Recently, I moved from an apartment, where the community lacked a recycling program and even failed to encourage its residents to recycle, to a house with a 64-gallon recycling bin and a 32-gallon trash bin, where recycling is obviously a big deal. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed.
For as long as I can remember, I have not lived in a community that promotes recycling. I didn’t know where to start. Should I use two trashcans in my house, one for recyclables, and one for trash? Or should I just put a small container for recyclables under the sink?
After a little deliberation we decided that we definitely use more recyclable materials. Once we made that realization, we decided on two trashcans.
Then another question came up. Do I put a trash bag in my recycling trashcan, or do I just leave everything loose? And another. How do I keep them separate? And another. What materials are recyclable?
Questions kept popping up throughout the set up process, pushing me further back, and confusing me even more. This made me wish I had some help.
So, for all the new recyclers in the world, we have compiled a list of recycling tips to make this process easier for you, so you can start recycling immediately!
- Learn what you can and cannot recycle. There are lists all over the internet, and your city might even have a list on their website. – http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/73332.aspx
- Some recycling plants require your recyclables to be separated. Find out if you have to separate your recyclables. Commingling recycling is identified by the blue container, meaning almost all recyclables can go in this container together to be recycled.
- Make recycling easier for you and your guests with a labeled recycling center. You can even go a step further and have separate tubs one for plastics, cans, bottles, etc. (This is a required step if your recycling center requires recyclables to be separated.)
- Monitor containers to ensure that recycling does not become contaminated with garbage. Food waste is not allowed in recycling plants.
- Clean your bottles and tins before putting them in the bin.
- Use small totes, and containers for the recycling in your house. They are easier to move.
- Most places do not allow plastic bags. Therefor, you do not need a trash bag in your recyclables trashcan. You can take your plastic grocery bags, back to the grocery store for recycling.
- To find the recycling center nearest you, call: 1 800-CLEANUP. They will be able to answer any other questions you may have.
Now, realtors and property managers, give this list or a list of your own to new residents on their move in day to help with the hassle. I know I would have appreciated it.
Written by Mary Turner, Refuse Specialists, Indirect Account Manager