Recycling is confusing as f*ck. There, I said it. I know we were all thinking it!
Not only does each city have different rules - making the ordeal a complicated thing and turning a lot of people off to the process - but often it gets mishandled and not actually recycled. What the heck.
To be honest, to me recycling is one of the last "R's" we should be focusing on... just because I think "Refusing, reducing, reusing, and rotting" are more helpful when it comes to shrinking our plastic usage footprint. But I've had a lot of people ask me, "Am I doing this whole recycling thing right?" and unfortunately the answer is often "no."
Here are some things to consider...
What helped me: Label the Sh*T outta your bins
Be it at home or in your workplace, get some standardized labels (kind of like the ones above) for your bins to make it easier for everyone to recycle the correct way. Seriously, it just makes the whole process easier.
Are there instructions on the bin? FOLLOW THEM.
Bins are labeled. Now what?
Well, that sort of depends on your city/county. But here are some rules that seem to be pretty universal.
My plastic bottle is a prescription... what do I do?
Do not put prescription bottles or sample-sized bottles in the recycling bin without first contacting your county/city to find out how to properly dispose of or recycle them! Make sure to take off any stickers that have your personal information (such as name, age, address, prescription) before disposing or recycling.
Do not even think about putting the following in your recycling bins:
If you've got scraps of food or food-soiled paper, throw it in the compost! (There's that all important "R for rot.")
The heck do I do with my batteries?
We have a box in my house that is just full of dead batteries. I kid you not. It seems like a waste of space until it's full to the very top and then we go to our local recycling facility (or sometimes a store) that recycled batteries and we hand them over. I do it maybe once every year? Saves me from going multiple times and wasting petrol, that's for sure! Check with your local city or county offices to learn more about how to properly dispose of batteries... or maybe just hop on the internet, that works too.
What about these old electronics?
See above: take all of your (much loved) electronics to a SERI certified electronics recycling facility or check with your local city and county offices for more information on how to properly dispose of these no longer used relics.
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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