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Recycling Tips

Category Recycling
Recycling is an important step that we all need to take in order to keep our planet healthy and clean. Making recycling easy and even fun will make your efforts even more effective. This is a guide about recycling tips.
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March 21, 2017

I enjoy recycling and recycle everything that I can. To keep the items we use in the house separated from the trash, I have a container just for recycling. Each day, I empty it into the large container outside which has a lid secured with a bungee cord. When we take the trash to the convenient site, we empty the recycling into the commingled recycling container.

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According to a lady from the recycling company, that spoke at one of our meetings, you don't have to wash every container such as peanut butter and jelly containers. Just scrape out as much as you can. Even aerosol containers are recyclable if they are empty.

At the convenient site, there are separate containers for textiles such as clothing and rags, cooking oil, motor oil, oil filters, batteries and electronics. In addition to this, at the transfer station, you can recycle appliances, tires, light bulbs, concrete, and yard waste.

Recycling not only saves landfill space, it has created jobs and saved energy for making other products. Recycling is easy, once you get use to it, and you will find that you no longer want to put these items in the trash.

If you don't know what you can recycle in your area, contact your county's Solid Waste Department.

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July 29, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to know how to dispose of household items that are either broken or no longer needed. It is best to try and find an alternative to the landfill if at all possible, especially since some things such as electronics and batteries pollute if not properly recycled. There are many places that recycle electronics and batteries for free, but sometimes it is hard to know where to bring these items.
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Our local solid waste division has a great resource for finding where to dispose of just about everything, maybe your local government has a similar listing. It has listing on where to dispose of construction debris, appliances, household cleaners, etc. If you take a look at this webpage you can see that types of places that take certain items and see if your local store does the same. For example Staples or Office Depot takes dead batteries and old cellphones.

By Stella from Manchester, WA

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By 3 found this helpful
June 18, 2011

We hang a cloth tote bag over the door handle in our bathroom and put all the recycleable items in the bag. Quick and easy, and you'd be surprised how quickly it fills up.

By Lara from OR

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By 6 found this helpful
January 29, 2010

We rarely ever throw something out that might serve another purpose than originally intended. broken furniture gets taken apart, the usable stuff kept, the metal recycled and the wood (if not infused with fire retardant or otherwise toxic) piled for future use.

Metal items are taken apart and used in the garden to stake plants, as a support or to repair other items. machines are taken apart, screws, nuts and bolts, washers and springs gathered, what we use we keep, what we don't goes into a jar to sell cheap.

Engines are taken apart and used for scrap or repair. It's time and energy involved, but you can save hundreds of dollars, extend the life of some things that need minor repair, and even make some change. Besides, we don't need another dump site full of machines and furniture!

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Source: Just me, making ends meet and being conservative and earth conscious.

By Cornelia M. from Oregon

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December 1, 2006

We all know that recycling is good for our planet and most people have the soda can and plastic and newspaper recycling down pat. But did you know there are other things that can be recycled? I am going to try and give you some easy ways to recycle items that you have that you may have not thought of. The more that we can save from going to the local landfills the better.

First, let's start with recycling everyday household garbage. You pay for these containers so you are really putting your money to better use when you recycle them.


  1. Meat containers that most of us get from the Walmart. These containers washed out make great pet food containers. The larger ones can also be used for disposable paint pans as most rollers will fit into them. Use them for dyeing small items. They can be used to store school papers for the kids and since they stack well, they can be used for storage of craft or office supplies.

  2. Styrofoam containers: Washed out, these can be shredded for packing material. The shredded materials can also be used to make hot seats for camping or for a dog that has arthritis. The styrofoam retains your body heat.

