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Make Recycling Convenient

In today’s environment of busy schedules and numerous school activities, difficulty arises for families to recycle in their homes. For those who live in areas that provide curbside (single-stream) recycling, the routine of mixing all recyclable materials together in one bin becomes significantly easier than separating paper from plastic from metal cans, and well…you get the idea!


But even with curbside programs, depending on the layout of your house, recycling can still pose an inconvenience. Although we want to keep materials out of landfills, and be good stewards of natural resources, that doesn’t seem to come into play when you’re sitting on the couch after a long day, and there is some serious muscle aching going on. You finish the last of your soda, and sigh as you look at the plastic bottle in your hand. And then the internal battle begins:


The recycle bin is in the garage…four rooms away…oh yeah, and down a flight of stairs. And going down the stairs means a trip back up to reclaim your spot on the couch. Your focus turns back to the aching muscles which are now throbbing in protest.

Meanwhile, the trash can is peeking out from behind the chair across the room...taunting you.


What would you do? For one plastic bottle…


Fortunately, you can spare yourself from the above scenario with a little strategic planning!



Break room bin

  • Place multiple containers for mixed recyclables throughout your house, preferably by garbage cans. If you have to walk to the garbage can to discard something, you’re that much closer to a recycle container if the material is recyclable.
  • Place larger recycling containers in areas of the house that tend to accumulate more waste…like the kitchen (Grocery containers and plastic bottles), restrooms (toilet paper rolls), and office areas (paper, envelopes, newspaper, etc…)
  • Designate someone in your home to be in charge of gathering all of the recycle containers before recycle pick-up day, and emptying the contents into your main recycle bin.
  • Tape instructions to recycle containers if you are unsure of what materials to recycle. You can even decorate the instructions with pictures and fun reminders.


There are many more ideas out there, and I’m sure you have some great thoughts as well! Feel free to comment and share if you discovered a way to make recycling more convenient in your home.




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Thursday, 13 August 2020

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Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, landfilling, and incineration.