems to be getting worse by the year; in 2016-2017 the supermarket chain Tesco produced an astonishing 46684 tonnes of food waste, and other supermarkets report similar stats. This, combined with the household food waste each year, results in millions of pounds wasted in food that is being produced, packaged and sold, but not eaten. Even when some of it is perfectly good for consumption. Frank Rubbish Removal asked people about their food waste in a recent survey, and 67% said that they had definitely thrown away food that could have been eaten.
We waste just as much when it comes to other types of rubbish too. In fact, statistics suggest that we can fill the whole of the Royal Albert Hall with the UK’s waste in just two hours. And it would take a mere eight months to fill up the largest lake in the UK Lake Windermere, in the Lake district, with our waste.
So The Question Experts and Households Alike are Asking is: Is There a Better Way?
The survey by Frank Rubbish Removal found that 82% of people wish they could waste less, and 71% wish that the government would do more to promote eco-friendly rubbish removal in the UK.
And there are more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to do it. In Sweden, for example, they have achieved zero-waste across the country, by converting their rubbish into energy. They do this by burning the waste. It’s become such an important part of their waste removal process, not to mention their energy supply, that they even buy in waste from other countries to ensure that they can meet the demand.
But it’s not just about what we do with the waste once it’s collected, it’s also important to consider how the waste is collected and disposed of. For example, more councils are investing in energy efficient waste disposal trucks to reduce pollution and also make sure that rubbish gets to its location quicker than ever before. Many independent waste removal services are also doing the same thing.
More effort is also being taken to separate out recyclable materials, from non-recyclable ones which is hugely important now that more and more different types of packaging and material can be recycled.
So what are some of the biggest areas of concern? Well, the biggest by far, at the moment is plastic. This is because most plastic does not decompose, so it just loiters about in landfills, or more worryingly, in our oceans and in nature, for decades causing trouble. And the stuff that does decompose takes its sweet time doing it. And unfortunately, we use over 500 million bags per year, and just as many plastic bottles and packaging, most of which are never recycled.
Water consumption is another big issue. Leaking taps and wasted water contributes waste to the equivalent of 120,000 household’s worth of water per day. And most people don’t realise that water isn’t as readily available as you’d expect, so saving waste is essential.
Then we have paper and during Christmas alone we use enough wrapping paper to circle the earth nine times. And finally there is glass, which can actually be recycled as many as 13 times before it loses purity, and yet most of it is thrown in bins instead of being recycled.
Let’s just hope that as time goes on, we’ll learn to be more eco-friendly.