A collection of recyclables can save up to $4,000 over a year for parents who don’t have the cash to recycle all their household items, a study by the University of Newcastle has found.
The research, which looked at more than 9,000 children, found that those who collected recyclable material at home were more likely to end up with the right kind of waste.
It found that while a small amount of recycling was always better than nothing, a good collection of recycled materials could help families save money, as well as make recycling less of a waste.
“Recycling is a waste of money and a waste that can harm the environment,” study author and former research fellow at the University’s Department of Economic Studies Professor Sarah Withers said.
“The key is to take it seriously.
There is a lot of research that shows that when you have a focus on what you can recycle, the environmental impact is less and less.”
The research also found that when families recycled the household waste, the total amount of waste they put in the landfill was less than the amount of recycling they did, and the amount they actually recycled was the same as what they did before recycling.
Witherers said the results showed the importance of putting a focus in recycling, rather than simply recycling everything.
“There’s a lot more people who are actually using recycling than there is recycling,” she said.
“When you take the time to actually do it properly, it can save you money and it can help you save money on the end-user.”
The study found that households recycling only made up just 2 per cent of the total household waste and had an average of just 1,000 tonnes of waste each year.
But that didn’t mean there weren’t some advantages.
“People were more satisfied with the quality of their recyclability and they had more confidence in the quality and durability of their recycling,” Professor Witheres said.
The study also found people who collected a recycling collection at home had a higher proportion of household items in the collection, and were more happy with the recyclers recycling process.
And while a good recycling collection can cost money, it was also more cost-effective than simply buying the items and going to the supermarket to buy them.
“The cost per item was lower than buying the same items from the local supermarket,” Wither.
“And that’s because it was more economical to buy a lot, and to do it locally.”
The University’s research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.