Recycling

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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The Benefits of Compost and Composting at Home

A campaign run by the three Regional Waste Management Offices found that organic and food waste can attribute up to 33% of household waste produced. Disposing of your organic waste correctly can significantly reduce the amount of waste in your general waste bin.

This campaign’s aim was to raise awareness and get people in Ireland to begin to reassess how they dispose of their food waste. Householders in Ireland were asked to consider how they can reduce their food waste and to make use of the brown bin which is available in areas where population centres are greater than 500 persons.

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Ireland’s place in the world’s production & reproduction of plastic

plastic recycling ireland

Over the last 3 years Ireland has recycled enough plastic to fill the Aviva Stadium  – but this is just 35% of  the country’s total plastic waste.”

In January of this year, China introduced restrictions on what type of waste is acceptable for import, these new restrictions virtually bans the import of recyclable waste into China. This has forced European countries including Ireland to rethink what to do with plastic waste.

The recent ban of plastic into China has Ireland thinking about how we dispose of our plastic. Recycling List Ireland has come up with a very informative video, explaining to us where our plastic goes to and how it is recycled.

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Recycling your Easter Egg Packaging!

It is hard to ignore the temptation of the brightly coloured Easter egg boxes in every shop. According to the Leitrim Observer, us Irish like them so much we go through an estimated 17 and a half million Easter eggs during the holiday.

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