The EPA estimates that approximately 75% of all solid waste is recyclable, yet only about 30% actually gets recycled. Given that we produce nearly 1.5 billion tons of waste in one year, that leaves 675 million tons of recyclable waste unrecycled!
While 123Junk takes pride in recycling, recycling is a process that everyone should be implementing on a full-time basis. Some people have been recycling for years, so it’s second nature to them. Others simply trash everything, perhaps because they are unaware of what items can and cannot be recycled.
Starting a recycling program can be daunting for some people, but it does not have to be. Here are a few tips to follow to get your own recycling program started:
Learn What is Recyclable. – Don’t worry about not knowing this. Many people don’t, including those who recycle on a regular basis. However, finding out can be as simple as making a few phone calls to your local waste management company to find out what can be recycled and if they have any special conditions on how the recycling should be packaged.
Determine Capacity – While it would be great to set up an in-depth bin system to separate each type of recyclable material, most of us do not have the luxury of space or time to do so. Instead, determine what size system you could reasonably manage and begin there. Perhaps you could begin with two bins, one for recyclable paper products and one for recyclable glass/plastic products.
Practice and Education – If you have never recycled before then obviously practice is going to be key in forming a habit. If this seems unattainable, don’t stress. You will get there eventually and be in recycling mode before you know it. Continuing to educate yourself on additional recycling tips (such as buying previously recycled goods/products or performing a waste-stream analysis) and educating those around you should help to encourage more recycling.
Just a little effort behind recycling can make a major impact in our communities and the well being of our environment. Let’s stop wasting and start seeing green.
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