Blue Bin Blues

This month, CLEAR in Buckhaven give you a guide to recycling at home.

Recycling landfill waste in the blue bin provided by Fife Council can appear to be a tricky business….

What to put in and what not to put in……

Typically, in many households the blue bin is the receptacle that almost everything gets put in.  Some households do not have separate bins for recycling and all waste from houses or flats go into the one container.  For the purposes of this blog I am referring to the blue landfill bin.

Will much harm be caused to the environment by putting in cardboard pizza boxes for example? The answer is no, but if the contents of the pizza box is mostly food waste then yes.

What other factors increase methane in the atmosphere? Methane is released by chemical engineering plants such as oil exploration, burning of fossil fuels, and burping cows.  Many of these highest producing methane releasing targets, we as a community cannot directly do anything about, but we can quite easily make sure we do not add food waste to our blue bins.

This is because when it goes to a land fill site the rubbish is turned over and food waste gets trapped and is sealed into an air tight space, which doesn’t allow natural decomposition due to the lack of air.  This process is called anaerobic decomposition.  When the landfill area does then get turned over by the heavy machinery it releases this organic waste and it leaks out into the atmosphere in the form of Methane gases.  Methane gas is a major contributing factor to global warming and results in climate changes.  Global methane levels were at 1,875 parts per billion last year and this is more than 2.5 times higher than during the industrial revolution, according to the NOAA/COP guidelines.

Tips here include having a food waste caddy handy in your kitchen so that you put any left overs directly into the caddy or into a compostable bag.

Put all your coffee grounds or tea bags into the caddy also.

Reduce the amount of food which you prepare so that you have less waste to start off with.  Or prepare only what you need to eat at the time and freeze the rest.

All the contents from the caddy and compostable bags should then be put into Fife Council Brown bin.

You could also start up your own compost bin in the garden using stalks of vegetables, leaves etc. Do not put any cooked food waste into your own home compost bins.

The amount of food waste from Scottish homes is 600,000 tons a year.  Costing £437 per household!!

So you are not only saving the planet but you are reducing the strain on your finances too.

This may seem like a very small contribution to reducing global warming but if every single blue bin that is emptied by Fife Council alone has no food waste in it, then one small Council area is helping to reduce global warming dramatically.

Climate Action Fife is a Fife-wide partnership project, bringing together individuals, communities, local government and businesses to tackle the climate emergency.  It is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. #ClimateActionFife

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