Waste Overload

Getting pretty tired of the amount of waste that gets generated, even by somewhat recycling conscious individuals like myself, kind of depressing considering how much we send to landfill as a society.

Being in IT doesn’t help, a lot of stuff provided ends up being waste or is generally non-recyclable.

  • Amount of packaging – stuff often has way too much packaging, bubblewrap and worst of all – polystyrene.
  • Cables wrapped in plastic bags! IT companies worldwide, looking at you…. WTF companies, it’s a frigging *cable*, it doesn’t require a special bag.
  • Poor recycling in Wellington – the number of times that recycling has been incorrectly rejected or completed missed is beyond infuriating, and with apartment life it’s not possible to do organic recycling ourselves.
  • e-waste is almost impossible to get rid of in Wellington, without resorting to dumping or paying high fees to get it recycled – if it can be recycled.
  • Conferences – this is actually what got me started on this post, whilst tidying my room – every time I leave a conference, I end up with a bag, booklets,  lanyards, trinkets and other junk that I actually just don’t really need, and a number of bits if unable to be given away, will end up being landfill (this point ties into my goal for less stuff somewhat)
  • Media – we can’t recycle CDROMs, floppy disks, yet I receive hundreds of these disks that I don’t need every year.

Unsure what (if any) improvements I can make, at this stage my procedures are pretty much limited to:

  • Storing and reusing packaging – typically boxes, which are easy to store.
  • Recycle anything that Wellington city council will take.
  • Sell or give away older electronics, recycling by reuse – but this isn’t always feasible, people tend not to want certain items, like obsolete cellphones or CRT displays.
  • Try to avoid foods that have non-recyclable packaging – this tends to be less of a problem for me, most stuff I reuse, even takeaway containers.
Additional thoughts?
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2 Responses to Waste Overload

  1. Kat says:

    Freecycle.org. Pretty sure Wellington now has a group. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

  2. Jack Scott says:

    Personally, I find the plastic takeaway containers great! They’re a cheap source of physical storage that are easier to clean than most tupperware, more recyclable than most tupperware, more useful than most tupperware, and just generally better. Also, they come free with dinner!

    As far as electronics goes, the big problem I think is batteries. You’re not supposed to chuck them in landfill, but everybody does because there’s nothing better to do with them. They’re in lots of the things we use (mobile phones, laptops, handheld devices of various sorts) and wear out sooner than the devices they power. Minimising the amount of portable devices we own would be a big benefit to the environment.

    Kat’s suggestion of freecycle is a great idea. Trash really is treasure. My girlfriend has got lots of useful things that other people didn’t want, like tents and computer desks. I’m about to put some of my older computer junk on there to see if anybody wants it.

    Basically, more stuff isn’t the answer to everything, and the sooner we realise it the better off we’re going to be.

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