Whether you’re a pro recycler or just getting started, taking a fresh look at how and what you’re recycling is a great way to start the New Year. Here’s a handy recycling checklist to help you manage your recycling.
No Curbside Pickup
If you live in a community that doesn’t offer curbside pickup for your recycling, don’t despair, you can still recycle.
- Find out the location of the nearest recycling facility.
- Contact the facility and find out what materials they accept for recycling.
- Figure out a system in your home for collecting your recycling and let everyone in your home know what can be put in the bin.
Single Stream Recycling
If you live in a community that provides Single Stream Recycling which is picked up at your residence, you are able to put all of your recycling into one bin. The materials to be recycled are all co-mingled in the collection truck and then sorted at the recycling facility.
- Find out what materials are accepted for recycling in your community’s recycling program.
- Find out from your city or recycling provider what day the recycling is picked up.
- Find a convenient location for a collection bin in your home to ensure all your recycling gets recycled.
If you live in a community that provides Multi-Stream Recycling that is picked up curbside, you will need to keep your recycling separated. Typically, materials like paper, plastic, glass, etc. need to be in separate bags within your recycling bin. The collection truck keeps the items separated and brings them to the recycling facility.
- Find out what items are accepted in your community’s recycling program.
- Find out how your items need to be separated. For example, if your recycling program accepts cardboard, the boxes will need to be broken down and flattened for pickup.
- Determine how you are going to collect your recycling at home. Will you have separate bins for each material or sort it all before you take it out to the curb?
Household Hazardous Waste
Most communities have facilities that are equipped to collect Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers some leftover household products that can “catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic as household hazardous waste. Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them.”
- Find the locations in your city that accept HHW.
- Call ahead to make sure the material you’d like to recycle is accepted.
- Before buying products that will become household hazardous waste, check if there’s a less toxic way to get the job done. Also, buy only what you know you will use.