Monday, March 30, 2009


I've been recycling a long time. I recall having done a post like this a while back. I've been working on downing our garbage output per week, to one bag. High ambitions, I know.
Now, I've been watching out, checking each and every label that passes through my hands, and asking the Mr to check as well. Here's what I came up with...

Did you know these items are recyclable:

- Yogurt Containers - (I buy Dannon All Natural, the kind with a peel off top) I knew the hard kind with an actual lid were, but I didn't think any others were.

- Fruit Cups - yup, thos little things you pack your kids, those just need a quick rinse to get rid of stickies (or so I believe) and you're good to go

- Frozen Instant Meal & Gerber Graduates Containers - you know, the kind you buy & toss into the microwave, yup, rinse & add that into your growing pile of recyclables.

-Laundry Detergent bottles - along with any other cleaning product bottle, just give it a rinse.

- All Plastic & Cellophane wraps - the ones that touch food need to be rinsed though, especially if food is stuck to them, cause then they could contaminate stuff and make it all garbage. Did you know they recycle some plastics into polar fleece? Yup, the stuff they used to make the snazzy vest or pullover you wear.

- Raw Meat Containers - Both the styrofoam kind & the plastic kind (the kind you find in Wal Mart here in the USA) They do need to be washed first before you put them in.

- Clothing - everyone knew they could donate their old clothes...but what about the ones with holes in them that wouldn't be any good to anyone?? You could just turn each & every item into something useful around the house, be a it a dog toy, a new bag (something simple), a dust rag, a catnip toy, how about some decorations for your child's room? Lots of ideas to be found, all over the place.

- Aluminum - I know someoene who works in the food industry, and I've tried very hard to have them crack down on their employer to start recycling more, as their (and I'm sure any other food place) amount of waste is atrocious. From pop/soda cans to aluminum foil that you use in the home. Did you know the aluminum covers for, say, a burrito, is recyclable? A quick rinse to make sure there's no sauce on it, and into the blue bag it can goes.

- Paper Bags - From McDonal's to Arby's, and any other fast food joint. What about from the grocery store? Yup, all of them can go into that blue bag I know I've convinced you to stash away.

- Glass - From old Jelly & Pickle Jars, to those pesky empty beer & wine bottles you have leftover from last weekend. ;o) Did you know they can recycle glass into astro-turf??

Wanna know how I know all this? Well, aside from clicking the links I've posted above...I turn my containers over when I'm either considering buying them, or when I'm through with them. I look for that recyclable sign. It's ok if it has a number next to it, or on it, or by it. It doesn't matter. Anything that has this symbol on it can head straight to the blue or clear bag. It's true, some things need a rinse, and some take more effort than others to recycle. How much plastic do you think they can still make out of what's left in the world? Enough for 20 more years? What happens after that? I want you to imagine this for me...who would want the job of digging through a landfill, to look for plastic to recycle? Not I. Now, I'm not saying that something like that WILL happen, it's simply a COULD factor.
Plastic takes a long time to decompose...depending on the object, anywhere from 5- 80 years. 5-80 years of people's plastic built up all over the world in every landfill. How long before those places will be useful again?
Now, all that aside. I have us down to two garbage bags per week, and anywhere's between 4 & 6 recycling bags per week. I'm grateful that we have curbside recycling here in our town. Even when we lived in the country where they didn't do this program, and instead encouraged burning, I bagged it all up and tossed it into the truck to take into town when I went shopping, dropping it off in a large recycling bin along the way.
I was doing the dishes this morning and was nearly complaining about the amount of recyclable containers I had accumulated on my counter as I was rinsing things for my dishwasher. I began pondering if anyone else knew about all of these things that could get tossed into that recycling bag. I was raised with recycling, but I'm still learning about what can & can't go in. This concludes my thoughts for the day...

5 thoughtful remarks:

Janet said...

I had no idea that Raw Meat Containers could be recycled!

Jack said...

We don't recycle raw meat Styrofoam container here either... come to think of it, we don't recycle styrofoam at all.

Anonymous said...

Good post, I learned stuff!

only a movie said...

We have curbside recycling and have to pay for our trash bags (through the city), so we are encouraged to have as few trash bags as possible.

I am really hard on my family members about recycling. The boy gets lazy sometimes...

I'm also good for at least one paper grocery bag full of paper recycling. Junk mail, paperboard from cereal type boxes, etc...

Amarie said...

Very good information! We recycle because it's law, but when you mentioned cutting down on the AMOUNT of garbage, its made me more aware of what I can actually recycle and more conscious of it. Thanks!