Starting a home recycling program is a great family activity and a way to teach environmental responsibility to children.
Why We Wanted to Start Recycling at Our Home
I started with plastic grocery bags (I can never remember to bring in my cloth bags, even though I keep them in the car). I keep about 10 to use in the house for trash bags in individual bedrooms and the bathroom (or other needs). Then, we began drinking bottled water, so I added those bottles from bottled water.
We’ve also started to use cotton bags.
Since I was already doing that, I began to feel guilty if I threw something in the trash that I knew could be recycled (other types of plastic bottles like milk jugs, steel cans, and glass containers).
6 Questions to Ask to How to Start Recycling At Home
We sort of stumbled our way into recycling at home. So, I would highly recommend making a plan before getting started.
Who will be in charge of setting up, maintaining, emptying?
What will you recycle (paper, plastic bags, plastic bottles, glass containers, aluminum, steel, etc.)?
When will you empty? This is easy if you receive weekly pickup. It can be more challenging if you have to create your own pickup schedule. It may be easier to remember if you do it the same day as your trash pickup, or every other week, depending on how often it gets full.
Where will you take? Easy if you receive weekly pickup. Otherwise, take to a convenient location on your work or errand route. I often forget to take the plastic bags in during my weekly grocery trips. Maybe I should put them in the front passenger seat, where I can miss them.
Why are you recycling? Obvious, but it needs to be personal to you and your family or it will be hard to maintain.
How will you recycle? Have a brief family meeting notifying everyone of the types of material that should be recycled and show them where to place the items.
Ask The Pro’s
Although some localities offer pickup recycling, my county does not. So, I have to take it when I’m in town working or running errands. Thankfully, there are several convenient locations.
Now, I would like to add paper, but in our area, depending on if you recycle at a location in the city or the county, the papers must be separated differently (i.e. “office paper” vs. newspapers). I’m not sure where magazines fit it. I need to find out the requirements and set it up, it would really be a pain to separate after you’ve filled a huge bin.
Be Prepared for Challenges
I definitely need to be practicing Laura from OrgJunkie’s tip on Setting Boundaries and Limits. I completely filled the largest size garbage bag with plastic bottles and containers of all sizes in addition to a paper grocery bag filled with steel cans and a few glass bottles. Thankfully, we keep the recycling station on our rear covered porch area, just off the kitchen, out of the way.
Adelina Priddis says
I want to recycle, but since we don’t have a local pick up service, hubs isn’t on board with the plan 🙁 And to take it myself, is so far out of the way, it doesn’t happen. Sad really. I do try to reuse stuff as much as possible.
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