Our trash bin is rarely full but our recycle bin is busting at the seams nearly every week. I’m always asking my neighbor if I can put our overflow of recyclables in his bin. Most people don’t realize that lots of stuff that we toss in the garbage can be recycled. They just throw things away because they either assume it cannot be recycled or they just don’t bother. In fact, more than 75 % of waste is recyclable, but only about 30 % of it actually gets recycled!
Glass jars, newspaper, magazines, cardboard, cans, some of this stuff is obvious but people still neglect to fill their recycle bins each week. Someone once told me that they don’t recycle because there is no room for a bin under their kitchen sink. Seriously?!! Make room. The mud room, the laundry room, the bathroom, garage anywhere! Recycling is probably the easiest thing that a person can do to live a greener existence.
Even that clear, hard plastic packaging used for toys and other goods can be recycled as can shipping boxes, department store bags, tissue paper and some types of wrapping paper. Milk cartons and those liquid cartons that contain juice, egg nog and broth can be recycled as well. Those containers have a high grade fiber so they work well in paper mills.
My kids and I went on a tour of our local landfill. Not exactly a trip to Legoland but it was interesting, the boys had fun and we learned a lot. Our guide told us, when in doubt, recycle. She said if you’re not sure whether or not an item is recyclable throw it in the recycle bin because they sort through everything anyway. Not every municipality is run the same but you can call yours with questions. Certain items like tires, electronics, carpeting, appliances, paint, etc. are not always easy to recycle because you usually have to find a drop off center but it can be done, just go online for information on your area. Just do what you can, every little bit helps.
“We can help educate our families and communities about the importance of recycling for our environment, and how each of us can make a difference for a better world by recycling”
-Robert Alan Silverstein