Recycling 101

Recycling 101

Homeowners everywhere are looking to make their homes a little more environmentally-friendly. Recycling in and around the home can be easy when you know how. For some of us, recycling is second nature; for others, it’s a new habit. Below I have stated 10 helpful tips on how to make recycling easy for the whole family! Remember, “reuse, reduce, and recycle.”

1. There are many materials that can be recycled, such as paper, plastic, metal and glass. It is helpful to separate the materials into different containers.

One for plastic, one for glass, and one for aluminum/tin/aerosol cans. There are two types of recycling facilities. Single-stream facilities accept a mix of recyclables, where Multi-stream facilities only accept paper products that are not mixed with other materials. It may seem like a pain to separate all recycling, however, the processed material from multi-stream facilities tends to be cleaner (and therefore, more valuable) because there’s less chance for contamination. Contaminated recyclables are, in effect, unrecyclables and must be sent to a landfill.

2. Rinsing any glass or plastic items will prevent a smelly recycling area.

When possible, re-use the items; sometimes you can even find neat DIY (do it yourself) projects that will show you how to turn one item into another! Click HERE for more DIY projects.

3. Breaking down all cardboard boxes and cardboard items allows more room in recycling areas for other recyclables.

Most boxes have seams where they were glued together and can be collapsed easily if you pull them apart at the glued seams. If a box is too big, try breaking it down, scoring it along one side and folding it over to make it easier to manage.

4. Choosing products with less packaging or look into items that have recyclable packaging helps also!

5. When getting rid of old electronics such as cell phones or computer parts, don’t throw them into the trash!

It may be a clever idea to consider non-profit organizations that will recycle the items for you. This way, the items will be disposed of properly. There is actually one right in West Hartford, CT! It is called Green Monster Recycling, and it is one of CT’s first electronic recycling facilities.

6. Re-use items and products as much as possible.

Reusable dishes, towels, containers, and plastic cutlery will greatly reduce your amount of waste.

7. If it’s broken, consider repairing it instead of throwing it into the trash.

You might be able to get it up and running with some minor adjustments. Sometimes, with a little TLC it’ll be good as new! Other times, you can find a brand-new use for it that you didn’t know you could before.

8. Even though it may be difficult, it is important to recycle products that contain hazardous waste.

Try to find safer alternatives to household cleaners and buy non-toxic products whenever possible.

9. Composting is a process where waste degrades into compost, which can then be used in your garden to help it grow.

It is an excellent way to recycle garden and kitchen waste such as plant trimmings and leftover food.

10. Cash for cans, everyone knows this one.

Save up your drinking cans, plastic bottles or glass bottles and then return them to a redemption center. Each can is 5 cents, so if you have a large bag or multiple bags you could be going home with a few dollars!

Recycling is an important factor in conserving natural resources and greatly contributes towards improving the environment. If we all work together, we can make this earth a lot cleaner to live on for many years to come! To find out more information on how your town recycles, or to find out where to recycle, visit your towns Public Works Department online. Visit the West Hartford Public Works website for more information to find out how #WestHartford recycles!