Recycling with toddlers

An aside first of all, amusingly I was going to entitle this posts “recycling toddlers”.  I’m sure quite a few parents would like to try recycling theirs and swapping those with huge tantrums, with some more obedient ones?!

I now work for a company whose whole purpose for being is to encourage and support the move towards a ‘zero waste’ economy, and to ensure businesses and consumers recycle and reuse as much as possible as well as being more efficient in energy use.  All very saintly, and it really makes you think about what waste you provide.

I was fairly good at recycling before working there, but do find it hard (nigh on impossible) to persuade my OH to recycle…he’s not too convinced that recycled packaging actually goes to be recycled after all the stories in the media early on about the amount that consumers put out, but that didn’t end up being recycled.  Our council’s pretty hot on recycling and apart from foil, clothes and glass, there’s not much that they don’t let you put in the recycling bins – even aerosols, batteries and now small electricals can be collected.

N loves helping me take the recycling down to the dustbins though.  Probably because it means he gets to put on his wellies and have a wander round the farmyard at the same time.

It takes about 3 journeys up and down the drive as I have a week’s worth of rubbish, food waste (yep, my food planning’s not quite perfect yet)/pig food peelings and recycling to take.  We don’t have to sort our recycling, but I never seem to have enough time to take it down once I’ve got a bag full so it just stores up until it’s overflowing.

I’m not sure N understands why there’s different bags, but the recycling bags are always light enough for him to carry so he walks those down and hands them to me to put in the correct bin.  I do have to remember there’s a couple of piglets on the farm again, so I can separate the food waste out.  Then hopefully there’ll be less going to the food bin again.

Taking recycling to the bins
Recycling – toddler style

Hopefully as N gets older and learns more about recycling, he’ll start going on at his dad to recycle.  At the moment, I tend to have to fish bits out of the top of the bin, or grab packaging before he chucks it out.  Then we’ll need to convert the rest of the family.   Maybe I’ll do N’s pocket money based on how much recycling sorting he helps me with and collects?

We don’t have much glass recycling which is handy as we have to go to bottle banks for that…but that’s a fun 5 minutes when we do have glass, for N to spend posting them through the bottle banks.

How do you get your little one’s into recycling?

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