Friday, July 10, 2015

Recycling Worries: how to keep your recyclables out of the landfill!

The bin dilemma
You may have heard all the concerns about recycling of late.  The Washington Post, Diane Rehm and MarketPlace have all done stories on the issue and how contamination of the waste stream and low oil prices are wreaking havoc on the industry.  So, what is a good recycler to do to ensure that your goods don't end up in a landfill?  Here are a couple of ideas:

1) DON'T place your recyclables in a plastic bag.  Plastic bags really mess up the sorter machines.  Just dump your recyclables directly into that big blue bin - no bag needed!
2) Only recycle goods listed on THIS LIST. Otherwise, put it in the trash ....OR....
3) Join DC's Freecycle Network. Anyone living or working in DC can join.  This website is a true testimony to the idea that "one person's trash is anothers treasure"!
4) Compost it!  Food waste is a major issue in recycling streams.  If you can't start a compost in your own yard, see if another neighbor or your local community garden will take it....OR treat yourself to a FatWorm Compost, Compost Cab or (support local vets through a) Veteran Compost subscription!
5) Participate in a Terracycle Brigade Terracycle will pay the postage for the items you send in.  I'm participating in the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade this summer, asking my friends and neighbors to drop off old lipsticks, chapsticks, shampoo bottles and such.  
5) Donate your old doors, windows, sinks, tools, flooring, extra tile, etc, etc, etc to Community Forklift!
6) Reduce your consumption.  It's a great time of year to experiment with making your own food and hygiene products...and reduce your consumption of plastics.  
  • Keep a reusable water bottle in your purse, backpack, briefcase.  
  • Bring reusable containers with you for your restaurant meal leftovers.
  • Bring your own plastic bags to the grocery store/farmers market for your fruits and vegetables. 
  • When you order drinks, specify "No Straw Please!".  
  • When ordering online, specify "No plastic or styrofoam packing!".
7) Buy products made from recycled goods.  Terracycle now has an Etsy store. They also have an "Upcycled, Recycled, and Repurposed" category for shopping. Shop at Community Forklift for tools, doors, sinks, etc, etc!

I'd love to hear your ideas for ensuring that waste stays out of landfills. Send them to me at dcrecyclerdc@gmail!

1 comment:

  1. Very helpful post. Some of us are not conscious about the wastes and It will make everybody conscious about the wastes. Your ideas are good. The recyclers can follow the mentioned rules. This will help them a lot.
    Thanks for sharing among us.

    Know about ... What is Textile Recycling