Here are some top tips!
I’ve lived in London for a long time. I arrived in the days before recycling, when our daily dose of black bin-liners were dumped outside our Soho flat in the evening, and had magically vanished by the morning.
These days, everything is different. It’s not only that local councils are struggling to manage their refuse collections, leading to outbreaks of rats as rubbish removal in London struggles under the weight of an over-sized capital. It’s more that we are, thankfully, finally tuned in to the idea that we all need to be more ecologically aware, environmentally considerate, and in-tune with our own refuse footprint.
So, what’s the situation for London residents today, and how can we improve recycling and rubbish removal in London? Here are a few ideas.
Make it a neighbourhood thing
In Kentish Town, where I currently live, it’s all about recycling within the community as much as possible. The local primary schools accept donations of cardboard, plastics, and other bits and pieces that can be turned into craft projects. Local pop-up businesses happily accept donations of bottles and jars.
Garden cut-offs, such as apple tree branches and dandelions, are shared between the local rabbit and guinea-pig population, making rubbish removal in London a family activity.
It’s not only an ideal way to cut down on waste, it’s also a great way to develop a community that is focused on collaborative living.
Supermarkets are a crucial part of our economic infrastructure, and there are times when we all need them. However, markets provide a much more environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative.
Nowhere in the country has as many markets of London. From the vibrant African cuisine available in Brixton to the flower market on Shoreditch’s Colombia Avenue, London markets offer a tantalising alternative to the plastic paradise of the supermarket.
And the trend is growing. Even Limehouse now features a Saturday morning market, which is brimming with freshly grown produce locally prepared food.
Shopping in markets cuts down on plastic pollution whilst helping to sustain the local economy.
Opt for eco-friendly junk removal
Living in London means that most of us don’t have cars. Most of the time, that’s a blessing. However, when it comes to getting rid of bulky items it can be a pain.
Anyone who has traipsed onto the Tube with a suitcase of stuff for the tip will know the feeling.
Freecycle is one of your greatest allies here. Freecycle can offer a home to many of your unwanted bits and pieces. The most unlikely thing I’ve ever given away on Freecycle was unused spice jar labels, and the most unlikely thing I’ve gained was an 1870s gardeniere. It’s a great way to give and receive.
However, if your stuff really is junk, then opt for an eco-friendly removal team. Getting rid of your unwanted junk is their raison d’etre, so they’ll nearly always be able to turn up within a few hours and relocate your unwanted stuff elsewhere, making rubbish removal in London both green and effortless.
This system prevents potentially toxic items from ending up in landfill, which is always a bonus, and which makes companies such as Junk London a useful ally in the fight against environmental damage.
Grow and make your own
Most of our junk comes from packaging. Whether it’s from a supermarket or from Amazon, there’s very little that we can do to prevent an onslaught of boxes and plastic.
That is, except taking the bold step of going solo.
Many of us don’t have gardens. However, many life hackers are offering advice on how to overcome this problem and turn our homes into home-growing paradises.
London also boasts more than sixty furniture-making community courses, many of which require no payment other than the cost of materials. This is a great way to break the IKEA habit, and start learning how to turn your scrap into practical advantage. It’s an eco-friendly way of living that is in danger of being lost, and has the added benefit of helping to relieve stress and anxiety.
We all know that we live in a toxic generation, where waste is polluting our environment and our legacy. At last, people are increasingly refusing to accept this situation.
Local council recycling is one step in the right direction, but there is so much more that we can be doing.
Importantly, living a more ecologically friendly life does not demand much thinking outside the box. Instead, it’s a case of making contacts in our local communities and harnessing the transformative power that they contain.