Reuse or recycle – a New Year’s resolution

Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, is urging us all to join in the drive to create a Climate Friendly Argyll and Bute by pledging to reuse or recycle.

He says:

“For those of us having an early year clear out, remember that a lot of what we plan to throw away won’t have reached the end of its useful life.

“And although we don’t want it, someone else might.

“Reusing unwanted items, by donating or selling them, is much better for the environment. It cuts down on waste, the associated carbon impacts and can create jobs.

“Zero Waste Scotland estimates that, every year, around 5,000 tonnes of sofas, 9,700 tonnes of washing machines, 6300 tonnes of TVs, and 21,000 tonnes of T-shirts, are thrown away.

“It’s really important to think about reusing household items when you consider the average piece of furniture generates around approximately 47 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide equivalents. That’s about the same amount of greenhouse gases produced by burning around 5.3 gallons of petrol.

“Sofas take the top spot in terms of carbon footprint, generating around 90 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide equivalents, with foams and fillings making up more than 40% of this.

“If you want to find out how you can donate unwanted household goods to a local organisation, you can visit the council website, where they are listed as part of Restyle Argyll, or separately towards the end of the page. Zero Waste Scotland also has a national reuse line to help people donate bulky items to charity.

“Don’t forget, buying second hand is often cheaper than buying new and you can find some unique one-off items.

“There does come a time when a much-loved item has had its day. At that point, I’d urge you to get it recycled.

“It takes a lot less energy to create a product from recycled material than producing new products from raw materials.  It also reduces the amount of waste to landfill - on average, 59% of what goes in the non-recyclable ‘landfill’ bin could have been recycled using existing household recycling services.”

Details on local recycling points can be found on the council’s website: 

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