Tips for recycling at home and office
Believe it or not, there are still people who don't recycle. It's been almost 25 years since the three Rs came to stand for reduce, reuse and recycle, but we're still producing too much personal waste.
Municipalities have begun limiting garbage disposal or charging for each garbage bag collected, but many homeowners are still reluctant to take the extra time and effort to separate and sort their recyclables. Part of the problem may be lack of uniformity in recycling codes. Because facilities vary according to municipality, not everything that's recyclable is recycled everywhere. Municipalities also sort their recyclables differently. This lack of continuity can be confusing and tends to lead most people to the conclusion that it's just not worth the hassle.
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Waste recycling is an important part of reducing environmental damage and creating a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few things you can do to make the process easier at your home and office so that your family and coworkers will continue to recycle:
- Contact your municipality for the recycling guidelines and post these in an easily accessible area (on the fridge, for example).
- Create recycling bins clearly labeled with the items that can be put in them. Be specific. Rather than just labeling one bin "paper," provide a bulleted list of the types of paper that can be included (e.g., newsprint, computer paper, construction paper, light cardboard, etc.).
- Have recycling bins throughout your home or office. If recycling bins are as accessible as garbage cans, people are more likely to make use of them.
Offices tend to go through a great deal of paper. Consider getting a small recycling container for each desk or workstation to encourage paper recycling.
With bottled water becoming increasingly popular, plastic recycling is becoming important as well. Every home and office should have at least one bin for plastic recycling and one for metal recycling items such as pop and juice cans. In some areas, plastics and metals can be combined; check with your municipality if you're unsure.
Some offices shy away from paper recycling because they have sensitive documents. Recycling services can be contracted to destroy these documents in such a way that the material can still be recycled.
Depending on the area, you may also find a recycling service willing to collect and sort your recycling and take it to the appropriate recycling facilities.
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