I'm interested in recycling my household plastics and cans. Where can I get a free guide sent to me to help me start? Also, any good websites. I have limited space so I can't have bins everywhere. Is there a compact sorting bin that works well and is attractive because it will be out in the open? Thanks for all your help in advance!
Haley from Centreville, MD
Contact your garbage collection company. They may have a program for recycling. We have a large recycling bin provided by our garbage company that we can throw all of our paper, plastic (#1 & 2) and cans into and they sort it. I have to take glass to a separate facility, though. If they don't have a program, they may be able to point you in the right direction. But let them know that you would like one implemented! I know our local landfill also accepts items for recycling. For literature, check out your local library for books on how-to.
As far as holding places at your home go, we use covered garbage cans that I've labeled PLASTIC, GLASS, POP, and TIN. They just sit outside my back garage door and I take them in as needed. I line each one with a plastic garbage bag and after emptying them I reuse the bags. Sure, it would look better if they weren't there but they have to sit somewhere.
You really do have to talk to your garbage co. and get instructions for your area. Some places require washing things first, removing labels, and will only accept certain kinds of plastic. Ask them.
It's good that you want to recycle. It will probably eliminate 1/2 of your trash that you throw away. To find out where and what you can recycle in your county, contact your County Solid Waste Dept. and they will tell you.
What I do is throw all my recyclables into a plastic grocery bag that I have hanging in my kitchen. They are rinsed and clean so there is no smell. When it gets full, which is every 2 days or so, I take it outside and separate it into trash containers with lids. The lid is double secured with a bungee cord attached to the handles.
I have one for plastics, one for aluminun cans, one for steel cans, and one for glass. The glass, I have to separate by color, so in my utility room, I have plastic grocery bags hanging to keep the glass separated. Once the bag is full, I tie it up and place it in the garbage can. Glass is heavy therefore, it's easier for me to handle it in plastic grocery bags.
I also recycle newspapers and magazines which I have a container in the house for them.
Sounds like a lot of trouble but once you get used to recycling, you don't want to put it in the trash. It's just the right thing to do.
I would like to add another tip for recycling. Flatten your cans and plastic bottles. Cardboard boxes need to be broken down and flatten also. It will take up less space for everyone involved.
I bought two stackable containers from Lowes that were about 12.95. They are beige with lids. I LOVE them! I use one for comingles and one for paper. Once you start you'll be shocked how much you will have! I have much more paper than I thought-all that junk mail and catalogs are all recycleable too! I have these containers stacked in my dining room for ease of use-I also have a 1 and 3 year old and they leave the containers alone. They are great! Good luck!
In my area we have different web sites to advertize some of our "junk" to give away. The ads are free and you must give things away. Check to see if you have such a web site in your area. What you don't want maybe someone else does. I have gotten rid of margarine and yogart containers as well as food wrap rolls and a lot of other "junk" that I can't use. Hope this helps. Rita from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I also would like to recycle, but alas I don't have the room either. I live in a condo. Very small. Right now I have 3 paper bags full of paper. Yes recycling is a great idea but when you live somewhere, that you don't have access to the outside, etc, you are stuck.
I also live in a small apt. I bought plastic drawers from Walmart, the ones that you buy seperate, and can stack on top of each other. I put them, all 4 on top of each other next to my trash can in the kitchen. I also bought 2 large storage containers-- each week I empty the drawers into the containers and take them to the recycle bins. I go to the fire house down the street, they have the bins behind the fire house. To learn what my city takes in the recycle, I went to the website of our trash haulers.
I too live in a small space but I put my bins all around the house. I have a tall skinny bin by my washer and dryer. And I have another bin that looks like a trash can with a lid so it's not unsightly in the house. I stick it in a corner and smash everything I recycle. Steel cans, if you take both ends off the can with a can opener you can flatten them easily. Aluminum, crush'em. Same with plastic. You can put plastic, steel and aluminum in the same bin in your home and separate at the recycle center. There is no reason, no matter how small area you live in not to recycle. Another option is to not buy so many things in packaging, buy whole foods and no water bottles. Less packaging means less recycling.
Recycling doesn't have to be hard. I have one bin-all cans, plastics & glass go together. They are all in one big dumpster at the local recycling center. I rinse the stuff out, and put it in the bin. When it's full, I take it to the center.
Each city is different, so see how it's done in your area. You don't need a bunch of bins, imo.
Check out www.Earth911.org at the top you can input items you need to recycle and your location. I live just outside a big metroplex with no recycling services. I went to the dollar store to pick up trash cans with lids and big net washable laundry bags with slings to fit inside the trash cans. The top of each lid is labeled: glass, alum, plastic, papel (paper). Each week I pull out the laundry bags and sling over my shoulder and me & the dogs are off to the recycling center. If the bags or cans get stinky i just use borax or vinegar to clean. I only have 1 real trash bag every 2 weeks. Recycling really does impact the amount of trash in the house. Cheers!
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