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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Do you do your part in saving our natural resources? It’s never too late to start making an effort. The practice needs to begin at home.

The clean up act
With the endless number of campaigns that cross your path, it would be redundant to explain the significance of recycling. Nevertheless, many of us do not take it seriously. This is perhaps because people consider this practice to be strenuous, when it really isn’t anything more than organising skills. So here’s what we can do within our limits to save the planet.

Paper and cardboard:

  • Stack old newspapers together as they go back directly into newsprint recycling.
  • Magazines, glossy flyers, newspaper inserts, phone books, envelopes, computer paper, old letters and paper packaging can go into one bin. While staples are excused, rubber bands and plastic wraps aren’t.
  • Carbon paper, stickers, cardboard, laminated paper and cardboard will not go into this bin.
  • Bale cardboard together and tie it with string for curb side collectors. Make sure they are dry as coated, wet or greasy ones clog recycling machines.

Plastic
You already know this, but we have to say it again: Plastic does not break down! On a brighter note, it can be converted into many diverse products. Make the effort to collect and recycle it. This is perhaps the trickiest product to salvage.

  • Learn the numbers assigned to different plastic goods and find out which of these are accepted by local recycling centres. Store them accordingly.
  • Remove tops of bottles. Reuse grocery bags and containers. Reduce the use of polystyrene (cups, food trays, egg cartons, etc).

Glass

  • Now this one’s easy-peasy. Glass containers are separated by colour: clear, green and brown. You can leave the paper labels on.
  • Keep light bulbs, glass sheets, mirrors and pyrex separately.
  • Aluminium, steel and copper
  • Rinse food cans and remove their lids and labels before storing them.
  • Foil packaging can be reprocessed into mechanical components like engine parts!
  • Paint and aerosol cans, though recyclable, are considered hazardous. Store them separately as well, with the labels this time.
  • Copper and its alloys, brass and bronze, are 100 per cent recyclable.

Electronic goods

  • Got extra computers, printers and hardware? Pass it on! You might think no one will take old gadgets, but you’ll be surprised with the response.
  • Cell phones and rechargeable batteries are being collected by several corporate firms and non-profit organisations. Do some research; find out which cause suits you best.

Local projects
Bahrain Recycling Plant: In 1980, Khamis Al Mulla established Al Raefa Scrap Trading Co with the primary objective of general trading of metal and secondary aim of handling plastic and other composite material. He decided in 1987 to diversify and merge both operations in Bahrain Recycling Plant. In 1997, BRP expanded its operations by investing in an advanced briquetting plant. Call 17 830-456.

Recycling for Charity:
This organisation provides containers for points of interest like schools, supermarkets, banks and other locations where people pass by on a daily basis – free of charge! They are serviced by their trucks that deliver the materials to the plant in Sitra, where they segregate and purify the recyclables to be sold locally and overseas. They offer office solutions as well. Call them to integrate recycling into your business. Call 17 562-600.

Recycle IT:
This is the first project in Bahrain that will begin the computer and electronic equipment recycling movement and reduce e-waste in the Kingdom. It consists of three major stages:

  • Collecting old, broken, or unused computer and electronic equipment then recycle or re-distribute them based on their condition.
  • Launching a nation-wide awareness campaign to educate and spread a culture of e-recycling among all Bahraini citizens and residents through competitions, exhibitions, school and university seminars and more.
  • Hosting recycling and technical workshops to teach and rehabilitate recently graduated high school students the skills of recycling and dismantling electronic equipment to create jobs across the country.

Recycle IT is organised by the Good Word Society and is hosted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, First Vice President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, and Bahrain Olympic Committee President, and is sponsored by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).
Call 17 333-115.

RecycleAge WLL:
Launched in 2008, the main focus of this firm is buying, processing and exporting all types of petroleum products, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, iron ore, bauxite and chromite. They have been associated with reputed companies in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and India for trade. They supply bitumen, base oil, waste oil, different types of waxes and other petroleum products regularly to clients all over Asia. Call 77 052-250.

High-tech waste management
Earlier this year, four students of Bahrain Polytechnic developed an app for Android mobile devices to encourage recycling in the country. Titled Bahrain Recycle, it is available on Google Play Store for free. It uses the GPS functionality of a phone and displays a map containing the user’s current location, allowing them to identify locations of recycling facilities around Bahrain with details of what can be recycled. It also suggests driving routes and estimated journey time.

Note-worthy achievement
It is clear that reputable corporations must make firm commitments to recycling as a key environmental target. The real estate specialist, Cluttons, has led by example by implementing a paper recycling programme in partnership with Want2Recycle.

As a well-respected property company, Cluttons in Bahrain has used paper and cardboard recycling containers in all of their managed buildings, including the Almoayyed Tower in Seef which in 2012 recycled over 11 metric tonnes of paper and cardboard. The firm aims to do even better in 2013 and keep more waste away from landfills, demonstrating its dedication to the cause throughout its local and global operations.

Tips for recycling at home

  • Visit or call your local recycling centres to find out what they accept. Set up bins accordingly.
  • Set up a system for the bins. The garage is an ideal location; make sure they’re secured to avoid pests.
  • Use plastic bags to store products as paper bags can leak and rip.
  • Smaller containers are easier to lift when full.
  • Label bins clearly (with description if required).
  • Choose products with higher percentage of recycled content in packaging.
  • Clean containers before storing them.
  • A ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your mail box works wonders.
  • Buy products with recycled content and packaged in recycled materials.

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