Garbage & Recycling Tips to Follow
Recycling is a great way to help preserve the planet and everyone plays a role in the process. However, without managing your garbage and recycling properly, you might be doing more harm than good. The following are five tips to follow along with ways to put each into effect to ensure you make a positive impact.
What Can Be Recycled?
Not everything can – or should – be recycled, and it can get a bit tricky to keep up with. For instance, some types of plastic can be recycled while others are harmful to the environment. Taking the time to understand what should and should not go in your recycling bin is of major importance.
Rest assured, though, that just because something shouldn’t go to a recycling center doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. There are plenty of organizations that take different categories of used items for different purposes, such as providing them to people in need. With some research, you can determine where to take your non-recyclables so they’ll do the most good.
Remember Recycling Basics – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
You probably heard the phrase all through school, but many people don’t put it into effect – often because they’re unsure how. These tips can help.
- Forego disposable items when possible: You can do this with things like water bottles, shopping bags, storage bowls, and more.
- Repurpose items you already have or buy: Food jars, for example, can be used again to store food, use for paint water (if you’re an artist), store buttons, keep your change, and more.
- Cook more and pack lunches: With a simple meal plan and prep at the beginning of the week, you can avoid having to eat from disposable restaurant containers or meal bags often.
- Donate what you can: If you have an item you no longer want or need that’s still in good shape, pass it on to a friend, family member, or charity. Someone else can put it to use.
- Reuse scraps of paper: Unless a piece of paper is covered nearly completely, it can usually be reused. If you have kids, make a box for scrap paper – they’ll put it to use. You can even use envelopes your bills come in for notes to yourself, shopping lists, and more.
Be Comfortable Using the Trash Can
When you’re on a mission to save the planet – or at least do your part – you’ll be tempted to throw everything into the recycling bin. Don’t do that, though. It’s essential to know that, sometimes, trash is just the better option. You’re not doing yourself, the employees at the recycling center, or the planet any favors by trying to recycle things that should be thrown away, instead.
Let go of the guilt – you have permission to throw things away when other options aren’t viable. If you’re ever in doubt about an object, either call your local recycling center or play it safe and throw it away. Your local residential trash service should inform you on what and what not is safe to throw away.
Additionally, if you are in the process of a big cleanout, you might find that you have more recyclables or trash than your dumpsters can hold. When this is the case, you can rent a roll-off dumpster rental to get it out of your way all at once and make sure it gets where you want it to go. Charities typically also offer pick-ups for donations.
Remember to Watch What You Throw Out
Most of the bags you bring into your home – if not all – are actually harmful to the environment. Additionally, when thrown in with other recyclable items, they can get caught in the machines and cause many issues. If you really want to recycle your grocery bags, you’ll need to take them to a facility, not dump them in your recycling bin.
Really small objects can also cause many issues, especially with machinery. The basic rule of thumb is to not recycle anything that is smaller than your credit cards, meaning that paperclips, bottle caps, and similar items should go directly into the trash instead.
Don’t Forget to Clean Recyclables
You’re probably thinking, “You want me to clean my recycling? Seriously?” It might seem strange, but dirty recyclables actually contaminate other recyclables at the facility, rendering them useless. You don’t need to go crazy with bleach or anything – it just needs to be clean and dry enough.
For example, you’ll need to rinse and scrape any food and liquid jars and let them dry before throwing them into your bin. Also, only recycle parts of pizza boxes that are not covered in cheese and grease. Properly managing your recycling and garbage doesn’t have to take long, but it can have a long-lasting impact. Implementing the tips here will give you a strong foundation to work with.
Contact your local waste services for more information regarding garbage and recycling – LePage & Sons might be your go-to residential trash service and recycling service if you live near Andover or East Bethel.