Reducing Waste During Alert Level 3

Our full kerbside collection of food scraps (small green bin), glass (blue crate), mixed recyclables (yellow-lid bin) and landfill waste (red-lid bin) restarted on Tuesday 28 April.

Safety requirements around Covid-19 means the mixed recycling will have to go to landfill until we reach Alert Level 2. We know this isn’t ideal but these are unprecedented times and sorting recycling is a high-touch job with thousands of tonnes of household recycling to wade through. If you want to, you can keep storing them until they can be recycled at Alert Level 2 but we understand if you don’t have space to store them.

Luckily, there’s lots of ways you can reduce your waste and make use of your food scraps and recyclables while you’re at home. 

Follow our four C’s below to reduce your waste while you’re at home.

Compost 

If you don’t already compost at home, now’s a great time to get started. Using what you have, you’ll be able to compost all your food scraps, paper and cardboard, as well as garden waste and lawn clippings. 

To create a compost bin or pile, use materials you already have in your shed or garage, such as: 

  • Chicken wire, wire mesh, sacks or netting, formed into a circle with stakes or branches.
  • Wood, pallets, fencing, tin, bricks or concrete blocks, formed into a three-sided square.
  • A large cardboard box, sack, or plastic bin or container (just drill holes for air).
  • Or cover a heap of layered material with a tarp or a piece of tin, carpet or plywood.

Read more on how to get started composting on the Zero Waste Taranaki blog.

Cook 

Making the most of what you already have in your pantry and fridge is easier than you think.

Find below a few ideas that might inspire you.

For more ideas check out the Zero Waste Taranaki blog over the coming weeks.

Consider

It's always important to consider reducing the amount of recyclables you bring home from the supermarket. This will also minimise the amount of waste to throw away. 
Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

  • Plan your meals and shopping to avoid waste, and store items so they last. Here’s a helpful planning guide from Love Food, Hate WasteMeal planning can reduce how often you shop and shorten your time in the supermarket.
  • Choose packaging that takes up less room in your recycling bin. For example, items in aluminium or tin cans take less room in your recycling bin than glass bottles in your smaller glass crate.
  • Try homemade versions of some common items you buy. Bake biscuits, bread and crackers, make your own yoghurt (easy to make using EasiYo sachets), or buy dried chickpeas and make hummus from scratch (especially now there’s time to soak and cook the beans). There are some great recipes on the Love Food Hate Waste website.
  • Use glass bottles to store homemade cordial or check out this recipe for Feijoa Fizz, made from feijoa skins, an alternative to fizzy and flavoured drinks.
  • Use glass jars in the shed to store different types of screws, nails and fittings. Get the kids involved for hours of focused entertainment.

Create

You can turn your stored recyclables into fun activities with the kids, from designing cardboard-box buildings and cars to turning old milk bottles into watering cans. Check out heaps more Zero Waste craft ideas on the We Are Teachers website.

Elephants in my living room.

Using old milk bottles is a creative way to not only reuse items, it’s also fun. Create your own herd of elephants. Set the elephants up at the water hole.  Maybe you could then create a living room safari and go on a tour with your family. What other animals can you find on your safari? What items around the house could you use to create them?

Crafty ideas

More ideas

For more ideas, head over to the Zero Waste Taranaki blog there will be new ideas and updates each week. Or be inspired by 9 simple ways to reduce your recycling during lockdown on the Sort Waste website.