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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 07:06 GMT
Loppy's easy guide to recycling
Loppy Garrard
Loppy Garrard recycles everything from clothes to food waste
For several years Loppy Garrard has been trying to live an "ethical lifestyle" at her council house in Swansea.

As well as refusing to run a car, powering her home on "good energy" and only buying fair-trade and organic food, the 53-year-old mother is very keen on recycling.

Here she shares some of her tips on how to keep your domestic waste to a minimum.

I've always been into a bit of recycling which started from not having very much money being a single parent. But I'm doing more and more of it now and so should everyone else as the planet's resources become more scarce.

I recycle ordinary things like tins and cans, glass bottles and jars. These are easy as the council picks them up as part of its kerbside recycling scheme.

If it's paper that can't go into the recycle bags then I use it for making notes and lists rather than notepads. You can re-use envelopes again and again by putting new labels on them

With Christmas cards I use the front to make labels for presents for next year. Just cut round them with pinking shears. You can still put the backs in the Christmas card saving boxes they have in many shops where they then shred them.

Some cooked food such as pasta and things like that can go on the bird table
Loppy Garrard

Wrapping paper I use again but quite often I'll use those bags you can buy now as you can re-use them again and again.

With stamps I take them to Oxfam - I think they sell them to collectors but they have taken them for as long as I can remember.

With old clothes then if they can't go to the charity shop, then I just rip them up and use them for rags - they make good dusters.

As for batteries I try to use ones that are rechargeable but some stores - including Argos and Tesco in Swansea - have started recycling them. But the ones I use are rechargeable using a solar powered recharger.

Composting scheme

I try and use margarine tubs and yoghurt tubs either for planting seeds in or for freezing things. If you have too much chilli or curry then save it for another day rather than throwing it away.

Parts of Swansea have a composting scheme and if I could, I would put food waste in that, but it has not started here yet.

I've got compost bins down the bottom of the garden but I don't put cooked food on it as it attracts rats and vermin. Some cooked food such as pasta and things like that can go on the bird table because robins and blackbirds particularly like pasta.

It's not hard to recycle and there are so many things that we just throw away that can be used again and again.

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