How to Recycle
Creating a successful home, school or work recycling program takes very little effort, while creating substantial environmental and economic benefits.
Fifty years of upward trends in recycling statistics remind us of recycling facts familiar to most Americans through experience. Recycling practices easily blend into modern American life.
Most successful recycling programs begin and end with locating their recycling corner.
Strategically placing a recycling center in a corner of a high traffic location often works to attract individual attention along with providing a centralized waste removal location.
Providing clean and clearly marked recycling bins finishes the recycling center building task.
The following ten step recycling program initially focuses on the home recycling audience, however the tips also apply to certain segments of the work audience .
While a bit rigid in presentation, the ten steps are intended more as a recycling organizing tool than an explicit set of recycling rules.
- Call your local recycling center to confirm their acceptable materials list and their curbside pick-up schedule, if applicable.
- Purchase or construct recycling bins in sufficient number to match the number of different types of materials on the acceptable materials list.
- Place the recycling bins in an accessible area appropriately named the 'family recycling center' or 'work recycling center'.
- Properly mark all separate kitchen recycling bins to insure separation between compost material and recycle material.
- Assign some person in the family the daily recycling chore.
- Once a day (or more if needed), rinse and crush the items in the 'kitchen' recycling bin.
- Take the rinsed and crushed items to the family recycling center.
- Sort recycled items and place them in the appropriate bins.
- Place bins in appropriate outside locations during curbside pick-up days.
- Designate a day of the month (or week) for recycling non-curbside items.
Rinsing recyclables also promotes a sanitary recycling environment.
Mixed paper recycling refers to the practice of collecting a variety of paper types in one bin or can.
The paper types can include cardboard, telephone books, junk mail, office paper, construction paper and more.
Participants in mixed paper recycling programs need to be aware of the program's acceptable and unacceptable types of papers.
© 2000-2012 Patricia A. Michaels.