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Why tackle waste?

View towards snowy hills at the RSPB Insh Marshes nature reserve

Image: Andy Hay

The UK produces enough waste to fill the Albert Hall every two hours. How many of us think about that? The waste problem in the UK is largely unseen – out of sight, out of mind in landfills.

Government and industry have taken steps to minimise the broader environmental impact of landfill sites.

These sites are specially sealed so that surrounding land and waterways are not contaminated. Methane gas, produced when organic waste rots, is drawn from landfill sites to make electricity.

'The UK produces enough waste to fill the Albert Hall every two hours.'

However, the simple fact is landfill space is running out. 

Each year in the UK, some 100 million tonnes of waste are produced from households, commerce and industry. 

As workers and consumers, we can all help tackle the UK’s waste problem by thinking more carefully about how much we buy, and how we tackle our waste. 

A problem we can all help solve

To keep a check on waste, there are three simple principles you can follow: reduce, reuse, recycle. 

  • Reducing the amount of stuff you consume has the greatest benefits for the planet. It’s best to avoid waste in the first place, so think more carefully about your purchases.
  • Second, reusing items saves the natural resources and energy needed to manufacture new ones—as well as saving money.
  • Third, recycling (or composting) enables your old stuff to be turned into something new, rather than just thrown away.

How you can help

There are dozens of little changes you can make to your lifestyle that will add up to make a real difference to help wildlife and the environment. We've put together some simple and easy hints and tips on how you can live a greener lifestyle.

Recycle your old mobile phones and inkjet cartridges and you'll not only help the environment but help us continue our conservation work.