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Reuse and Repair: Give it a new life this European Week for Waste Reduction!

09 November 2017

Local people are being encouraged to make a pledge during this year’s European Week for Waste Reduction (18th – 26th November) – and help us top the European leader board!

Mid Ulster District Council is spearheading the campaign locally, highlighting how households can reuse and repair all kinds of items to save money and reduce waste at home and at work, and are asking each person to make one small pledge to play their part.

Behind this Reuse and Repair topic is the need to shift from a throw-away attitude towards more appreciation for everyday products and the resources used to make them. This year EWWR aims to illustrate just how easy it is to find value in something you thought had become useless!

Small actions can make a big difference – do you have things that you don't need filling up your shelves? Or books and movies that you'd love to share with others? A Give Box or a Shared Shelf is an open space where people can drop/take different types of items. It’s easy to set up at work or at school and is a good way to exchange items with people around you.

There are lots of actions we can all take to reduce waste every day:

  • Opt for reusable bags
  • Pack a packaging free lunch
  • Sign up to the Mail Preference Service to stop junk mail
  • Avoid food waste – see www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
  • Buy in bulk or in large-size packaging
  • Buy eco-rechargeable or refillable products
  • Drink tap water
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Restrict printer usage
  • Start composting
  • Donate old clothing
  • Borrow or hire tools

Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Ronan McGinley is encouraging residents to support EWWR and make a pledge.

“Mid Ulster District Council residents can be proud that their council area has the highest recycling rate of all the 11 councils here. Provisional figures show Mid Ulster’s overall recycling rate stands at 60.1% for the first quarter of 2017-2018, up from 55.3% for the same period last year. 

“However, European Week for Waste Reduction reminds us that we can still do more, over and above using our blue and brown bins at home. The whole focus is on taking very simple steps as individuals, whether that’s by changing the kind of products we buy or what we do with items we no longer want. By making small changes we can have a big collective impact on our environment – and not just here, but right across the European Union. I would encourage everyone to get behind this year’s campaign and make a pledge!”

For ideas on how you can reuse more effectively check out local mum Mary-Anne’s upcycling video on the Council YouTube channel. Mary Anne is a mum of two and someone who likes to turn what some people call ‘rubbish’ into useful objects.  Mary Anne has given a new lease of life to old clothes, buttons, rope, bits of crockery and dumped furniture!

You can also search ‘Ways to Re-purpose and Reuse Broken Household Items’, have a look at the EWWR Pinterest board and check YouTube for inspiration.

To find out more about EWWR or to register your action for Northern Ireland during European Week for Waste Reduction log onto www.ewwr.eu/register or contact the Council’s recycling officers on 03000 132 132 or email recycling@midulstercouncil.org with your pledge before 26th November.

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