I have been tagged by the fabulous irisheyes to talk about what I have recycled. She is the queen so if you want to know what can be done you know where to go. I am not sure I have anything to say that is anything like as unusual or interesting as the things she does.
We do however recycle madly at home: we have three bins: one for paper and things to burn (is that green? I don't know. We have fires so we get rid of stuff), one for glass, newspaper, plastic and tins and one for the small amount of rubbish which really does have to go to landfill. Then there is the bucket which takes all the stuff which goes to the compost heap: peelings and teabags, apple cores and onion skins, egg shells and coffee grounds. The recycling is not collected up here on the hill. It is piled in the ramshackle outside utility room, boxes full of glass and paper, bags and bags of burnable rubbish waiting to go to the fire. The compost goes into one of the five compost bays which should be a compost factory making enough to keep the whole garden in organic material. Actually you can never make enough. Even with horse manure and rotting down turf, it is all gone in no time. The boxes which eventually go to the recycling centre are piled into the trailer every couple of months and take a trip to Mold.
Mold has the most wonderful tip for a lover of such things like me. There are separate sites for everything: a place for old TVs and computer monitors, a place for fridges, one for scrap metal, one for cardboard, one for yellow pages, one for batteries, one for old paint along with all the normal glass, paper, tin and plastic. There are bins for shoes and clothes to be reused and one for books. Then there is one very small skip for things which can't be put anywhere else. It is a model of its kind.
Ian is the great recycler in our house, producing the ideal bit of plastic or wood to mend a broken anything. Along with all the tools in the world, laid out in the workshop like a small supermarket (Aisle 2, Bay 3 for electricals) he has trays of useful stuff. In the house this drives me mad. Do we really need to have a drawer full of old phones? But once it makes its way outside it does support an ability to mend practically everything in the world.
The only things I really recycle are food and plants. Conjuring a meal out of leftovers or making something which we are eating for a second day feel like a different meal are talents which I think I inherited from my mother. I am appalled by the news that we throw away a third of the food we buy in this country. I don't mean that I am immune to the wrinkled red pepper in the bottom of the fridge or the sprouting potatoes in the pantry but I do tend to find a way of using them if I possibly can. In fact we are so likely to keep things and try to eat them that we have to have a check through the fridge before younger daughter (fondly known as the Fridge Police) comes home and rummages through the things past their sell by dates tutting and muttering about how we will poison ourselves one day.
I'm also pretty keen on making more plants from plants. Pots and pots accumulate outside the greenhouse with pinks and baby hellebores and root cuttings of oriental poppies. This year we have cut our own canes, hazel rods really, from the long growths on the big hedge to use instead of bamboo. We shall use the old bamboo which has been around for years but I don't intend to buy anymore so that is a form of recycling I suppose.
And I do recycle books, taking some to charity shops and bringing new ones in through the door, in a not entirely successful effort to keep the numbers under control. I admire the great forms of material recycling, particularly patchwork and anything which uses vintage material for bags and cushions and gives it a second life but I don't do much of it myself. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything. It is a pity you can't recycle time.