  3. Juice cans and containers can be used to store other liquids like ice tea and your kids can decorate the frozen juice cans to be used for pencil storage. Soda bottles can be used to make hot bottles for your garden, glue together with silicone caulk to form a ring and then fill bottles with water and place around your tomato plants in the early spring to keep them warm or they can be cut to make wind socks. Gallon milk containers make great shovels for pet droppings and can also be used as a funnel when you change your oil. Washed out full bottles can be used to take your old oil to the recycling center. The plastic can also be ironed flat with a warm iron and used for making your own templates or stencils. Frozen juice container lids can be used to make a "rattle" to keep birds out of your garden, string them on a stick and hang in your garden. Clean gallon milk containers can be filled with water and put in your freezer to fill it up so your freezer runs more efficiently. When you have enough food to fill your freezer, these frozen bottles can be used to cool your ice chest for your next picnic.

  4. Shred your junk mail and use it for packing materials around your breakables that you store. It's cheaper than bubble wrap. Shredded junk mail can also be used as packing material around anything you have to mail. It also can be put in your compost pile. Shredding it helps to break it down.

  5. Clean cardboard can be used as spreaders for glues or adhesives. You can also use it to make templates and stencils though these don't last as long as the plastic ones. Organize your cross stitch thread by cutting squares and wrapping your thread around them. Store all of these in an old Velveeta cheese box. Cereal boxes can be cut down to store magazines or instructions. Mac and Cheese boxes make great building blocks for your kids. Cover them with the comics from your newspaper or spray paint them to look like bricks.

  6. Old mesh vegetable bags can be used to make handy scrubbers for around the house. Ball up two or three and secure with a rubber band. You can also drop a bar of soap into one, tie it off and tie next to your hose for quick clean up from gardening or other messy chores.

Well, this is about all the room I am sure they will give me on this topic but look around you! I am sure you can come up with more that even I haven't thought of.

Happy Recycling!

By Debra from Colorado Springs, CO

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By 3 found this helpful
September 14, 2009

Compared to others, I am new to recycling or green living. I learn more each day. Many people say they don't have time to recycle. Help them get started.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
December 28, 2010

You spent months calculating and saving on the perfect Christmas gifts. Now, it's time to save a little after Christmas. Other than the usual after Christmas sales, think about environmental savings.

Wrapping paper, bows and supplies

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July 28, 2017

Here are some tips for household recycling. Be organized, use explicit notes so the entire household knows what is recycled and in which receptacle.

Signs for where to recycle plastics.

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August 5, 2010

If you recycle, you may want to phone your city or municipality to ensure they will accept blue bags with recycling. They picked up blue bags at my previous home. In my current city, however, I've discovered I've been wasting my money on blue recycling bags.

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By 1 found this helpful
February 8, 2010

I use paper grocery bags for my recycling, I put them in the corner in my kitchen and they collect paper, newspaper, cans, and plastics. When the bag is full I just throw it out into my large recycling container in the garage and open a new bag in the kitchen!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2007

Call your nearest garbage drop off to save money! I know some states pay for garbage through taxes, but for those of you who pay by bag, call the garbage facility in your area and ask about recycling.

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March 28, 20170 found this helpful

Having a good system to clean, organize and store your recyclables will help keep them out of the landfill. This is a guide about recycling metal, paper, plastics and glass.

Recycling materials arranged in a circle.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
July 14, 2010

Recycling relieves the environment of a burden, but can it ever be harmful? Is there a way to recycle wrong? It's not necessarily the recycling that can be incorrect; it's the steps leading up to the act of recycling that can cause more harm than good.

How to Recycle Wrong

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September 23, 20130 found this helpful

Once the election is over there are ways to reuse the signs. This guide is about recycling political campaign signs.

Generic Election signs

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February 22, 2012

I recently signed up for the curbside recycling program here. It's through Waste Management Systems. They pick up garbage nationwide. The recycle program is called Recyclebank. There are rewards for recycling.

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January 10, 2008

I have recycled cans and bottles for years - but lack of space has made it harder and harder to collect enough to make it worth a trip. But throwing the stuff out made me so guilty!

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
August 27, 2008

How do you recycle plastic bags?

