Yet another of those lists that should really be second nature by now. However this current generation is both one of the most environmentally aware AND wasteful.
Ask yourself a question, it's not going to bog you down, it'll take a second.
When recycling...let's say cereal boxes, are you the type that takes out the plastic bag from inside the cardboard box (type A)? Do you also empty the last vestiges of those chocolate frosted sugar bombs (Type B)?
I'd wager that most of you are in the former, and that some of you are residents in the latter party.
A's can live with other A's, oblivious to the issue. B's can live with B's, as both will have sorted everything at ALL times. A's and B's are sworn to battle to the end of time. Like oil and water, they do not mix. One faction annoyed by the other's fastidiousness or comparative lackadaisical approach.
Before we jump headlong into the recycling quagmire, let's establish a rule of thumb:
If you are not sure that something should be recycled, use the regular bin. Mixing in these products can mean increased sorting time. Contact your local centre for details (links are posted below).
So here we go then. Strap yourselves in, it's a giddy ride:
Don't - bulk bag. It may seem like you are doing the right thing in bagging all your recyclables together but these bags can in fact damage the machines at the recycling facility.
Do - rinse bottles and jars. Not only does it help speed up the process it's also infinitely less gross for the handlers to have deal with. A little thought goes a long way.
Don't - be a lazy so and so. Remove the Styrofoam/polystyrene from the cardboard packaging BEFORE sending it out with the recycling collectors.
Don't - assume bright paper and card is recyclable. Depending on the dye used these sheets may not actually be materials that can be recycled. Don't - recycle food. Food is compostable, but not recyclable. Make sure your food cans, bottles, and containers are clean of all food residue before putting them in to the recycling bin.
Do - try to visit stores where less waste is produced. Such as Ouni.
Don't - put rubbish in the recycling. It can compromise a whole load. Yes, you're strapped for time but this inaction can have severe consequences.
Do - separate eWaste. Electronic elements can be recycled. Again check at your local centre for what can and cannot be accepted.
Don't - just lob in toxic containers.
- Paint cans (including spray paint)
- Oil jugs
- Antifreeze jugs
- Pesticide containers
- Some household cleaning bottles
Do - recycle Junk Mail. No one likes it, so it's good to make a proper use for it.
Do - try and use reusable items.
Don't - recycle tissue paper. Most of it (no, we didn't know of this either) isn't recyclable, nor are most wrapping papers.
Do - remove staples and shrink wrap, magnets etc etc from magazines and phone books.
Remember, the first DO when it comes to recycling is to check to make sure you know what items are accepted at your local collection facility.
Once you know what to collect, follow the dos and don’ts from this list, and your local recycling plant's rules, this should ensure that you are helping to keep as much away from the landfill as possible.
Please note that some centres won't accept shredded paper - though this is more often an issue outside of the GD.
Please send in your tips and tricks to firstname.lastname@example.org