Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Rot - Step 3: Recycle
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- Recycle your Plastic Bottle Tops: Plastic bottle recycling is transitioning to recycling bottle tops (left on the plastic container)! Contact your local recycling center first to confirm they are recycling bottle tops.
- Recycle Bins: Create designated holding "bins" for each type of recycled product and place in convenient locations in your home/garage
- Recycling Fact Sheet: If one isn't available on your recycling center's website, create a local recycling directory for yourself and interested neighbors. The local Yellow Pages, your local recycling center, Internet Consumer Recycling Guide and Recycling Resources are great resources. Here is a great example. Find out where you can recycle the following locally:
- paper products
- plastic grocery bags (better yet - use cloth bags)
- plastic - including 1 - 7 identification codes
- tin cans
- scrap metal
- motor oil (one quart of oil can kill fish in thousands of gallons of water)
- ink cartridges
- household appliances such as refrigerators
- computer equipment and other electronic devices
- aseptic packaging (square boxes used for liquids)
- athletic shoes (contact a local sporting goods or athletic shoe store - some donate used shoes, others recycle them)
- Help Launch Sustainable Packaging!: As a customer, you have enormous power to help launch the sustainable packaging movement. Many companies are now exploring ways to maximize nontoxic recyclable and compostable packaging content. Please email the companies you purchase products from and ask them to consider switching to 100% sustainable packaging - the Sustainable Packaging Coalition is a great resource to suggest as a starting point. Most companies really listen to their customers - you'll be surprised how many respond (and you may receive some great coupons for your trouble!)
- Recycling Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones: It's easy to recycle rechargeable batteries and cell phones in the US and Canada- just go to call2recyle and find a nearby free drop off center.
- Recycling CDs and DVDs: Several CD, DVD (and Hard Drive) recycling centers are now available.
- Recycled Content: Ask your local retailers to stock more products made from recycled materials and buy products made from the highest recycled content whenever possible.
- Green Paper: In general, try to buy products/containers made from recycled material as often as possible to support the recycled product market. When purchasing paper products (toilet paper, etc,), look for paper that has been recycled using a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste. Also, purchase from companies that do not use chlorine to bleach their paper products (which creates dioxin waste).
- Grasscycling: Leave grass clippings on the lawn as fertilizer and to reduce the amount of yard trimmings disposed in landfills.
- Composting: Start a compost pile with yard trimmings and food scraps. Learn more at HowToCompost.org.
- Pack-it-Out: If you are traveling and no recycle bins are available, pack your recyclables home with you whenever possible.
- Eco-Friendly Burials: For the ultimate in recycling, check out the growing movement in eco-friendly burials and conservation burial. Also, eco-friendly recycled paper coffins are becoming available.
- Recycled Gold: If you are shopping for wedding rings or other jewelry consider buying recycled gold jewelry and synthetic diamonds and gemstones.
- Hazardous Waste: The other key aspect of dealing with waste effectively is to dispose of toxic products at a hazardous waste facility. Products requiring special handling include:
- Building Materials - paint , varnish, paint thinner, solvents, rust remover, wood preservatives and driveway sealer
- Automotive products - gasoline, transmission oil, brake fluid, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, power steering fluid, used motor oil,used oil filters, used antifreeze
- Household cleaners - spot removers, rug cleaners, metal cleaners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaner, drain cleaner
- Pesticides - insect killers, weed killers, flea products, moth crystals, fertilizers with weed killer
- Miscellaneous - photographic chemicals, acids and corrosive chemicals, pool chemicals, compact fluorescent light bulbs (mercury), Ni-Cd batteries