Recycling

Tips For Reducing Your Use Of Plastic

Are you looking to reduce your use of single-use plastics in your home but not sure exactly how to start or just need a bit of inspiration as to alternatives you can use instead of going for the safe option of a e.g. plastic water bottle, then look no further, we’ll set out 8 steps you can take to start reducing plastic in your home today, and don’t worry they aren’t too drastic, just small changes that can make a big difference.

1. Carry reusable shopping bags

Do you often go to pick up some groceries and then have to pay for a plastic bag to get them home? Why not start carrying around reusable shopping bags? Pop some bags in the boot of your car or leave them beside your shopping list, somewhere you’ll remember to grab them on your way out on shopping days. And why not use them for more than just grocery shopping, use them for the likes of clothes shopping too!

2. Food packaging

Approximately 25% of domestic waste is from packaging. Supermarkets offer more biodegradable food packaging options instead of carrying some loose netting or reusable bags to pack fruit, veg, or baked goods.

3. Stop using plastic bottles of water

Why not invest in a reusable water bottle and bring this to work/ on walks/ to the gym and just generally when you are out and about, a lot of restaurants/ bars are happy to refill your reusable bottle for you when you’re on the go. Not to mention using a reusable bottle will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Plastic waste

4. Use a reusable travel mug for tea/ coffee

Similar to the step above, bringing a reusable travel mug with you when getting take away teas/ coffees will help reduce your use of single-use plastics. And often times, if you are using a reusable cup the shop will give you a small discount on the cost of your drink.

5. Don’t get the little plastic table when ordering pizza

This is something many people wouldn’t even think of, but when ordering a takeaway pizza, ask the restaurant not to include a little plastic table in your pizza!

6. Cut back on frozen convenience foods

There is a lot of packaging used for frozen convenience foods, we aren’t saying stop buying them altogether, they are handy to have in, for busy evenings when you don’t have time to cook, but why not try cutting back on the number of frozen convenience foods you currently purchase.

7. Choose toilet paper not wrapped in plastic

A lot of toilet roll suppliers are now using an alternative to plastic wrapping, they are using paper which is much more widely recycled. Why not opt for these brands of toilet roll over the plastic-wrapped options.

8. Choose shampoo, not in plastic bottles

Some shampoo producers are working on innovative ways to produce their shampoo without using plastic bottles. You could do some research to find suppliers who are moving away from the use of plastic bottles and find one you like.

These are just some simple ideas to get you started on reducing the use of single-use plastics in your home.

Barna’s Recycling Process and Tips

Have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling waste once it has been collected from your home? This blog outlines Barna Recycling’s process and gives some recycling tips.

Barna Recycling takes great pride in our recycling waste disposal process. Did you know we export recycled plastic waste bales overseas? These bales are often shipped to Europe for use by energy plants. As plastics have a high energy content that can be converted to electricity, synthetic gas, fuels, and recycled feedstocks for new plastics.

Barna’s Waste Disposal Process

The Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) has 40 member companies that collect, recycle & treat a wide range of waste types across 60 waste management facilities. These facilities are licensed by the EPA and approximately 30 waste management facilities are permitted by the local authorities in Ireland – Barna Recycling being one of those serving the Connacht region.

The process all starts in your home, whereby you separate your waste into general waste and recycling, compost too if you have a brown bin. Our licensed bin men then collect your blue bins on the designated day and deliver the waste materials to our EPA licensed recycling facility. These facilities can often be known as materials recovery facilities because that is the main objective, recover as much recyclable material within each load so that it can be re-used.

Once your waste materials are delivered to our facility, the recycled items are then sorted for processing on our picking line. Recycled waste is generally broken down into six categories: glass, aluminium and steel cans, paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and packaging, and other non-recyclable residual materials. Most of this process can be operated mechanically, but some manual work is required to obtain maximum recovery of recyclable materials. Any waste materials that are contaminated or non-recyclable are removed at this stage. All recyclable materials in good condition, are then prepared for re-use.

  • Plastic and cardboard waste is baled and exported for use by manufacturers or energy plants.
  • Glass bottles and jars are cleaned, sorted, and crushed. This material then becomes known as cullet, which is the term used for furnace-ready recycled glass. It is then remoulded into new products.
  • Aluminium cans go through a cleaning and sorting process. Once ready for reprocessing, the cans go through a re-melting process which removes any ink or other coatings present. It is then made into blocks called ingots which can then be milled to create new products.

Some interesting facts on what happens to your recyclable items:

  • Plastic bottles are made into items such as kid’s swings.
  • Around 650 aluminium cans are required to make a kid’s bike.
  • If you recycle one aluminium can today, it can be made into a new can, get filled, and be back on the shelf in just six weeks.