Amber from Cincinnati, OH

Answers

By guest (Guest Post)
August 27, 20080 found this helpful

I have been reading and researching "plarn". It is yarn made from recycled plastic bags. I have seen some really cute purses made from this. Google plarn and some instructions will come up. I just don't know how to knit so that is my next step!

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August 27, 20080 found this helpful

If you crochet, you can make bags or rugs out of them. They are very sturdy & will last a very long time.

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August 27, 20080 found this helpful

The majority of the time most grocery stores have a big cardboard box somewhere up front of the store encouraging you to recycle them there. Just drop them in.

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August 27, 20080 found this helpful

Not for profit organizations would love to have your plastic bags to use in their resale shops. Our recycling center takes plastic bags as well.

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August 27, 20080 found this helpful

I take 10 - 15 plastic bags and squash them down in the bottom of each of the small trash cans in all of my rooms, then use one plastic bag as a trash bag in the container. When I take out the trash, another bag is right there to use.

I donate used plastic grocery bags to my local thrift store. Also at 2nd hand book store. They welcome them to use at their register for customer's purchases. I just fill up one bag with dozens of other squashed down bags and take it to them. They appreciate having them.

I use plastic bags for shipping materials (instead of shredded newspaper or bubble wrap) in boxes that I mail.

When I share plants or veggies from my gardens, I use the plastic bags to transport them. The plastic bags will hold quite a bit of dirt around a newly dug plant for quite a while. And a plastic bag of fresh homegrown tomatoes is a welcome sight to the neighbors.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 27, 20080 found this helpful

Here is the link to the planters I make out of plastic bag

http://www.thri  9005134.tip.html

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August 27, 20080 found this helpful

I crochet some of mine into rugs & other things.
I also crochet red bread bags (from raisin bread).
Some of them I started hooking a rug from strips.(yellow & white)
Some of them I reuse as small trashcan liners.
Some get used specifically for kitchen waste I don't want smelling up my trash.
I even tried stuffing them into a large zipper bag for use as a pillow.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I have many uses for plastic grocery bags and if plastic bags are ever banned, I dont know what I will do without them. I like them because they take up very little space especially if you press the air out and fold them. For convenience, I keep a tube of plastic bags hanging in the kitchen. Any time I get an excess, I take them back to the grocery store for recycling.

My tips:

Keep a plastic grocery bag in a gallon ice cream bucket for collecting wet and smelly trash that would be garbage in the kitchen trash. Tie it up at the end of the day and put it in a bag in the outside trash container. I use a lot of bags for this and it saves buying the tall kitchen trash bags for my trash container in the kitchen. When collecting the household trash, I go around and empty all the trash cans into a plastic grocery bag, tie it up and put it in the outside container.

Hang a bag for collecting items to recycle.

Wrap meat that is purchased from the grocery store for freezing. Put the packaged meat in the bag and fold it over. Use freezer tape to secure. Write the name and date purchased on the freezer tape with a Sharpie permanent marker. The plastic bag helps keep the package from tearing and protects the meat from freezer burn.

Fold several plastic bags and put them in the glove compartment of your vehicle. They will be handy for putting trash in when traveling. Also on a rainy day, you can take off your shoes, especially if they are muddy, and put them in a plastic bag rather than getting your car all wet and muddy. Keep a couple in your purse. Never know when one will come in handy.

This tip is my favorite. Walk the road or street in your neighborhood and pick up any litter you see as you get your walking exercise. I use a lot of my plastic grocery bags for this. My dresser stays cluttered with plastic bags I empty out of my pockets when Im getting ready for bed. I challenge you to give this a try. You will be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

How to fold a plastic grocery bag:
Tuck in the sides. Press all the air out. Fold over and then fold up. You can really make a plastic bag small and flat. If needed, I can easily stuff a couple dozen of these folded bags in the pockets of my shorts and jeans. You cant do that with paper sacks nor cloth bags. I keep these specially folded bags tied up in a plastic grocery bag.

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August 30, 20080 found this helpful

I reuse them till they are near transparent then I take them to the recycle bin at the grocery store.

