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Organizing Recycling Items

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Items for Recycling in Blue Bin

Recycling is an important step that we can all take to help reduce the amount of waste making it to the landfill. However, if it isn't sorted and organized properly it can quickly become a pile of garbage. This is a guide to organizing recycling items.

Solutions: Organizing Recycling Items

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Sort Recycling Directly Into Containers

It was always such a bother to sort garbage to recycle, that I did not do it. Now I live in a rural area and pay to have my garbage picked up, so decided that I would recycle. I have my usual garbage can in the kitchen, but I also have two bags hung by the back door. When a milk carton is emptied, it goes into the bag for plastics. When cans are emptied, they go straight into the bag for cans. That way I do not have to sort the garbage, as it is already sorted.

There are two recycle trucks in the parking lot at the grocery store, one for plastic and the other for aluminum, so I purchased a large plastic garbage can and a large metal garbage can. (I already had a large can for garbage.) The milk cartons, etc, obviously go in the plastic container and the cans go in the metal container. To make it even easier, I put a garbage can liner in each garbage can before I begin filling it, so that when it is full, I just take liner and all out. The big bags are ready to be dropped off.

Source: My mother would have called this "common sense." Her favorite saying was "Use your head to save your feet." I simply used my head.

By Clynnaltemus from Inglis

Tip: Keep Recycling By Your Garbage

Keep your recycling container right beside your garbage can in the kitchen. I was leaving mine by the porch and it was just too easy to throw things into the garbage. I use a small bathroom size garbage can that I empty daily into the recycling bin.

By Liz from Ontario

Tip: Store Aluminum Cans on Yarn

I like to keep my empty aluminum cans hanging on a string of yarn. I tie the first can onto the yarn. The other cans I string on this through the pull tab. You can't pull the tab too high or it will fall off. This works for me because I don't have a lot of space for holding them in plastic bags. I take a string of twelve of them to the church for the youth group every other week or so.

I put a loop in the top and hang it on a nail or anything it will hang on. Sometimes I tie a paper clip to the top and unbend it to form a hanger and then hang it from that.

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

Tip: More Room in Your Recycling Bin

Make more room in your recycling bin! Step on your 2 litre plastic bottles to remove most of the air and then put the cap back on the bottle. You'll find it's easier to pack in everything else that you want to recycle!

By Trisha from Ventura, CA

Editor's Note: Many states now have a deposit on 2 liter bottles and smashing them may interfere with the bar code scan. Be sure you don't need to return them before recycling.

Tip: Boxes and Pegboard

I keep a pasteboard box (used for cereal, soda pack, etc.) handy in the kitchen; when I empty a smaller box, I flatten it and put it in there. When it's packed full, I take it to the recycling dump and just toss it in. Another cereal box holds the weekly ads (we don't subscribe to a newspaper, so we only need to recycle the free-distribution ads).

I have a pegboard for hanging kitchen tools, and I hang grocery bags from lower hooks to collect and separate aluminum and steel. Milk jugs go into a large kitchen trash bag on the floor beneath them.

Tip: Plastic Totes

I don't have a company that comes to pick up my recycled items, I have to drop them off, so outside I have plastic storage totes. I have different colors for the glass, cans, etc. When they get full, I just load them in my car and haul them away. It is a lot easier to lug the totes around than it is to lug big, full trash cans around. I use a cleaning bucket that I placed under the sink, after I rinse my items, I toss them into that and sort them out when I go outside. I don't have a large amount daily so I just wait until it gets full. It is still small enough to sort out quickly, but large enough to keep them off the counters.

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Questions

Here are questions related to Organizing Recycling Items.

Question: Identifying Recycle Items

How do you know what/which plastic and cans are accepted at recycling stations? Every time I go (and think I have it right) I end up bringing back at least 1/4, sometimes more of what I take. It is like the workers decide week to week what they will and won't take in.

What numbers on the bottom makes a plastic okay for recycle? Also how do you know if a can is metal or aluminum? It makes it seem like it is not worth the effort to save this stuff for a month or more and have to bring part of it back home.

By Shirley


Best Answer

By Deanj10/10/2011

At my recycle station they have posted a list of acceptable item for recycling. Usually on the bottom of a plastic container is a number within a triangle. For example on a jug of Tide washing machine soap is a number 2 enclosed in a triangle.
Aluminum is a metal. Soft drink cans are aluminum and vegetable, soup, and fish cans are zinc coated tin or steel.
The recycle guys should have a list of acceptable items for recycling.

Question: Organizing Recycling Items

Organizing items, like newspapers, bottles and cans, that you plan to recycle. Post your ideas.


Best Answers

By Katie [13]03/15/2006

I don't have a company that comes to pick up my recycled items, I have to drop them off, so outside I have plastic storage totes. I have different colors for the glass, cans, etc. When they get full, I just load them in my car and haul them away. It is a lot easier to lug the totes around than it is to lug big, full trash cans around.

I use a cleaning bucket that I placed under the sink. After I rinse my items, I toss them into that and sort them out when I go outside. I don't have a large amount daily so I just wait until it gets full. It is still small enough to sort out quickly, but large enough to keep them off the counters.


Best Answers

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel [9]05/05/2005

Keep your recycling container right beside your garbage can in the kitchen. I was leaving mine by the porch and it was just too easy to throw things into the garbage. I use a small bathroom size garbage can that I empty daily into the recycling bin.

By Liz from Ontario