Recycling Tips:

  • Don’t use plastic bags to pack lunches or store food items, buy durable lunch and storage boxes instead. Using storage boxes with lids also reduces the need to use cling film or tinfoil to cover a plate or bowl.
  • Make sure your small recycling bin inside the home and the main bin outside are kept dry and clean – if recyclable items get wet, it becomes contaminated and cannot be recycled.
  • Reduce the number of items such as fruit and veg packaged with plastic waste.
  • Take a reusable bag when going out shopping.
  • If shopping online, look for sites that offer reduced packaging or more environmentally friendly packaging options.
  • When you receive your online goods, look to re-use the packaging when possible.
  • Clean out and dry all food and drink containers and take the lids off bottles.
  • Flatten plastic bottles, containers, and cardboard.
  • Look to eliminate or reduce your use of plastic plates, cutlery, straws, and cups.
  • Have a designated bin or reusable box in your home for glass items and cans, this will make it easier to transport these to a bottle bank or recycling centre.
  • Encourage a community clean-up in your area and get the family involved – contact your local authority as they often help by providing gloves, bags and pick up the waste collected.

View a full list of recyclable items here.

It’s February, the shortest month of the year!

Did you know, February is one of the most misspelled words in the English language? It is also the only month where it is possible to go the entire time without having a full moon.

Facts aside, we made it through January and fingers crossed we are getting closer to some level of freedom and normality. We hope those of you that set goals for the new year are still working towards them. Many of you will be undertaking home-schooling on top of an already hectic schedule and this blog aims to make life a little bit easier for you all.

During this time, it can be easy to let your usual day to day household chores fall by the wayside. We have found a great list of the more common household cleaning tasks that you can do in under 1 minute all the way up to 30 minutes. If you want to know what can be done during an ad break or while dinner is cooking, here are some ideas.

Now some of the suggested times do seem more suitable for a cleaning Olympics, such as cleaning a bathroom mirror in 15 seconds, but who doesn’t like a challenge!

How many of you keep putting stuff up in the attic throughout the year simply because it is an easy way to declutter? Over time it becomes a habit.  But the volume of items often keeps building and eventually there is no room to find anything in the attic, or even if you have that one room in the house where everything gets dumped.

We find that at least once a year, it can be a good idea to go through all the items in your attic and decide if they are to be kept, or whether they need to be disposed of. Naturally, there will be some items of sentimental value up there, but often you can also find broken or unused board games, old games consoles, DVD’s or books that are no longer needed, kids’ school or college books, Halloween costumes, and more. While it may seem like an arduous task to sort through it all and do a clear out, there can often be fun had while doing so, by reminiscing and laughing about the past.

If a clear out is on your to-do list for the year, it is best not to overfill your household bins. That is why we recommend hiring a skip for the easy disposal of waste from a household clear out. The St. Patrick’s Day and Easter bank holidays will soon be upon us and this could be the perfect way to make use of that time off.

Perhaps you have broken garden furniture that has been put aside but now looks messy, maybe you have some Christmas decorations that were broken and set aside to dispose of. A lot of people also do a wardrobe clear out at this time of year. No matter what room, or items you need to dispose of, a skip is the easiest solution.

Barna Recycling offers a wide range of skips for hire across Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim. Skips are delivered within 48 hours and can be kept for up to 5 days. Same day delivery and collection is also possible. With prices ranging from €240.

You can view skip sizes and gain further information here.

If you wish to contact us about our skip hire you can do so by calling 091-771619.

Christmas Recycling and Upcycling Tips

The countdown is on for what will be a rather unique Christmas this year. Even Santa has had to go and get special permission to travel freely outside of the north pole!

Fear not though, as a global pandemic cannot take away all our festive cheer at this time of the year. While we all begin to rest and relax it is important to not forget about reducing, reusing, and recycling when it comes to Christmas waste. Christmas time is indeed a time for caring, sharing and giving, but many of us also follow the eat, drink and be merry guidelines. All of which leads to a seasonal increase in waste volumes. Many of us will increase our grocery shopping, we give and receive gifts, buy decorations and so on. That is why we want to share some of our tips on how to reuse, reduce and recycle at home this Christmas.

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The difference between recycling and upcycling

Recycling has been a big buzz word for years now, across workplaces, schools and even in our own homes. With the European Union and Irish government encouraging us all to take better control of how we dispose of our waste, doing so more effectively and recycling the correct items.

