Recycling begins in the home. If every person starts recycling home waste, we’ll be that much closer to a cleaner planet. However, recycling has to become part of your daily routine, a part of your home care. Here are 31 great methods to recycle home waste.
Make Recycling A Part Of Your Life
- Keep a recycling container next to your bin; this makes it easier to collect recyclable items
- Make a list of the items you can recycle and paste it on your fridge and on the kitchen and garage walls, as a reminder to your family
- Take advantage of any kerbside recycling scheme that your local authorities offer.
- When you visit supermarkets, visit the recycling banks as part of your shopping routine. Most supermarkets allow for recycling of bottles, can, papers and electronic goods.
- Obtain plastic grading and sorting instructions and sort out your plastic waste accordingly. Not all types of plastic can be readily recycled.
- Always rinse plastic, glass and metal food containers before recycling them, to avoid attracting rodents, ants and cockroaches.
- Don’t recycle carbon paper, cardboard, laminated paper and cardboard and stickers. Use cardboard to create useful objects, awnings, water and air proofing and so on. Laminated cardboard can be used as a back frame on which to stick art work and as a base for writing paper.
- Save newspapers separately in the newspaper bin; most counties have newsprint recycling facilities, where old newspapers are recycled to produce new ones.
- Recycle your remaining paper products such as glossy magazines, printed flyers, glossy newspaper Ads, envelopes, and computer printing paper, phone books, paper packaging and old letters into a different bin. These can be handed over to a regular recycling unit to be made into paper bags, craft items, paper mache dolls and so on. It’s ok if your paper waste contains metal staples, but be sure to remove plastic wraps and rubber bands if any.
- If you have corrugated cardboard, note that you can tie it up with string and hand over to the curbside collectors. Make sure the corrugated cardboard waste is dry.
- As you know, plastic items are not biodegradable. Therefore, you need to use your imagination to recycle plastic products. Check what kinds of plastic goods are accepted at your local recycling center.
- Drop used plastic grocery bags into bins outside grocery stores for recycling.
- Plastic cups, egg cartons and food trays are not biodegrade. Stop buying these items and find creative ways to use ones you have. Plastic egg cartons can be painted and used as a costume jewelry keeper.
- Food trays can be used to grow seedlings in the garden.
- Plastic cups can be used to grow small plants, seedlings, or as snail traps in your garden.Separate your glass based on color: clear, green and brown. Recycling centers prefer glass sorted this way.
- Sheet glass, light bulbs, pyrex and mirrors cannot be recycled along with container bottles, as they have different melting points and compositions. They may not be accepted by many recycle centers either. Use sheet glass, mirrors and light bulbs for decorative purposes.
- Recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs at your local IKEA store.
- Rinse food cans and remove lids before handing them over to the recycling center. You can also grow plants in food cans, or paint them and use them to store toothbrushes, paint brushes and pens.
- Aluminum foil and foil packaging can be reprocessed into engine parts and other mechanical components. Always recycle these separately.
- Keep the lids and labels on paint and aerosol cans before you recyclable them so that recyclers know the former contents.
- Copper and all copper alloys are 100 percent recyclable. Copper, brass and bronze are also bright metals. If you have copper vessels, pots and vases, get them re-polished and give them away as gifts. Or, you can use them as decorative objects within the house.
- Pass on computers and printers if they’re in good condition. There’s always a school or old age home that might need some computers.
- When you buy a new cell phone, don’t throw the old one away. Hand it in at your retail outlet and they’ll recycle it.
- Instead of throwing out excess cooked food, donate it to homeless centers, or make creative TV dinners
- Make your own compost either in a compost bin or an open pile. Throw fruit cores, peelings and raw veggies into this compost.
- Blend dried leftover salad greens with water and feed this mixture to your growing plants
- Add leaves and grass to your compost pile or donate to your local community’s compost. Don’t put these in landfills, as they can generate too much greenhouse gas.
- You can add grass clippings, shrub clippings and old bark to your garden or community compost pile
- Sort leftover nuts and bolts that don’t fit anywhere by size and donate them to people who might find use for them.
- Used car tires make the best possible tree swings for your kids
- Patch up old plastic tarpaulins and create a cozy garden tent for your kids
Marina is freelance writer and runs a decorative wall clock store at 1001Wallclocks.com
Eco-Office Gals says
If you read the rest of it the poster is recommending you reuse rather then recycle.
Confused with #7 — DON’T recycle cardboard?? Huh? I’ve been doing it for years … is there a reason we shouldn’t be?
Elissa Malcohn says
Three more suggestions:
1. Check with your local landfill or DPW to see if they have a recycling program in place. My county landfill is extraordinary in this regard. For example, it recently partnered with another county to recycle packing Styrofoam; and it has separate areas for recycling used furniture, electronics, batteries, scrap metal, tires, and much more.
2. Check to see what local thrift shops will take. They can have a very broad range of what they accept. You can also get a receipt for your donation for tax purposes.
3. See what you can recycle through sites like TerraCycle.net. I’ve been able to “upcycle” items through them that would otherwise enter the wastestream, and raise some funds for the Nature Conservancy in the process.
Great tips! I couldn’t agree more that recycling begins in the home, but people often overlook the office. We often spend more time in the office or work environment than we do in our homes, so it’s important to carry forth the initiatives in our homes to the work environment. I often take paper that has been printed on at work and re-use it at home for shopping list, or when I print out my school papers and outlines… no teacher has objected yet! I also re-use my jam jars as re-usable Tupperware! It’s easy once you start making these conscious efforts and each becomes more rewarding than the next. One big effort that people often overlook and think is impossible to get green is flooring… the foundation of our lives! When the time is right, you do have options in green flooring. Suppliers are feeling the pressure from us as consumers to be ecologically responsible (it’s about time!!) and the average consumer is shocked at the sustainability commitment manufacturers like Shaw are taking. Ad #32 to the list: recycle your old flooring to manufacturers to be recycled into new carpet, before replacing with new eco-conscious flooring!
Each effort big or teensy tiny is important…. and every choice we have, the option of green or not is there, it’s up to each of us to make the big difference!
Good article, I’ll be passing it to my co-workers!