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Recycling is a good way to help the environment and save you money and get some garage space back. The more things we can keep out of landfill the better. Remember, it’s not just you getting rid of stuff that someone else may treasure, but also exploring the recycling goods to use yourself. Make sure then when you donate however it is reusable – many charities waste money sorting through rubbish that they then have to pay to send to landfill.

Two great ways to recycle garden and kitchen scraps is a worm farm and composting. Worm farms will digest kitchen scraps, just keep the farm cool in summer. Or compost, using a bin or even just bury it in the garden.

Local councils usually have a waste and recycling programme, as well as regular kerbside pickups. Check these out on your local council website for more details. There are also programmes that recycle electronic items such as phones and batteries, so look these up for one local to you. Make it easy to recycle by having a small bin for recycling in the kitchen, so materials can be thrown straight in.

There are a few things that you may do unthinkingly that have some bad effects on the environment, even though you may not see them. Pouring petrol, paint or solvents on the soil will not make them go away. The many chemicals in these liquids will soak down through the soil and reach the water table, and possibly poison your own trees. Otherwise they keep on soaking right through to groundwater, and spread from there. Once in groundwater, many break down into even more toxic chemicals. Contaminated groundwater is extremely expensive (millions of dollars) to clean up, and can often just not be done. Many places rely on groundwater for drinking, agriculture or irrigation. Chemicals poured on the ground can travel a long way from their spill point, reaching rivers, streams and the ocean, and poisoning people and creatures on the way.

Along the same lines, don’t pour or wash solvents and rubbish down the stormwater drain. These are all connected to rivers and eventually the ocean, which bears a heavy load already from human activities. Don’t make your yard a further burden on the environment by thoughtless waste disposal.

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