Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 6 of 52 ~ Recycling

So, do you recycle?  Are you familiar with your local recycling policies?  If you aren't, you can check your city or town's website.  I'll bet you'll find information there.  Afterall, they want people to know the correct way to go about recycling.  I went to our township web-page, and this is what I found:

"Aluminum, newspapers, phone books, corrugated cardboard (flattened), plastic and glass bottles and jars and metal cans (labels do not have to be removed) are all materials that can be dropped off by residents for recycling. Free up the amount of trash that you put out each week by recycling and keeping our environment cleaner. Collection bins for items above are located near...."

In our garage, we have two round plastic "tubs" with rope handles.  You've probably seen them around.  We used to use them to store the kids' toys.  I've also seen people use them at a picnic.  Filled with ice, they're great for keeping bottled and canned drinks cold.  Anyway, you get the idea.  They're colorful, and that's about as pretty as I get with this project.

When we drop our recycle materials off, we don't have to worry about sorting.  Glass, plastic, and cans go in the dumpsters on one side of the building, and any kind of paper goes in the dumpsters on the other side of the building.  That's pretty basic, right?

Our recycle tubs are right outside my kitchen door in the garage.  Everyone in the family knows the system.  Not everyone is good about putting things in the tubs, but at least they know to rinse things out well, and leave them in the sink.  When the tubs are filled, we put them in the back of the van, and drive them over to our township recycling area.  Easy as that.

The hard part some weeks is getting there.  Things come up.  We forget that the tubs are full.  You know how it goes.

Here's our system:

Jars, bottles, cans, and plastic food containers get rinsed and left in or at the sink.  I'm usually the one who makes sure they get to the garage.

What about plastic grocery bags?  I DO use reusable grocery bags, but plastic grocery bags still find their way into our home sometimes.  I put them in a (plastic grocery)bag that hangs on a hook along my basement steps.  When that bag is full, I take them back to the grocery store.  The store that I visit most frequently has a wooden recycle box outside the store for just this purpose.  Handy.

Dear grocery cashier and/or packer,
Just because I use reusuable grocery bags
does not mean that I am Superman.
It also does not mean that my reusable bags are made of steel.
Thank you for not over-loading my bags with heavy items.
A grateful customer.

Newspapers arrive at our house on Saturday and Sunday, and by Monday morning (if I can wait that long), I make sure I have my coupon papers, and I take all of the other newspapers OUT.

Cardboard from food products or other home products gets tossed in the tub as soon as we've consumed that product.  I only recycle cardboard boxes that did not have the food in them directly.  In other words, I recycle cereal boxes, because the cereal was in a bag, "protecting" the box, so to speak.  I do not recycle Minute Rice boxes.  The rice is in direct contact with the box.  I read that someplace -- don't really know if it's an issue or not. I think it has something to do with food starches that end up in the recycling process.

Shipping boxes get taken out to the tub as soon as we've emptied the box of the goodies!

And mail?  Each day I go through the mail, and sort it into piles.
  • bills
  • no-name-or-account-number recyclable stuff
  • name and account number stuff that should be shredded (all credit card offers also go in this pile)
  • "other"

Those are my thoughts about recycling.  Don't get the idea that we've perfected the system around here.  We have weeks where the recycle tubs are overflowing, and I just start to put things in the trash.  Cop-out, but true.  Also, there are days when that "recycle" mail pile just gets dumped.  But most days, I try to keep up the system.

It feels pretty good when we see all of the stuff that we end up taking to our drop-off location.  I'm sure there are things that we could be doing better, but I look at it this way: it's a process.  As we learn, we do better.

What's your best recycling tip?

Here's mine:
Do you know about Target's reusable bag policy?  I read about it HERE.  It's old news, but I thought I'd share anyway.  In short, they'll credit you 5 cents for every bag that you save them.  If they use TWO of your reusable shopping bags to bag your order, you get 10 cents off your bill.  (Hey, every penny counts!)
You don't have to be using a Target reusable bag,
but it cannot be paper or plastic.

Learn anything here today?
Pass it on!

52 Week Organized Home Challenge


  1. This post is dear to my heart. I'm so glad you're posting this one.
    I've always felt that God intended us to be good stewards of everything He provided to us, including our earth.
    We've lived in this spot for sixteen years now and we have NEVER had to pay for garbage collection. We recycle everything that can be recycled. Our area has recycle bins at some of the local grocery stores. That way we can drop off our recyclables once a week when we drive to town.
    The plastic store bags I use to make 'plarn' to crochet with or I return them to the stores. The food scraps are tossed into the compost pile. The meat scraps feed the stray cats. The paper that we don't want recycled, like bills, personal correspondence etc., is burned. And we may have one little bag of uncatalogued stuff every few months or so that my hubby takes to work to toss away.
    I feel truly blessed that God prompted you to share your recycling tips with everyone. It's an amazing feeling to know that you're doing your part!!

  2. I didn't know that about Target! Happy dance!!

    LOVE your tagline and header. Made me smile!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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