A series to encourage making one small change to preserve our planet. “There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.” ~ Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff
I was digging through my neighbors’ recycling bins in search of cardboard for a gardening project. I found cardboard, but I also found a lot of stuff that isn’t accepted in my city’s recycling program. There were plastic bags, Starbucks drink cups, Styrofoam containers, plastic lids, and bubble wrap, to name a few. There were containers with food, beverage, and other household product residue, and cardboard boxes that hadn’t been broken down. In my city (and probably yours too) we’re instructed to rinse containers, remove lids, and breakdown cardboard.
By not sorting and properly preparing our garbage we’re making a mess. We’re creating a less efficient and more expensive system, and giving ourselves of false sense of the amount of waste we produce.
If your city has a recycling program, learn, and respect their policies. Chances are they have an infographic that you can print and tape to your fridge, the inside of the cabinet where the bin is housed, or some other convenient place. And if I may add – consider recycling a last resort and start taking steps towards zero waste living.