Upcycling is a newer term and is gradually being used more often. You are most likely to hear it referred to in conversations around home furniture or clothing, but most items can be upcycled.

Benefits of Recycling and Upcycling

Upcycling is simply a different type of recycling. The main aim of both is to reduce the volume of waste materials being sent to landfill or recovery sites each year. Making for a greener environment.

The benefits include:

  • Save on energy resources
  • Reduces air pollution, water pollution & greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preserving natural materials such as wood, water, and minerals
  • Protecting wildlife and eco systems with reduced harvesting of raw materials
  • Job creation

What is the difference?

Upcycling is where you turn your waste items that are broken or no longer needed and improve their quality or create a new use for them. It is seen as a more sustainable solution and gives older items a new lease of life, ensuring their lifespans are extended.

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials such as plastic, paper, glass, and metals such as aluminium and steel into new materials and objects. This is dependant on individuals ensuring they have recycled the correct items and that recycling bins are not contaminated.

Should you choose upcycling over recycling?

Recycling is a responsible method of managing discarded waste materials, but it does require energy to break down these recyclable materials. Once these items have been processed and broken down, they are then sold onto manufacturers to create new products.

Whereas with upcycling there is no need for excess energy consumption, and it can be done at home, with few or no additional tools or costs. It also allows you to create one of a kind items, and who does not like to have something unique.

So, upcycling does appear to have the upper hand over recycling.

Upcycling Ideas

  • Books
    • Desk Organiser – All you have to do is take a stack of book pages, cut two circles, insert toilet role tubes, and use the circular spaces you have created to hold pens.
    • A Planter – Yes people are using old books for succulent plants. You simply open the book, hallow out the centre of the book, line it and get planting. The perfect accessory for a coffee table.
    • Picture Frame – Books can stand up on their own so why not make a unique picture frame. You can paint over a book or decorate it however you like. Simply cut out a ‘frame’ in the front cover and attach the picture to the inside of it.
    • Decoration – Take you favourite book, insert a piece of rope and hang your books from the ceiling to make a unique space for your home
  • Cd’s & DVD’s
    • Coasters – Decorate old disks into funky coasters.
    • Mosaic Style – You can easily create a mosaic style frame for pictures or mirrors, or you can even do so to flowerpots, candle holders, bird baths and more
    • Wardrobe divider – Create clear dividers for your summer and winter clothes by labelling a disk and inserting on the rail in your wardrobe.
    • Box- Upcycle an old wooden box by gluing broken pieces of cd’s to it, adding some texture.
  • Video & Cassette Tapes
    • Boxes/ holders – Create unique boxes or holders to hang on your office wall or sitting room.
    • Coffee Table – Some people have used their old video tapes to make unique coffee tables with storage.
    • They can be glued to create bookends.
    • Knitting – You can use these old tapes as a wool feeder while knitting to prevent tangling.

Recycling for Businesses

Over the past 20 years we have developed significant expertise in a number of industries that ensures we offer tailored waste management solutions to our business Customers from smaller sole traders to large multi-nationals.

We will work with you to achieve maximum recycling levels within a budget that is both affordable and to the highest environmental standards. Our aim is to help you reduce the volume of waste going to landfill, therefore reducing your waste management costs.

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How To Be Waste Compliant In 2019

Local county councils across Ireland have recently adopted new Bye-Laws to regulate the Storage, Presentation and Collection of Household & Commercial Waste.

These bye-laws are set in place to oversee a range of issues such as to ensure people actively use an authorized waste collection service or be able to show proof of what alternatives means of disposal they do use. Encouraging people to segregate their waste into the correct bins, general, recycling and organic waste bins. Every household, apartment & commercial premises should be able to show proof of how they dispose of their waste whether it be with a waste collector or by using a local civic amenity site.

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Ideas to Get Kids Involved in Recycling

Easter break is fast approaching and could be a good time to start encouraging the kids to begin recycling at home.  Schools are putting a great emphasis on recycling through the green flag initiative and are educating kids on the long-term benefits recycling will have on the planet. So why not carry this education about recycling in to the home by making it fun & by encouraging creativity.

Recycling should not feel like a chore for you & your family. Below we have listed out some fun initiatives to encourage recycling in the home.

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It’s Back to School Time!

Recycling Tips for Back to School

September is back to school month and there are plenty of ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Below are some tips and tricks to save yourself money and protect the environment when you are returning to school.

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Recycling Can Save Our Planet!

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD, announced earlier this month that Ireland has formally ratified the Paris Agreement on global climate change. Naughten described climate change as “the defining challenge of our time” and said “it is during our time that the obligation exists for us as a nation to take action”.

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