We all need to be more aware of what we throw out

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How much thought do you give to what you throw away?

Perhaps more importantly, do you give any thought to how you dispose of your rubbish?

Most of us have long since become used to recycling in some form or another. But these days it has gone way beyond just simply making sure we put aside our papers.

Things have changed a great deal in this area in our lifetimes as more and more items can be efficiently re-used. From aerosols to food and drinks cans as well as various types of plastics, local authorities now make kerbside collections of a wide array of the things we throw out.

In Portsmouth it can actually pay to recycle well. The council has been running a competition in recent months to encourage people to recycle.

And it’s not just individuals who can benefit if they recycle – local authorities have previously received government cash as incentives for hitting recycling targets. In fact, this competition has been funded by government money.

With natural resources dwindling, it is more than just common sense to re-use what we can.

However, as senior materials recovery facilities manager Darren Carling says today, it’s unnecessary packaging that still causes the largest amount of waste. And if it’s not separated out before it goes in the bag, it can’t be recycled.

It’s human nature to respond well to incentives, such as this competition, but we all need to wise up when it comes to recycling. It needs to become something that we all do as second nature.

Seeing the sheer volume of waste that passes through Veolia’s centre should be a sobering sight for all of us.

With everything that can’t be recycled or burnt to produce energy having to go into landfill, it only acts as a further waste of our country’s available resources.

Yes, there is still a long way to go in reducing unnecessary packaging, but we also need to be smarter in what we throw away.

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