Saturday, July 25, 2009

Start your own recycling circle

We started the Victory Garden Direct Action recycling circle because there were things we wanted to recycle that the DC government didn't recycle (info on DC curbside recycling). Forming a circle (or a club), or just working one-on-one with a business, makes this kind of recycling much easier. I heard about some interest in this from Mount Pleasant, so I thought that I would provide some tips:

1) Each person could choose to take responsibility for one item. Do you want to collect items that the DC government recycles during its weekly Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Recycling? Or do you want to collect items that need to be sent elsewhere? (The Guide to Hard-to-Recycle Materials is a great resource.) Maybe someone in DC can recycle things that are not recyclable in VA or MD (or vice versa)? Does someone's workplace recycle items that the city doesn't? We originally chose to collect wine corks, batteries, sports bar wrappers, and Brita water filters.

2) Find a business to collect a particular item for you. This isn't necessary, but it does allow you to expand beyond your recycling circle. Choose a business that might sell the item (for example, ask a liquor store to recycle wine corks). You might collect the items once per week, or ask if the owner might want to recycle the items herself/himself. We successfully found local businesses to collect wine corks and Brita water filters.

3) Share the burden. If one person is mailing items while others aren't, trade off, pool money, or do a fundraiser.

4) Think about organizing a school or office recycling circle/club. There many resources to help.

5) Let me and others know about your work. I'll advertise collection locations in the DC area. Just write a comment below. Thanks for your efforts!

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