Get rid of your green waste like a pro
PSA: green is the new black. If you haven’t heard, eco-conscious living is the way of the future, and if you’re not on board already, jump on the bandwagon! We’ve all heard those stories: the amazing young couples who have a huge vege garden in the back, a great compost system and a worm farm to boot – and as amazing as it is, to the average joe it can seem like an unattainable eco-utopia. What with working daily, looking after the family and just the general hustle-bustle of everyday life, it can seem like there isn’t any time to be a greenie.
So how can I start?
The good news is that you can still do your bit for the environment by doing simple things like recycling your green waste which in many households just goes straight to landfill. There are a tonne of different ways you can be green and the benefits are not only good for the environment but for your conscience too. Starting off with your household rubbish is an excellent way to get acquainted with enviro-friendliness. So much of our household waste isn’t recycled properly because we don’t have the time, or we simply don’t know what can and can’t be recycled. It can be even harder knowing what to do with our green waste and garden waste – we don’t want to just chuck it in the bin, but if you don’t have your own composting system it can be a bit of a dilemma as to what to do with it. Whether it’s recycling your household rubbish, green and garden waste disposal, Junk2Go can help you on your journey.
What is green waste and how can I make a compost out of it?
So what counts as garden waste and green waste? What can you compost and what should be treated as something else? Green waste is biodegradable waste like grass or hedge trimmings, from your home or garden and even food waste like fruit and vegetables. Green waste is different to brown waste however because it has a higher carbon level, whereas green waste has higher levels of nitrogen. The process itself is actually super scientific, and bound to be a lot of fun for those that are that way inclined. See here for a full list of the ideal compost ratios. Brown waste includes things like sawdust, autumn leaves and pinecones – the colour of it is generally a pretty good guide. If your glass clippings have turned kind of straw or hay like, then they’re decaying and become brown waste. Both green and brown waste however can be sustainably composted, and a good composting system alternates green and brown layers.
Junk2Go also help with garden waste removal, which includes things like old fences, rusty garden furniture and even those garden gnomes that have been in the garden since who knows when? If your garden waste can’t be composted, upcycling your old garden furniture by donating it to charity shops is our go to, minimising waste where possible.
Some things that are great for composting are:
- Food scraps
- Fresh grass clippings
- Tree prunings
- Weeds without seeds
- Vegetable scraps
- Bark, untreated sawdust
- Tea leaves and bags
- Twigs and sticks
- Coffee grounds
- Crushed shells
Some things that you should definitely NOT compost are:
- Cat and dog faeces
- Meat, fish, oil, bones, fat
- Non-organics eg: tin, glass, plastics
- Invasive weeds, eg: kikuyu, wandering willy, jasmine
- Large amounts of pine needles or gum leaves
- Woody materials in pieces larger than the diameter of your finger
- Diseased plants (eg, with blight)
- Bamboo, flax and cabbage tree leaves
The reason why these shouldn’t be composted is because some of them can’t be broken down, meat and bones can attract rats, cockroaches and other unwanted pests, and some of the plants like weeds can cause interruptions in the growth of other natural composting creatures. If you do have large amounts of garden waste like branches, weeds and bamboo, these can still be removed by Junk2Go they’ll just go to waste.
Ways in which you can be green
Thinking about how much waste humans generate can be pretty awful and eye-opening. It’s estimated that New Zealanders send 2.46 million tonnes of waste to landfill each year. A lot of the stuff that we’re sending to landfill can be recycled or composted as well! The graph below shows that 28% of the total of this annual waste is organic. That’s heaps! Making an effort to be a bit greener means just tweaking a few of your habits. It might take a little bit of getting used to at the start, but if you create an easy to follow plan, within a few weeks what seemed like an effort might become a habit. If you’re living in the city and don’t have a massive yard or room for composting, Junk2Go’s garden waste removal and green waste removal is ideal if you’re wanting to make an effort for the environment but are struggling to figure out what to do with the waste. And if you’re worried about the carbon emissions, Junk2Go use modern, purpose built low emission green waste trucks to further reduce their impact on the environment. Think about the fuel you might burn on a trip to the local dump in your old jalopy and it seems like a pretty sweet deal. If your green waste and recycling separation at home needs a bit of mojo, an easy way of reminding you and those you live with is by creating separate labelled bins around the home. In your kitchen, keep a scrap bin with a nearby list of the kinds of foods you can and can’t compost (yes to fruit and veges, no to meat and bones and most other cooked foods), and have a recycling bin nearby for tins, plastics and glass. If you have a larger outdoor bin for garden waste you can just chuck the contents of your scraps bin with the green waste when the bucket’s full. When you’re ready for it all to be picked up, Junk2Go can usually come collect on the same day you book.
You can still be green without being a hippie
As much as we all love the idea of being a nature loving hippie, dealing with compost yourself can be kind of icky. Instead of giving up on the idea of being green, be green in a savvy way without getting your hands dirty. You don’t have to be out there every weekend fossicking through your green waste and sprinkling it on a pile of compost – but by using Junk2Go’s green waste removal you can rest assured that someone who loves that stuff is going to do it for you. The benefits of composting your green waste are endless. Aside from a tidier home and yard, no more smelly trips to the city dump and a clean green conscience, making sure that your green waste is being sustainably composted with Junk2Go’s green waste disposal is obviously great for the environment. Imagine a year’s worth of food and garden waste that ordinarily might have gone straight to landfill that could be composted. Compost not only returns organic matter to the soil, it reduces the harmful of effects of green waste in landfill like water pollution and greenhouse gas methane. It’ll mean that there will be more room in your rubbish bin for actual rubbish, which will mean your household waste output will be less. If every household in New Zealand utilised effective green and garden waste removal, aside from having a lot of great compost, New Zealand’s carbon footprint would be way smaller and our landfills will be less full. Junk2Go is committed to sustainability, so if you can’t compost or do something with the green waste yourself, it’s an excellent idea to get someone else to do it for you!
Aside from green waste and garden waste removal, there are other ways that Junk2Go can help you reduce your waste. If you’ve got a tonne of old household furniture you no longer need, piles of garden furniture that was great in the 70s that now sits forlornly in the tool shed, Junk2Go will pass it onto a local op shop where someone else will find it a use for it. By reducing your waste, reusing what can be reused or passing it onto someone who can, and by recycling, you’re on your way to being a clean and green kiwi.