By YMCA Programs Officer, Louise Ims
Since 2018 the YMCA at Glenorchy has been working towards reducing our environmental impact and providing ways for our members to participate. As a way to reduce our waste we changed from using single use plates to using reusable plates and cutlery. As our staff love their coffee, we also transitioned all staff away from using single use coffee cups to washable cups. Any product that are not reusable, such as our take away containers, we have replaced with items that are biodegradable. We have also introduced recycling bins for cardboard, paper, plastic, glass tins and soft plastics. As a simple benchmark to measure our impact, we began weighing our waste and keeping a log on our progress. Our plan is to continue to reduce our waste output by searching for new ways to reduce what ends up as landfill.
This month we are proud to introduce a waste donation station where staff and members of public can drop off a range of items for us to send for recycling. Currently, we are accepting used oral care products like toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes. These are then recycled into plastic tables and bench seats. You can also drop off your bread bag tags which will be recycled into wheelchairs for those in need in South Africa and plastic bottle tops which can be used in the production of 3D printing for prosthetic limbs.
As we continue collecting for these recycling organisations, our next focus will be on reducing food waste (through composting) and minimising unnecessary power usage. We urge you to join us in reducing our collective footprint by bringing in your bottle tops, bread tags and used oral health products for recycling so that they don’t end up as landfill and also consider ways that you can reduce your waste at home.