Recycled Projects

I don’t like waste and am always looking for ideas on recycling. Although I can’t use everything that gets thrown out, I will have a jolly good try.

When the local council introduced separate bins and boxes and asked us to recycle, it was met locally with an attitude of ‘that’s what we pay the council for’, but I can’t help thinking some folks are a bit tunnelled visioned to think like that. Our local councils are a bit cash strapped, out local community amenities are closing down, we’ve already lost our local council office, our leisure centre and various other community inspired services so any attempt to save money or earn it has got to be a good idea for the sake of the community.  Why should the council have to pay more people to handle our rubbish? Surely a simple task of separating what you throw out isn’t too much to ask, it’s our rubbish in the first place.

We have a green bin for general waste, blue for paper & cardboard, brown for green garden waste and boxes for glass/tins and one for plastics. Our green bin only needs emptying once a month if we recycle everything else. However I digress a bit, it’s not about the council’s bin emptying habits, it’s more about how we can make use of what we discard from it’s original purpose. The plastics box (from pre-packed meats, fruit etc.) keeps me supplied with trays handy to sit pots on to contain the water. Yogurt pots etc. can be used to pot seedlings on and my next project will be the plastic milk bottles when I will be using them to plant up cold start plants outside, early in the year.  However the base of the one pint bottle also makes a good little plant pot, it’s rectangular shape fits very neatly into the rainwater gutter I have in the greenhouse as a shelf. I can put several milk bottle pots in it and after the initial watering, I top up the gutter so they can help themselves if they feel thirsty. The milk bottle can be cut, retaining the handle, to make a scoop.

On the foody side, I have a wormery and those hungry little fellows dispose of softer vegetation quite quickly, so cucumber, tomato, leaves etc. go to feed my worming family and all other foods that they can’t eat go in the bio bin for the council to turn into compost.

My neighbour has two dogs and uses the large dog meat tins, I’ve started collecting them for another project I’m thinking of. After 40 odd years I still have bits of my daughter’s baby cot and the base has metal links so my thoughts so far are to hang the dog food tins with plants in them, on it. I will see how it works out soon.

Some American websites give fantastic ideas for upcycling and recycling and one I have tried out are the garden totems. In the slideshow, you can see a cup and saucer bird font (beside my attempt at growing multicoloured popping corn), and collecting old ornaments from friends and charity shops, I glued some together to make the totems.  One is a bird bath and one serves no practical purpose and is just a piece of whimsy. My garden is full of whimsy.

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