“Before You Throw That Out….”

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Submitted by KTBC&G

Have you ever looked into the blue box of recycling that sits on the curb waiting to be disposed of and wondered “Wow that’s a lot of material”!
Ever considered what you could do with all that stuff instead of throwing it in the recycling bin?
Industry is already using a lot of that material in making new products. There are many examples such as recycled paper as cardboard containers, recycled tires in asphalt and glass bits remodeled in other glass containers. If you looked at the contents of many of the manufactured goods we use regularly you might find that recycled material is likely a good part of the product. The research and development that goes into developing the use of recycled material in new forms has become a major industry in itself. However, for industry to use recycled material there is an ecological cost as the energy and transportation required also could negatively affect the environment.
If our goal is to reduce the volume of garbage produced and we value action more than talk then we need to throw away less. We need to demonstrate that our mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Refuse” is a living slogan. One way is to find ways that we can reuse many of those throw away items. Upcycling the recycling could reduce the quantity we throw away and you could also find valuable uses for the material that does not require the purchase of yet more stuff.
Recycled articles as art has also become very trendy. There are endless examples in many of the craft stores and art shops on the peninsula. The internet is a great resource as well. Have you considered that old empty dried up paint can you are going to toss into the recycling bin might be better used in your garden? It could hold sand to make a door stop for the garden shed, or it could be incorporated into a fountain water feature, it could even be made into plant pot. There are many ways to make an item that was once destined to be part of the blue box into something new and vibrant in the garden or shed.
Upcycling is defined as the use of discarded objects or material in a way that creates a product of higher quality or value than the original. Keep the Bruce Clean and Green would like to challenge you to try something new with your disposable bits and pieces. Making an object that can be incorporated into your garden such as a piece of art, a water feature, a container for more garden plants or even a patterned walkway can be a great use of discarded material. There are some great ideas on the internet such as this site https://balconygardenweb.com/latest-diy-upcycled-garden-projects-ideas/ .
Get your family involved. It’s creative and fun. Send us your pictures of upcycled art and we will put it in the paper for all to see and try. So go ahead, be creative and upcycle those disposable objects in your blue box. Get everyone in the family involved and have fun. Once done please send those pictures to keepthebruceclean@gmail.com
One last note: Our last article talked about how there was too much plastic being disposed. Last week there was a terrific CTV news article that talked about exactly that. You can find the article at https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/improving-canada-s-recycling-output-will-take-radical-changes-report-1.4452337