By Michelle Brooks of Sterilite Corporation
When my city announced that there would be a mandatory recycling program put in place, I thought, "great, one more thing for me to do?" I have a full-time job, I’m raising three active teenagers, and now I have to sort my trash? Ugh! But, I must say I am pleased with how the program has been implemented. The city provided one trash bin and one recycling bin for each household, to be picked up weekly. But one big rule was in place – what you throw out must fit inside of the bins!
I thought, seriously? A family’s weekly garbage would certainly overflow that single trash bin, right? I discovered it wouldn’t, if I recycled! This restriction made me think about what I was throwing away – and made me sort – so I could be sure all my garbage would fit and not be left behind on trash day. Sorting and recycling helps to reduce the overall number of garbage bags going to the landfill … which is, of course, a good thing.
So, what did I do? I needed to set up a system – one that was easy to put into place and easy to follow – after all, it needed to be “teenager-friendly” to be effective. I placed an open wastebasket under my kitchen sink for garbage, neatly kept out of sight.
I have a separate covered wastebasket for recyclables which is in a key location –right next to the fridge. Glass, cans, plastic, and paper – it all goes in there. When either wastebasket fills up, we take them to the outside bins for emptying and start all over again. Simple.
I found that with a plan in place, recycling isn’t as much of a chore as I thought it would be. We sort as we go which limits the mess involved. My kids participate in our efforts and understand the importance, which is perfect, and we know that we are doing our share to help the environment. Now, if I could only train them to look for the recycling symbol, they may not constantly ask ... “Mom, is this recyclable?”