There are several things you can do to make recycling easier and more effective. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Create a home recycling area. You will only need a few storage bins. If you have curbside service that accepts mixed loads of recyclables, you only need space for one bin. Place a list of the items to be recycled and the procedures to be followed near the bin.
Have one person coordinate the effort. The coordinator can remind everyone what to recycle, and keep track of upcoming recycling opportunities for items that are not routinely handled at the drop-off center or curbside program.
Find out what materials your program collects and follow their rules. If you have doubts about something, do not recycle it until you know for sure. Why? Unwanted materials add sorting and disposal costs that can limit the effectiveness of your program.
Teach your family how to look out for #1-7 PET plastic. Learn the Identification Codes. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to properly recycle by using these codes.
Rinse and flatten. Why? This controls odors and messes, and can also keep food and liquids from contaminating paper. Plus, it makes your containers easier to recycle. Be careful when rinsing glass jars and placing them in bins. Flatten plastic bottles so you can get more in your bin. It is no longer necessary to remove paper labels from metal cans and glass bottles.
Remove the cap. Why? Capped bottles are more difficult to crush and break down into recyclable materials. Most caps are made out of a type of plastic that cannot be easily recycled. Use the cap to rinse out the bottles with water.
Corrugated cardboard and paperboard can be recycled with your mixed paper, but greasy pizza boxes or other food-contaminated papers should be composted or discarded.
Remember, to reuse materials and products. Recycling and reducing waste are some of the most powerful ways individuals can make a difference. How? All of these actions help prevent environmental problems associated with landfills, these practices save energy, prevent pollution, save natural resources, create jobs and save money.