Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack
Podcast Number 15 – Rubbish – It’s Not All Rubbish
One of the regular jobs in our house is to take out the rubbish. It’s amazing how much rubbish we create each week. Every time I look at our kitchen rubbish bin, it seems to be full. In Australia, we help control our rubbish by recycling. Recycling means that certain types of rubbish are collected separately and then turned back into something useful. This helps keep our environment cleaner.
Each household in our part of Melbourne has 3 rubbish bins. We need to sort our rubbish and put it into one of these three bins. I keep our three bins out near the clothes line, behind the garage.
The first bin we have is black in colour and is for real rubbish. By real rubbish, I mean that it will be thrown away and can really be called rubbish. In this bin we put things such as food scraps, food wrappings, broken glass, plastic bags, old or broken cups and plates, old light globes, used tissues, plastic cling wrap, jar lids, tea bags, coffee grounds, polystyrene foam (for example take away cups and meat trays), anything sharp and anything else about which you are not sure. The rubbish from this bin is taken away to be buried in landfill.
The second bin we have is brown in colour. Into that bin goes any garden waste. We have a garden at our house, but I don’t like gardening very much. Therefore I don’t use the garden waste bin a lot. I’m afraid our garden is not as good looking as it could be. However, my wife enjoys gardening so she will often work in the garden and then put the garden waste into the brown bin. Garden waste includes such things as grass clippings, small branches and leaves. All of the garden waste which is collected is sent to a garden waste recycling centre, where it is made into mulch. Mulch is put onto gardens to keep the moisture in the soil and to stop weeds from growing. There is one of these garden waste recycling centres near my home. I walk past it each morning on my regular walk.
The third bin we have is green in colour. This bin is used for recyclables and is the most interesting one. So what goes into this bin? Well, it is for those things which can be turned into something useful, that is, recycled. Our local council has given us a list of what can, and can’t, go into this bin. Things which can go in are:
- Glass bottles and jars – these are sorted and then used to make new glass bottles.
- Plastic drink bottles – these are made from plastic which can be recycled. They have a small triangle on their base, with a number in the middle of the triangle. For example, a plastic milk bottle has, on its base, a triangle with a 1 in the middle. Any plastic bottle with a 1, or indeed a 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 in the triangle can be recycled. This type of plastic is turned into resin which is used to make new rubbish bins and also other plastic products.
- Milk and fruit juice cartons – these are recycled into paper for use in printers and for writing.
- Aluminium cans – these are recycled to make more aluminium cans. Did you know that making a recycled aluminium can uses 20 times less energy than making a new aluminium can.
- Steel and aerosol cans – these are recycled to make new cans, train tracks and other steel products.
- Old newspapers, magazines and advertising material – these are recycled to make paper for newspapers, cardboard packaging, insulation and building products.
- Cardboard boxes – these are recycled to make new packaging.
For our house, about 40% of our rubbish goes into the recycle bin. It’s great that these materials are not wasted and can be used again and again. It means that less rubbish is buried in landfill and that’s good for the environment.
Our rubbish is collected once a week on a Friday. We must put our bins out on the edge of the street, so that the rubbish truck, the garden waste truck or the recycling truck can pick it up.
The black bin is collected every week, while the other two bins are collected every 2 weeks. I am happy to say, that since 1998 when we moved into this house, we have never forgotten to put our bins out for pick up. Not bad eh?
If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story. You can leave your comment in English or in any language and I will translate it. Or, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to hear any suggestions you may have. I would especially like your suggestions for podcast topics. Goodbye until next time.
aerosol cans = a steel can used to hold something under pressure, like fly spray
base = the bottom of something. For example, the bottom of a bottle
behind = in the back of
boxes = rectangular containers that you put things in.
buried = when something is put in the ground and covered up
cardboard packaging = the material used to wrap something in.
cartons = like a bottle, but made of hard paper
coffee grounds = what is left of the coffee beans after you make coffee
collected = when things are put into one place
control = to make something do as you want
create = to make something
environment = the world around us
garage = where you park your car
grass clippings = when you mow the lawn, grass clippings are made.
insulation = used in a house to keep it warm. Usually put in the ceiling or walls
landfill = a way of burying very large amounts of rubbish in the ground.
light globes = made of glass and uses electricity to make light in a room
middle = when something is in the centre
plastic cling wrap = clear covering used to cover food
polystyrene foam = a very light material used for throw away cups and other things
products = things that are made by man
regular = when somethings always happens at fixed times
resin = a product that is used to make plastic
separately = when things are kept apart
sharp = when something can cut you
steel = very hard metal
tissues = paper used to wipe things
triangle = a shape with 3 corners and 3 straight sides
wrappings = used to cover up something like food. For example, paper
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