This post was written a week or so ago, when it was still hot and sunny in the early morning and I could pull myself out of bed for a workout. Now that fall has hit it’s not so easy and the early morning workouts are few and far between.
My alarm went off at an ungodly hour this morning and off I went on my run. I don’t usually pull myself out of bed this early, but in order to get my exercise fix I had to take advantage of the wee morning hours and take precious time out of my requisite 8 hours of sleep.
As I was running, listening to my new-found love Vampire Weekend, a smile came across my face. It was garbage day in my town and garbage cans were lining the streets-this was not the reason for the smile. Sitting alongside most garbage cans was a recycle bin, sometimes more than one. The smile stemmed from my amazement and pride that I lived in an area where most homes had more than one bin filled to the top with recyclables. I wanted to stop at each house and personally thank each family for taking one small step toward the long term sustainability and health of our planet-but it was way too early so I decided against it and wrote this post instead.
I know recycling can sometimes seem like a chore, so here are a few simple tips for making recycling easy:
- Read up on the recycling rules for your municipality and make sure you don’t send anything in that can’t be processed. Each city has its own set of rules, so try to follow those guidelines as best you can. If you are unsure where to find the specifics for your town contact your local Department of Public Works.
- Have an indoor spot where recyclables are collected before making their way outside. We place ours next to the sink and they make their way into the bins when someone goes outside.
- Place the recycle bin in a convenient location, preferably a high traffic area that is easy to access. Mine is in the garage next to the door we use to go in and out of the house.
- Remove the cap on plastic bottles. A plastic bottle is designed to withstand a lot of pressure when the cap is on. If a bottle with a cap on it is recycled, more effort will be required to crush it and break it down. The best thing to do with the cap is to remove it and throw it out with the garbage.
- Crush plastic containers to save space in your recycling bin. Stepping on them is the easiest method-could help release some anger too.
- Have your children take part in recycling. Show them the numbers on the bottom of plastics that can be recycled. Have them help take the recyclables outside to the bins.
- You may not be required to rinse recyclables. Check with your municipality. Even if rinsing is not required, you will probably want to rinse if there is a chance of smell, mold and bacteria growth.
- Break down cardboard boxes to save space. Our recycling company will not collect boxes that have not been broken down.
- Locate a recycling center for all the stuff curbside won’t pick up-for example old CDs, batteries, wood, electronics and paint.
You can check these resources to find a recycling center near you:
- Earth911.com– allows you to enter your zip and the items you want to recycle -a list of recycle centers will come up.
- The Recycling Center-enter your zip code and the type of recycling center you need-a list of centers will pop up.
- Digital Tips-once you enter your zip and what you want to recycle, Digital Tips will provide you with available take-back programs and/or recycle centers.
Many of you are already pros at recycling and might have a thing or two to add to these recycling tips. What is your recycle routine?