Recycling a la Hyacinth Bucket

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Some of people's weird recycling habits revealed such as putting the recyclables through the dishwasher

recycling_iStock_000019128774XSmall-2Apparently thousands of people all over the UK put their recycling through the dishwasher before leaving out for the refuse collectors which has echoes of "Keeping Up Appearances" where posh Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet", you know) puts her milk bottles through the wash, many Brits admit to doing the same with jars, tins bottles and recyclable plastic.

However, this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg as to all kind of weird habits when it comes to putting out their recycling and rubbish bins.

From sorting by size and color down to shredding every piece of paper to come through the house are some of the habits on top of putting glass, plastic and tin packaging waste through the dishwasher – or the washing up in the bowl – in order to clean them and get the labels off.

A waste collector who recounted that they collect from one house where all the empty bottles are sorted in color order – clear, brown, green – every fortnight – made a very interesting comment and those words should be noted: It makes no difference to us, because they all end up in the back of the same lorry, he said. Here we have the truth about glass recycling. And the powers-that-be are still trying to tell us that they make new bottles and jars from those recyclables.

Putting the recyclables through the dishwasher – unless they are washed with other stuff – is a tremendous waste of energy. Washing or rinsing by hand is the way to go, just watch out for those sharp edges.

It is also worth noting that shredding your sensitive documents prior to putting them out for recycling is a sensible idea, especially if you put your waste paper out the night before.

Bin night is jackpot time for the old-school identity thieves as bank and credit card statements, forms featuring dates of birth are exactly what they're looking for.

When it comes to weird “recycling” habits I personally will probably be in the top ten of the list and Hyacinth Bucket has nothing on me but then I “recycle” in a strange way compared to most. Not actually having a collection where I live there are no recycling bins to put things in for kerbside collection and not having a car it is also not an option to take it to recycling centers. Thus I have a number of ways of my own.

Glass jars, for example, are washed and labels removed and then kept for reuse. Hardly any glass jar gets thrown as I have so many things that they come in handy for.

Glass bottles do not, necessarily, have a reuse potential but being a woodworker broken they make for great scrapers, as in glass shave.

Paper & card does all go through the shredder. On one account for security reasons and on another to make it small enough for, while I had hens, the paper was used as bedding for them and then went into the compost; now it just goes into the compost.

At other times card stock is recycled into business cards, index cards, note cards, etc. Why buy things that I can make out of what would be waste.

Plastic containers also are always being looked at with a reuse potential before even the thought of throwing them comes along, and that includes the plastic milk jugs in which most milk today is being sold in the UK and the US, and probably in most countries.

From those milk jugs I cut templates for spoon carving, leather-working, etc., and also make many other things, including sandwich boxes, scoops, cloches for gardening, and much more. Told you, I am strange.

© 2017