Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Recycling Plastic.

We are still looking for ideas on how to re-use or recycle VHS videos. Designer Patrick Schuur, created this “cassette tape closet” by using 918 cassette tapes and individually screwing them into a wooden frame. Greenopolis is a great site for art made from recycled plastic.

We would love to see something so creative and cool being made out of all the donated videos we have. All your ideas will be gratefully received and you could win a £10 voucher to spend at the Recycle Warehouse or Re-Useful Centre. To enter email or follow the link.

On the subject of recycling plastic you’d be hard pushed to beat Kevin McCloud's 'Slumming it', which shows how the people of Dhavari recycle 80% of the plastic waste from the city of Mumbai. (In Britain we only recycle 20% of plastic waste.) Living in squalid and insanitary slums, in the most expensive capital in the world, the people of Dhavari have created a vibrant and colourful community around the recycling of plastic. Here plastic has enough value to make people spend every day sorting through other peoples rubbish to pick out items they can sell for recycling. But it’s dirty and degrading work.

I have been trying to work out what I can learn from this and my first thoughts are that I don’t want anybody else having to wade through my dirty rubbish to pick out things that can be recycled. I’d much rather do it myself than have it transported to another country for someone else, with little choice for work, to have to sift through. If I could actually see the journey my rubbish takes and meet the people who deal with it along the way I am sure I would approach my weekly rubbish sorting with a more positive attitude.

Keeping the recycling of rubbish closest to the source where the waste was created means we are taking personal responsibility for the waste we create and the impact this has on our environment. Mumbai achieves this incredibly well because of the work of the people in Dhavari but the recyclers working conditions are appalling to say the least. There is no reason why communities in Britain can’t achieve the same levels of recycling through egalitarian means. No matter how rich or poor we are we all have to sort out our own rubbish. Maybe rubbish, like auditions, really is one of life’s great levellers.

If you live in Leamington, Kenilworth or Warwick and want an extra red recycling box or bag call 01926 410410, ask for recycling and within a few days they will be delivered to your door.