In order to learn about recycling techniques and programs, consider speaking with a variety of friends, family members and colleagues. This is not only a great way to learn about recycling programs across the country, but to also learn how the recycling process affects people’s lives. I was lucky enough to interview two Ecorazzi editors, Michael d’Estries and Ali Berman, about how they implement recycling into their everyday lives. They are two extremely eco-conscious individuals who go above and beyond for our planet. Let’s learn a little bit more about them. Michael is the co-founder and Editor at Ecorazzi, and his passion for the environment speaks volumes through his blog posts. In addition to Ecorazzi, he writes for several other eco-sites, where he informs readers about sustainable issues and how celebs support our planet. Ali is the Senior Editor at Ecorazzi, and her adoration for the environment and celebrities shines through her work. She loves animals and standing up for their rights. Not only does she let her animal activism speak through her words, but also her actions. Ali is an adamant vegan who has been dabbling in a cruelty-free lifestyle since the age of 16. Here’s how the two lend a helping hand through recycling. curbside recycling blue binAllyson Koerner: How do you recycle at home? Do you have curbside service or do you live in an apartment building? Michael d’Estries: I live in Brooktondale, NY, and we have taxpayer-funded curbside service that comes every other week. Ali Berman: I live in Yorktown Heights, NY, and we have curbside recycling every Monday. So, during the week, we gather up all the items that we know they will take, like paper, cardboard, cans, plastic, etc., and place them in our bin to put outside for them to come and take. AK: Do you use bins or carts? Is your recycling experience single stream, or do you have to separate materials? Md: We use a large 55-gallon garbage bin, all single stream. AB: We do have to separate our materials. Paper together, plastic together. We use bins to keep our recycling organized. [It is] not difficult and probably makes sorting a lot easier down the line. AK: What (if anything) confuses you about your local recycling program? Md: Not much, although I do wish certain types of plastics (i.e., plastic bags) could be more easily identifiable as recyclable at the local level or not. AB: Hm. I’m not sure I’m confused by anything. I think it’s all decently clear, especially now that our area takes #5 plastics! AK: What changes would you make to recycle easier? Md: Honestly, I wish (at least in our community) that the recycling truck came every week. We have much more recycling than we do actual disposable trash. It builds up very quickly. AB: I would have my town do electronic recycling once every quarter to pick up things like computer monitors, cables, cell phones, stereo equipment, etc. You really have to find specialty places to recycle those items as of now. We’re going to drop off a bunch of stuff tomorrow about a half-hour away. I think if towns picked up that stuff (like they do with bulk garbage) every three months or so, a lot more items would be recycled. AK: In your opinion, does your local recycling program encourage citywide recycling? In other words, do you feel your city cares about the program? Md: Absolutely. The fact that they allow us such large bins in the first place shows a commitment to a growing embrace of single-stream recycling. AB: [I’m] decently new to the area, but I believe they care about recycling. I haven’t seen evidence that they don’t. Where we previously lived in Yonkers, NY, the building I lived in fought against recycling and only offered limited options. The building definitely saw it as a burden since it had to pay the porters to handle the items people put out. And people weren’t good about sorting. But, so far, I’ve been happy here. And thrilled that recycling is so mainstream! Thank you to the Ecorazzi editors for letting others hear their recycling voices! Now, consider if you are pleased with how your city handles recycling. What would you like to see change? Let us know!