So here it is.....Recycling 101:
1. First and foremost you need to find out what the recycling jurisdiction in your area requires and accepts for recycling, for instance does it need to be sorted? and do they accept all 7 classes of resin? I know...it may sounds kinda dorky to call down to the recycling center in your city and ask a bunch of questions but it's so important to know!! It would be a bummer if you were throwing newspapers in the recycling bin every month all the while someone down at the recycling plant is sifting through everything, removing the newspaper (wasting lots of time and energy) because unbeknownst to you, they don't accept newspaper....know what I mean?
2. Next, Rinse your bottles and flatten. Yes, the recycling center throughly cleans all bottles, but the process is much quicker if you can simply rinse the bottles before you throw them in the recycling bin. Why should you do the job for them you ask? Try not to think of it that way...think of it as saving the money and energy that is spent on recycling. If you are going to the trouble of recycling then you obviously care about the environment right? So saving some of the energy that it takes to recycle a bottle and making that process go just a tad bit faster is just another way of being eco-friendly :) And flattening the bottles saves tons of space in your bin, allowing you to recycle more!
3. Remove the cap! So while you're removing the cap to rinse the bottle (see above) just leave it off and throw it in the trash, yes the trash. Usually the cap is made with a different type of plastic which can end up contaminating the other plastics that are being recycled
4. Few odds and ends:
- Batteries - This is a great way to keep harmful levels of dangerous acids and metals out of landfills and while you can't add them to your recycling bin you can take them to places like Office Depot and Radio Shack where they will recycle them for you!'
- Aerosol cans - These can be recycled, you just need to make sure to remove the plastic can and discard of it and make sure that the can is completely empty....and don't even try to flatten it....that could get dangerous! Yikes!
- Compact Florescent Light bulbs - These contain mercury and should not be thrown in the trash or the recycling bin, but Home Depot and Ikea have a CFL recycling program where you can take your used CFl and they will properly discard of them for you!
- Cell Phones - A lot of people don't realize that you can recycle your old phones! Mine was shattered to death so I had to replace it and AT&T ended up giving me $50 for it (SWEET!), there are also places like the Wireless Foundation that recycles used phones and gives them to victims of domestic violence....you can find out more about that here at calltoprotect.org
- Crocs - This is my favorite one! The manufacturer of Crocs recycles used Crocs and donates them to underprivileged families...how cool is that? You can send your used Crocs in to : Crocs Recycling West, 3375 Enterprise Ave., Bloomington CA 92316
As you can see, there are so many way in which you can recycle and so many different things that can be recycled and reused for the benefit of others....I know I didn't list everything, so if you have something you want me to add to this list let me know! Leave me a comment below!
So that's my Recycle 101 Roundup....pretty simple, nothing too hard, but hopefully some good info that will put your awesome Eco-Efforts to good use!