The dirty business: why you need to sort the garbage and how to do it correctly

One of the most important knowledge in the future for a person will be those related to consumption and. Modern people produce a huge amount of garbage and while there are few who know how to deal with different types of waste correctly. The journalist described in detail what to do.

The waste recycling plants in Ukraine lack raw materials, because in our country, people are not accustomed to sorting garbage. Waste that goes to landfill, just rot and poison the air.

Although some of the waste can be recycled, others need to be specially disposed of, and it is better to simply discard the third types of materials, because nothing can be done with them. But they will poison us, smoldering and rotting in a dump.

Irina Primachuk


All that I have learned in six months about garbage and I want to tell you. I hope it will be useful, informative and applicable in practice. This is important, you will understand why, if you finish reading.

Where to put garbage

Garbage that we produce can be either recycled or disposed of safely.

In order to recycle garbage, it must be sorted. Sorting of garbage in Ukraine is not an obligatory matter, there are no laws - there is no responsibility either, so there is no sorting, in fact.

Sorting is born of the titanic efforts of individuals and organizations, which do not care; massively about how to sort garbage and what for it is necessary, practically nobody knows and it is not surprising - it is necessary to be normally confused. And who has time in this fast world?

Safe disposal of garbage in Ukraine is not. There is one plant in Kiev that burns garbage, and the residents of this area are well aware of its ignoble smell, and children in this area are more likely to suffer from respiratory diseases.

Burning a garbage idea is not bad, but it should be done correctly, and doing it right is expensive and this option is not available to Ukraine yet.

It is necessary to burn garbage only one that is no longer possible to recycle. Burning garbage recyclable is the criminal extravagance of nature.

Anything that can be reused or recycled - MUST be reused orrecycled. To do this, people have already come up with garbage sort and use recycled materials in the future production.

How are things in Ukraine?

  • garbage is burned with non-compliance with the process safety;
  • garbage is taken to landfills and just rot;
  • garbage is not sorted as widely as necessary to improve the overall situation.

On the second point I had a strong insight, a shock and a stupor for a while. I cried from the realization of scale.

In Ukraine, 30 thousand landfills. In each of them, a huge amount of rubbish in the height of a 20-storey building was buried.

It rots, stinks, burns very often. When they say that peat bogs are burning, then most likely our garbage can burn. How much does this worsen our ecology? I will answer philistine: catastrophically.

Polygons exist because it is profitable, their owner is likely to choose life in Switzerland and be able to afford it. Ukrainians also pay for the removal of garbage and the creation of dead, dirty burial grounds. The situation does not bother many, all the supermarkets cheerfully continue to rumble the bags.

Let me remind you, in Ukraine there are 30 thousand garbage dumps, in Switzerland - zero.That is, the garbage can still not rot on the ground.

Garbage must be sorted

What can be done about this? SORT TRIP. Everyone, everyone, massively and as responsibly. This is the only chance to change this terrible and irresponsible trend.

Sorting garbage is an easy process; you just need to select everything valuable that can be secondary raw materials.

What is being processed

  • Paper - up to 6 times.
  • Plastic - up to 16 times.
  • Glass - an infinite number of times.
  • Metal - an infinite number of times.

Waste paper

If I knew how important it was, if I had only managed to explain in my childhood why and why we do it, I wouldn’t throw out a single paper package in my life that could have become waste paper.

60 kilograms of waste paper - this is one tree, which can not be cut.

Can you imagine what this savings in general for the country? If each of us has a piece of paper for a piece of paper - there will be a whole untouched forest!

What I get into waste paper - used A4, any paper packaging (you can compactly disassemble it), leaflets, business cards, newspapers (yes, they are thrown into the mailbox), magazines, cardboard, boxes (I take everything apart, cut it and put it in a pile) , trays for eggs.

Which is very similar to waste paper, but is not:

  • Checks (in general, a very dangerous thing is thermal paper that contains Bisphenol A - a carcinogen, do not take extra checks, do not carry them in your hands, purse, pockets, do not throw in a bag of food, do not give them to children, do not burn them, Bisphenol is toxic, causes endocrine and reproductive problems),
  • Napkins (not suitable for recycling, but can be poured into compost)
  • “Paper” glasses, “paper bags” of juices and dairy products are all plastic, I will explain further.

Plastic is the most common type of garbage

In addition to the fact that there are many, it is also different, and it is necessary to sort according to the marking. Marking looks like a triangle with letters and numbers.

Plastic, which is subject to recycling - 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 (except disposable tableware and lids for glasses).
NOT POSSIBLE for recycling - 3, 7.

1 - ordinary white bottle of water, very valuable recyclables;

2 - a bottle of white plastic; “Molokia” is packed into such products, considered to be the safest plastic container;

3 - oilcloth, banners (has a strong smell, evaporation is toxic, not recyclable for recycling, not recyclable in Ukraine) do not buy this kind of plastic, it's not worth it;

4 - plastic bag, clean bags are accepted for recycling, but since it is light and there is little plastic in it, it is difficult to collect enough for recycling, it is often impossible to wash it, it is undesirable to pack products in it - this is unsafe packaging, especially when heated;

6 - most often disposable tableware, not recyclable, it is better to abandon it forever - it is garbage, the rest of the products are taken for processing, but not always and not everywhere;

7 - the final product is from recycled plastic - the final recycling cycle, after that the container can only be disposed of, not with us, of course, with us so far only rot.

