Recycling Tips

Most cities have a recycling program in place, but if you’re like me, you’re probably not totally sure about how the program works, or what you can and cannot recycle. I gathered this information from the Recycle City website to help us understand the recycling process for our cities. Enjoy! 

The Three “Rs” of Recycling 

The three R’s in the same order: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Reduce always comes first because reducing what we use and what we waste means using fewer natural resources and less energy. Less waste also means less land put aside for burying waste in landfills. Ways to reduce waste include purchasing goods that use less packaging, sharing or renting things (like carpet cleaners) that aren’t needed regularly instead of buying them, and buying household cleansers that do not contain hazardous ingredients.

Reuse comes second because reusing items—using them twice or many times instead of just once—keeps them from becoming waste. Some ideas for reuse include using glass or plastic jars after they’re empty, or taking a cloth sack to the store when you shop (you don’t need a bag, and you can use the sack again the next time).

At the school, many of the kids bring their lunches in plastic containers, which they can wash and use over and over again, instead of wrapping their food in plastic and paper that they throw away every day. Meanwhile, some businesses have donated their old computers to the school for reuse, and the local theatre company donates its used sets and costumes to the Drama Club.

Recycle comes third, but not last. Recycling—converting used items back into raw materials, then making new products with them—conserves our valuable natural resources and reduces the need to put as much waste into our landfills. Many schools have started recycling programs that help raise money for needed items. And many items they buy can be made from recycled materials—such as paper, notebooks, playground equipment, furniture, and carpet.

Recycling Around the Home

Many everyday items—such as bags, plastic containers, and coffee cans—can be used more than once. As part of a project for Miss Redux at school, Sheila and Sidney came up with ideas for how some things can be reused at home:

  • Paper and plastic bags and twist ties can be saved. Bags can be used to clean up around the house or taken to the store on the next shopping trip. Brown paper bags are great for wrapping packages to be shipped. Twist ties can be used to secure wires on appliances or a computer.
  • Paper and envelopes can be reused to write notes or make lists before being recycled. Gift boxes can be used again as well as larger pieces of wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons and bows.
  • Packaging, colored paper, egg cartons, and other items can be used for arts and crafts projects for school, at day care, or senior citizen centers.
  • Newspaper, packaging “peanuts,” and bubble wrap can be reused to ship packages.
  • Glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, coffee cans, dairy and other kinds of containers can be washed and used to store leftovers, buttons, nails, or thumbtacks. Empty coffee cans can be turned into flower pots.
  • Used wood can be made into birdhouses, mailboxes, compost bins, or other woodworking projects.

BUT motor oil cans or pesticide containers CANNOT be reused because they contain harmful residues. They must be discarded following the manufacturers’ instructions on the label.

 

 

 

There are some items around the house that are dangerous if they are just thrown away with the regular garbage. These items can damage the environment and injure plant and animal life.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Dry cleaning fluid
  • Moth balls and flakes
  • Furniture or floor polish
  • Rug cleaners
  • Household cleansers
  • Spot removers
  • Metal polish

Household Supplies

  • Aerosol cans
  • Lighter fluid
  • Batteries
  • Mercury from a broken thermometer
  • Butane lighters
  • Pet shampoo
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Shampoo for lice
  • Flea powder
  • Shoe dye and polish
  • Fluorescent lamp tubes

Your local waste management agency has information on how to properly dispose of these items. Learn more about safer alternatives to some household products by visiting the Savemors’ house next to the school!

 

 

 

There are some items around the house that are dangerous if they are just thrown away with the regular garbage. These items found in garages and gardens can damage the environment and injure plant and animal life.

Home Garage Supplies

  • Antifreeze
  • Chrome polish
  • Automotive cleaner
  • Diesel fuel
  • Auto body filler
  • Engine degreaser
  • Automatic transmission fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Brake fluid
  • Kerosene or lamp oil
  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Lubricating oil
  • Car batteries
  • Motor oil
  • Car wax


Garden Supplies

  • Fungicides
  • Soil fumigants
  • Herbicides
  • Snail and slug poison
  • Insecticides
  • Vegetation killer
  • Rat, mouse, gopher poison
  • Weed killer

Your local waste management agency has information on how to properly dispose of these items. Learn more about safer alternatives to some household products by visiting the Savemors’ house next to the school!

 

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