There are many ways consumers can do their part in the movement to create a cleaner planet through recycling. Here are some tips to get you started:
Recyclable materials include aluminum, steel and copper; glass; paper and cardboard; and plastics. Unwanted electronics, furniture, and larger goods should be sold or donated whenever possible. Sorting these materials as they are used will encourage save time on recycling days when the goods are to be dropped off or picked up.
2. Clean and Prep
Rinse your recyclables to rid them of grease, residue, and liquids. Remove lids and labels from cans and avoid crushing aluminum cans if possible. Except for pizza boxes (any greasy or waxy coatings can clog sorting machines), cardboard should be flattened and tied together and are a major commodity in the recycling community.
3. Use Responsibly
Do your part of buying plastics #1 and #2 for bags and containers, which recycling centers take. Try to avoid tossing polycarbonates if you do have to buy them; these contain mixed plastics and are not recyclable. Additionally, polypropylene which is easy to make but is considered one of the least recyclable plastics is only accepted in communities with an All Plastics Recycling program.
4. Another Man’s Junk
Consider joining organizations and websites that help re-use household and other items. Freecycle™ is an exchange program where you can get items no longer of use to others. In return, you submit your unwanted items. Consider donating or selling items before throwing them away where they will only crowd the landfill. Don’t forget, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
5. Know Your Recycling Center
Find your local recycling center by calling 1 800-CLEANUP. Visit and ask what types of recycling materials they accept. Also make note of their rules guidelines, this will save you time and effort in the long run.
Use plastic bags or bins for your various recyclables. Label bins based on the contents and familiarize yourself with the proper way to recycle each material. Labeled containers should include “metals” for aluminum, steel and copper; “glass”; “paper” for paper, mail, cartons, newspapers and cardboard; and “plastics”.
Take yourself off as many junk mailing lists as possible to avoid the mass amounts of paper that can accrue in your mailbox. Also, leave a note for your mail carrier that reads “no junk mail” to cut down on the unwanted paperwork.
8. Location, Location, Location
When you have confirmed your local recycling center’s policies for items they will accept, designate bins for a stress-free system everyone in the household can use with ease. Keep your bin system in the same place so that they can be easily found for adding recyclables and for grabbing when it’s time to drop off at the recycling center.
9. Do Your Research
Some areas offer commingling. In these communities, the recyclables can be put together in the same container and the people who pick up most of your recyclables and do the sorting for you. You can also research the types of plastics that are best for the environment and those that are worse (see #3 above). With recycling, a little information and some recycling tips go a long way.
10. Reuse Recyclables
Make an effort to buy items that have been produced with recyclable materials. This creates demand, while consumers who recycle create supply, thereby sustaining the recycling movement.
With a little effort and planning, recycling goes a long way toward conserving landfill space and energy and preserving the Earth. By following these best practices and recycling tips, the process can become an easy way to do your part.
At 1-877-Junk Tub, we always take the time to recycle items to keep them from entering our landfills.
If you have any junk removal or dumpster rental needs, request a dumpster rental quote, or call us at 1-877-Junktub (586-5882).