Waste Segregation and Contamination

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We have all heard about it, with the term sustainability becoming more and more ingrained in our news, business models and daily habits, recycling and waste management is pushing its way to the forefront of our attention.

 However, there’s always room for improvement! Despite recycling information, services and facilities being more widespread and accessible, recycling has increased by only 0.9% since 2017. This is because of recycling contamination.

 What is recycling contamination?

Recycling contamination is caused by improper preparation or disposal of waste material/items. The cause? -Food residue and uncleaned items, mixing non-recyclables with recyclables and even putting a recyclable item into the wrong recycling facility. Just one ounce of food or incorrect item found within a tonne of recyclable waste is enough to send the whole lot to landfill, putting our recycling efforts to waste, literally!

The best and effective way to combat this deceivingly small issue is waste segregation! Carefully segregating waste into different categories allows the sorting and disposal of waste to become much easier and environmentally efficient. Waste segregation lessens the need for the extraction of raw materials, lower levels of pollution (from production processes) and reduced amounts of waste going to landfill (which are exceeding capacity rates faster than ever!). This also costs us less economically on an annual average expenditure.


So here are just a few tips for doing just that;

Waste segregation:

1.      Identify categories for segregation

(Wet and dry/Organic and non-organic/recyclable and non-recyclable)

2.      Assign separate bins for each category and place where most needed

I.e. in your kitchen you may have one bin for organic waste (food), another for dry recyclable waste and another for general waste

3.      Ensure proper waste disposal for each category

Wet waste to be removed every day to avoid rot and dry waste at least once a week

4.      Partner up with waste segregation schemes and services

By doing so, you can save money through minimised waste management costs – check out Cawleys Infinity Programme!

To avoid recycling contamination:

1.      Identify which materials are recyclable or not, using recycling labels

Click here to download our Recycling Resource Pack with all recycling information

2.      Empty and rinse all containers

Clear all food or content residue and for better results, leave to dry

3.      Have different bins/facilities assigned to segregate your recyclable waste

Refrain from using plastic bags in your recyclable waste. However, use larger see-through bags if no collection bin is allocated or have mixed recycling bin only – or better, use paper bags.


With these small changes, we will have a big impact!

 Ineffective waste management is at the tip of the iceberg with impacts trickling towards further landfill, environmental degradation, pollution and ultimately, costing us more money.

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For more information on waste segregation, reuse & recycling, and what to do with each recyclable waste material, visit the SABI website www.smallactionbigimpact.com


Take the pledge to segregate your waste here today and receive our Resource Pack with tips, impacts, facts and the templates you need to spread the word and to get you started on making small actions towards a big impact!

 You may also be in the change to win an exclusive ‘Sustainability Hamper’ by LowToxBox, with all the everyday essentials you need to reduce your waste + some extra surprise goodies included!

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visit  www.lowtoxbox.com for more!