recycle cansRecycling takes time and effort — not much, but enough to make some people not want to do it. Developing a systematic method for your recyclables can make this process more efficient and less of a hassle. Everyone has lazy days, but if you allow your plastic and glass to build up in the kitchen, you’ll be more likely to throw it all away instead of washing the items out and separating them. Don’t let yourself become a victim to the trash monster in 2011!

Develop a recycling system by reusing items

Taking time to rinse out glass and plastic bottles and wash off tinfoil is admirable on your part, and it helps out your local recycling center. To make this process speedier, you should store the items that need washed in a separate area. This is where those old storage bins, plastic bags and tote bags come into play. First, designate an area where you will be washing and separating your recyclables. Maybe it is your kitchen, laundry room or garage. Reuse canvas tote bags or plastic bags and label them “Rinse” and “Clean” so you know which bag can be taken outside. These bags can be hung on hooks in the pantry or closet out of sight. After the recyclables are rinsed, you can place them in the bag marked “Clean” and let them dry until you feel like walking them outside to the bin. Depending on your curbside recycling pick-up service, you probably have one large bin to put your recyclables in. There may be specific days assigned for dropping plastics, paper, etc. on the curb. To keep your items organized, you can reuse cubes or storage bins and separate glass, paper, plastic, cardboard, etc. Then you can let the cardboard or other type of recyclable that you don’t use as often build up until you have a good amount to leave at the curb. A systematic method can ensure that recyclables get out to the garage and eventually to the curb for pickup. By teaching family members to follow the same steps, you can get everyone involved in the process and even delegate certain tasks to each person. Before you know it, recycling will become more of a habit rather than a task, and you will have one resolution checked off your list.