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Teach me how to recycle

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by three_bags_full, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Although our new city doesn't have curbside recycling service, there is a free recycling drop-off just a few minutes away that we intend on using.

    Having lived in the South my entire life, I've never lived near recycling programs, and am pretty excited about the opportunity. Everyday when I throw away beer bottles, milk jugs, paper, etc., I think about how much space I could be saving in a landfill somewhere.

    I just want to do my part, but I don't really know how.

    Through a recycling web site I know the drop-off point down the road takes pretty much everything, although I haven't actually driven down there and saw first-hand what they do and do not accept, and how it's broken down.

    I know I can recycle glass of all colors (though it may need to be separated), plastic bottles, paper, plastic bags, etc. But what I don't know is what kind of paper, bottles and such? Well, I have several questions. That's just one of them.

    What size containers do you use? We would probably have to use some sort of stackable containers in the garage.

    Do you wash all the materials before you put them into your bin?

    How often do those things fill up and need emptying (obviously dependent on the size)? I'm thinking once a week for most, but I'm not sure.

    Do the bins begin to stink (although I know I can wash them) after a while?

    Don't know where to start,

  2. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I rinse out everything before I put it in my bins so you don't get mold or smells.

    I normally take everything done to the center once a month, but I'm single. You mind need to do so more often.
  3. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    We have curbside pickup once a week (the city provides one bin automatically and you can ask for up to two more, if needed). Any kind of plastic containers with a number on them (no lids), any kind of glass, aluminum, tin, steel, nearly any kind of paper. Rinse out everything (but the paper goods, natch).
  4. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    It does make sense to rinse them, although it's probably not required, just because they'll be hanging out in your house/garage.

    A lot of places have different things you can and can't recycle. If you ask at "recycling HQ," they'll probably have a list.

    One thing you often can't recycle is waterproof cardboard, things like juice cartons.
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    It really it very localized. We have a giant bin for everything recyclable and it's picked up weekly and sorted at the recycling center, but I've also lived in a place where you had to individually sort everything on your own.
  6. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    These will be our bins, since it's not a city-sponsored program -- it's just a recycling company with some dumpsters on the other side of the interstate -- so we'll have to keep them clean because they won't be swapped out every week (or however curbside programs do it).

    On the paper goods, how do you guys handle the wet paper towel that you clean the counter with? Toss it in, too?
  7. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Paper towels? No. I throw in cardboard (cereal boxes, spaghetti boxes, things like that), newspapers, junk mail/magazines, things like that. Basically, if you can read something on it (labels, stories, sales), it's good.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Hmm. I grew up one state over from you, and we had a ton of recycling options at our trash dump for at least the last two decades, IIRC. (Maybe before then, too.) Huge dumpsters just for newspapers, for milk cartons, for cardboard, for glass, plastics, etc. When we took our trash every week, we'd separate all that stuff and dump it in the corresponding bins.

    But good on ya for doing this. Once you get into the habit, it becomes second nature.
  9. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    We've always lived in rural areas, but never handled our own trash. There's always been a hillbilly with a garbage truck around.
  10. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    We have once-a-week curbside for recycling, but it seems like 90% of our garbage is recyclable.

    That's a problem, since those two small recycling containers aren't enough for basically a week's worth of garbage. Meanwhile, the huge trash bin (for non-recyclables) is 80% empty.
  11. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    It varies from county to county in Virginia.

    In my subdivision, we have curbside recycling once every two weeks. Everything can go in the same bin (a huge, huge plus) and it goes away to a better place.

    I will say that recycling cuts the amount of garbage from my house going to the dump in half.

    I work in a different county than I live in, and we cannot get the county to lift a finger as far as recycling goes. I will be tasked with forming a committee to solve this problem in my school district. Last year we recycled about 275,000 pounds of paper (we know a company that will take it away from us for free), but we have no one to take away all the plastic bottles (about 500,000 a year) and cardboard (about 22,000 pounds) we throw out each year.

    It's archaic to say the least.
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Oh, the biggest potential recycling problem is what to do with all the electronics.

    Think of how many tvs, cell phones, computers, dvd players, MP3 players, PDAs and GPS units will be tossed in the next 10 years. The chemicals from these systems leeching into the goundwater is a potential disaster.

    I think Best Buy will take all of them.
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