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September 14, 20080 found this helpful

Many local libraries accept used plastic bags for their patrons to carry home their books. I would think food banks would also be able to make use of them as well.

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September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I always prefer plastic over paper. Here is why. Plastic is 100% man made. No trees cut down to make even 1. They are 100% recyclable. Paper even partially recycled is usually only 40% recycled. that means a tree had to be cut down for that other 60% of that bag. :-) Whenever they ask I always reply with plastic please its better for the environment :-) (BUT ONLY if they are actually recycled)

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December 21, 20080 found this helpful

I get paper bags from the store so that I can use them for sorting my recycling. However, I use the plastic bags for scooping out cat litter, and also for putting my leftover food/waste in so that I can easily take it out to my composte pile.

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May 20, 20110 found this helpful

How do I get rid of electronic goods that are out of order or broken; e,g, keyboard, motherboard of computer, headphones, mobiles, etc? Since they are not biodegradable, I do not want to dispose of as normal waste.

Please help, thanks.

By Vivek

Answers

May 20, 20110 found this helpful

Check with your town hall to see if there is electronics recycling available for residents. Our county has a couple of days a year for this where residents can bring this material to the high school for collection.

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May 23, 20110 found this helpful

If you have a county solid waste division they should be able to help.

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May 23, 20110 found this helpful

Local areas have e-waste collection days and sites. Goodwill accepts these, too, for recycling

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May 23, 20110 found this helpful

If you live near a Best Buy they will recycle for you. You pay them $10 but then they give you back a $10 gift card, so you really haven't 'paid' to have your stuff recycled. I'd call first to make sure the stores in your area do offer this program.

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June 1, 20110 found this helpful

Here is Saskatchewan, Sarcan, which recycles bottles, collects these items. Check you local recycling site. Your city or town office should be able to tell you where you can take these items.

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June 12, 20110 found this helpful

Check earth911.org. Not sure if it just covers the U.S. or what.

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November 15, 20130 found this helpful

I have a lot of 2 litre Coca Cola product bottles in my house. I am not knowing what to do. Is there any place out there for me to go sell them in Gauteng area?

By Illoysius

Answers

September 22, 20170 found this helpful

I'm not sure that you can sell them. I recycle mine, by washing them out, thoroughly, then putting fresh water in them, just in case of need, water is off, or water company tells you to boil your water, etc., also good for camping, watering yr plants, poke a hole in the lid, (small) then turn upside down by yr plants, if yr going to be out of town. I also fill some of mine with dried beans, rice, have one full of homemade taco seasoning. Lol.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 8, 20100 found this helpful

I don't use plastic bags anymore, so everything I buy comes in paper bags. I use one paper bag for odds and ends of paper, such as labels from tin cans, receipts that I don't need to keep. I keep it by the back door so when it's full I fold over the top and off to the recycle bin it goes and it's so handy and after a while everybody in the house uses it. On top of that you don't have little pieces of paper in your blue box.

Source: Thought this one up all by myself.

By Barb from Calgary, Alberta

Answers:

Paper Bag for Small Recycling

Yep, I do something similar but use cereal, cracker etc boxes, then any little piece of paper (tabs from cookies boxes, pieces of scrap, I am a freak for recycling) go in the little box. (03/27/2008)

By michawnpita

Paper Bag for Small Recycling

So sensible, and so responsible. I've been putting my tea bag labels (when I don't use loose tea) and packets if they're paper in the recycle boxes, which are also blue in Sacramento. The bags go to compost, with the string if I chance the twine being natural.

With all the bits of paper thrown about, it's considerate to have them in one batch for the recyclers. (03/28/2008)

By peseta

Paper Bag for Small Recycling

Even using paper bags instead of plastic at the grocery store is harmful. Every year billions of trees are cut to produce those paper bags, and only those paper bags. It is better to use canvas reusable tote bags and just use a small 100% recycled plastic recycle bin. (06/04/2008)

By Sarah

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