If you are looking to live a “greener”, more environmentally-friendly lifestyle, the first place you should start is with a trash recycle bin. Thankfully, many recycling companies have sprung up around the country that now accept all types of items that you normally throw into your trash as recycled material; in fact, some of them will even pay you for some recyclable items – like aluminum soda cans, for instance.
Common Items for Your Trash Recycle Bin
With a little bit of care, you can recycle most of the things that you use in your home that would ordinarily end up in the already overburdened landfill, including:
Plastics. Plastic recycling is growing rapidly across the globe, but you’ll need to have a separate trash recycle bin for each plastics type. Plastics usually have cryptic markers on the product’s bottom that indicate which recycling type (there are seven of them) that the container or item is. From yogurt containers to plastic grocery bags, every item recycled is one less left to rot in the landfill; most plastics in the landfill today will still be there 500 years from now because plastic takes many centuries to degrade and decompose.
Aluminum cans and foil. Check with local recycling centers to see if they buy these items and if they offer curbside pickup; many of them may require you to physically bring the aluminum items in to their center.
Glass containers and bottles. Although glass is not as widely used today as it was in the past, recycling glass rather than throwing it away is important; scientists estimate that glass takes a million years to decompose! Many states have regulations on glass containers and require a deposit on glass containers at the point of sale. Recycle glass food containers, beer and other beverage containers according to color – clear, brown, blue and green. There are some types of glass that some recycling programs refuse to take, like drinking glasses, light bulbs, and mirrors that may be coated with contaminants. Check with your recycler on what to do with these items.
Aseptic containers. Aseptic containers are those that are made from different layers like plastic, paper and metal; many kids drink boxes and soy milk containers are aseptic packages that can be recycled easily.
Paper. Nearly all paper can be recycled – and sorting paper from the trash is simple when you use a specific trash recycle bin for the task. While newspaper recycling has been practiced for many years, it is only in recent times that other paper recycling has taken off. Recycle your white office paper, corrugated cardboard, junk mail, used envelopes (plastic window envelopes are also accepted as paper), old phone books, and magazines alongside your newspapers to reduce your family’s carbon footprint (and maybe save a tree in the process). It’s important to note that paper sent out for recycling should be clean, dry, and free from soil or food contaminants. Paper that cannot be recycled includes sanitary products, toilet tissue, laminated fast food wrappers, thermal paper (like used for faxes) and pet food bags.
Choosing Your Trash Recycle Bin
When selecting a trash recycle bin for your family, take into consideration:
The amount of recycling that you produce within a week’s time (or twice weekly, depending on your area’s recycling pick-up schedule).
Durability. Purchasing a sturdy trash recycle bin is important because you want it to last for the maximum number of years possible.
Mobility. You should choose a trash recycle bin that has wheels if possible to make getting the bin to the curb easier.