Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent and, in our home, the beginning of Carbon Fast 2014. This year it’s all about the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Today I’m going to talk about our recycling plans.
I was excited to receive my recycle bins from Amazon (affiliate link) and get them set up. They’re not super large which means we’ll have to hit the bins once a week, but that’s probably better anyway. If the bags are light enough to carry I can walk or bike to the collection point. The bags themselves are sturdy, water resistant and made from recycled materials. They fit perfectly in the space I allotted for them in the pantry. I also like that there’s a pocket on each bag for a sign to show what goes in which bag. The sign can be switched out if desired. Making new signs could be a fun family project for households with little ones.
The biggest change for us will be to remember to rinse out bottles and cans before putting them in the bins. I’m not looking forward to the cat food cans, phew! The other big challenge will be to make sure the other members of the household are complying. I want to avoid being the Recycle Police, so I’m going to try to make it as easy as possible by making the bins available and clearly marked.
I’ve been poking around the internet to find out what kinds of things I can recycle in my area. My town doesn’t have a scheduled pick up for recyclables, but there are plenty of collection points. They’ll pick up yard waste, but not food scraps. Unless we compost, almost all of our food scraps will have to go in the trash.
In general, we will be able to recycle aluminum and steel cans, plastic and glass bottles, foil, paper, cardboard and food containers. That’s a good place to start. We’ll have to find alternatives for things like plastic wrap, baggies, paper plates and towels in order to reduce the amounts we use (subject of another post).
All in all, I’m happy with the plan for this year. We’ll be able to do it both in the US and in Spain. We’ll able to recycle the food waste in Spain where they have bins for it.
You’re probably way ahead of us in your household. Or perhaps your community has mandatory recycling. If not, RecyclingCenters.org is a good resource for information. You can start by entering a search term or clicking a link in the widget below to find the closest recycling center to you.