What can be said about plastic

Discard it where possible. Almost all plastic is toxic when heated. This is not good for our health. Plastic, which falls on the trash, - evil in its pure form.

An ordinary bag, which is kindly offered at each cash register, decomposes for 500 years, a bottle of water - for 1000 years. How many can you count about your lady packages on the ground? Bottles? Is it necessary to do this with garbage? Hardly.

️ A list of plastic-evil, from which you can, you need and it is important to refuse:

  • the tubes are not recycled and can only be recycled in certain countries (one guesses that Ukraine is not on this list), the tubes are left to rot, lie down, stink, circle with a gentle dance throughout our country;
  • paper, but in fact, there are no cups - there is a layer of plastic inside a paper cup, they are cleaned for recycling, but a layer of plastic is thrown away and trash remains, worldwide, disposable cups are trouble, in Ukraine this trouble is getting stronger, near coffee shops trash cans fill up swiftly;
  • lids for disposable glasses - toxic when heated (how much I drank coffee through them) and are not recycled;
  • chopsticks - plastic stuff goes in the trash, but there are paper and wooden ones;
  • Any disposable plastic tableware is pure garbage.

Look at the labeling of plastic always. It is important to know what you are buying, take in your hands, where you put food and pour water. This is primarily health.

Do not heat food in plastic packaging in the microwave, even if it is written that you can. Do not put a bottle of water in the sun. Do not wrap the food cling film. There can not be food film - it is processed petroleum products.

How to deal with other types of waste

Any metal can be recycled.

The most valuable and popular are aluminum cans. But tin, too, take - canned food and lids. I collect even staples, in general, I have ceased to simply throw something away.

Organics. There was a catch for me. Organic waste needs to be composted, because when they just rot, methane is released - the reason why landfills burn, and the air becomes more and more polluted.

Organic matter can be composted at home, I have not come to this yet, but seasoned people say that it is simple, without smell and big worries.

Hazardous waste

In addition, there is hazardous waste that cannot be thrown out categorically. It's poison. Most likely you did not know about some things, I, too.

Special disposal are subject to:

  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Cosmetics, medicines, household chemicals, where the expiration date passed
  • Thermometers
  • Any large or small appliances

Some facts you should know

There are waste processing plants in Ukraine and they are quite active in their work. But, since Ukrainians practically do not sort garbage, recycled materials are not enough for recycling, and these plants regularly buy garbage abroad.

Plastic is bought in Poland, paper in the Baltic States and Russia.Cardboard is brought to Ukraine from Lithuania, because in Ukraine there is no cardboard, our cardboard rots with you on the trashcan.

Ukraine spends about 7 million euros per year to buy trash in other countries and to ensure the production capacity of waste processing companies.

This is budget money. Tax on laziness and indifference. Such companies can not afford a single day of downtime, so they are forced to buy rubbish, while 30,000 polygons of Ukraine are cracking at the seams of rubbish.

What can you start with?

I am more than sure that you would like to change the situation for the better. And you can start with simple steps. And every such step is sooo valuable!

  1. Do not buy too much stuff and what you basically do not need. You do not need 10 pairs of jeans and 20 pairs of sneakers. Wear carefully, wash properly, take care, give your things to those who need them. Do not throw away what you can not throw away.
  2. Do not buy products in unmarked packaging. The law does not oblige, but it is a bad indicator. All the harmful food is packed in full crap.
  3. Do not use packages. I do not take packages at all for more than a month. I ask for one paper, I carry it in my hands, I put everything in a grocery bag, cucumber with a tomato does not bite in one bag - it’s checked and you don’t need to take a separate bag.If you buy products in the supermarket, you can put the products on the scales and glue the stickers separately. Throw them away immediately, glue carefully.
  4. Many people use handbags, small tornbags, I have one big bag for food - I now put the food in the kitchen 3 minutes after the store.
  5. All rustling packaging from under the croup - wash and return for recycling, if you can not buy by weight.
  6. Buy your glass or thermo-cup - do not take the glasses to take out. Even if you hand them over for recycling, the plastic from them will remain. The second month I do not use disposable glasses, I advise a cup of bamboo. Convenient and beautiful. More useful than drinking a drink with plastic through the PS6 cap.
  7. Wash all recyclable packaging and assemble in a separate bag / container. This is really not a super effort, but a matter of habit.
  8. Buy a wooden toothbrush - plastic only in the trash.
  9. Do not take the tubes, ask not to carry. If you drink without ice, and in my opinion, drinking with ice is not entirely useful for teeth or for the throat, it is generally not needed, and if you need it, that is, reusable of metal, bamboo, glass and paper. You can even buy a brush to wash them.This is really very important.
  10. Washcloths for the kitchen and bathroom can be replaced by a cool natural thing - a washcloth from the loofah, I will buy and no longer use sponges.
  11. Do not use any disposable tableware. Of course, you do not want to wash, but this is too high a price for our nature, it is better to wash it, really.
  12. Quit smoking, friends! And if it is still difficult, do not just throw cigarette butts into the ground. It decomposes 15 years. You can already give birth to a child, send him to school and survive the crisis of adolescence with him, and your cigarette butt is still where you left it. But better quit.

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