Gladstone hair salon trims its waste in push to be green

Uber Hair owner Hayley Pinel says although hairdressers use chemicals every day, she believes recycling is important.
Uber Hair owner Hayley Pinel says although hairdressers use chemicals every day, she believes recycling is important. Tegan Annett

LARGE, shiny balls are one of the numerous things that define Uber Hair's dedication to recycling.

In just five weeks, Uber Hair would use 9kg of aluminium foil.

This is one of the reasons owner Hayley Pinel takes recycling items such as alfoil seriously.

"The alfoil hairdressers use can be recycled. But since they are in such small sheets when they get put in to recycling and sorted at the dump sites, it just ends up in landfill. So in order to recycle it we roll ours into balls," she said.

Ms Pinel said it could be difficult to have a "green-friendly" approach, but when considering the alternative, it was worth it.

"I think there has been a big push for recycling. Everyone wants to be green conscious," she said.

"In hairdressing we don't have many options because we use chemicals for a living to straighten, colour and curl our hair, but it's those little things that we can do that really make a difference."

Uber Hair uses recyclable, one-time-use towels.

"The towels we use are made from recycled materials," Ms Pinel said.

She said she hadn't realised the energy benefits of the towels until making the switch.

"Because the towels we used had a chemical retardant, they had to be tumble dried, otherwise they would go like starch," she said.

"It got to the point where we would do up to six loads (of washing) a day."

Since the swap, they are limited to one load of washing towels a day.

Ms Pinel said after adding up the costs of detergents, water, electricity and the staff having to do the washing and folding, in the long run it had turned out to be a good investment.

"I think a lot of people are starting to be a lot more conscious about being more eco-friendly," she said.

"We have a lot of people ask us about (our towels). It creates a bit of a buzz in the salon."

This week is National Recycling Week. The week has been running since 1996 when Planet Ark founded the week-long commemoration to bring a national focus to the benefits of recycling.

 

How much of your household waste do you recycle?

This poll ended on 11 December 2013.

Current Results

Everything I can, including garden waste

75%

Everything I can from inside, but not much from the garden

0%

Most of it, but some goes in landfill

25%

Hardly anything

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

Councillor Col Chapman says recycling at public events is just as important as recycling at home.
Councillor Col Chapman says recycling at public events is just as important as recycling at home. Tegan Annett

Gladstone households are good at recycling

RECYCLING in households is easy, but Gladstone Regional Council environmental portfolio spokesman Col Chapman said at large-scale events people seemed to be less conscious of the items they were rubbishing.

"The hardest time to get people to recycle is during public events," Cr Chapman said.

"They might have a half eaten hamburger...they tend to put it all in one bin instead of sorting it out."

But he said generally Gladstone residents took recycling seriously.

"Recycling is important because we have limited resources in life anyway," he said.

He recommended the easiest way to recycle in the home was to have two bins - one for scraps, another for recycling.

"All hard plastics, glass, aluminium, paper and cardboard can be recycled.

"Generally speaking Gladstone households are very good at recycling. We have a low contamination rate, which is around 5-6%," he said.