|Trash it! Recycling strategies for
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI
If your household is like most, recycling makes sense not only for the
environment but for adequately controlling the mountain of debris a family
accumulates. Here are some common-sense ideas to help you design a recycling
game plan in just a few easy steps.
It's usually the kitchen that produces the most solid waste, so provide for
storage of recyclable materials in or near your kitchen. For example, under your
kitchen sink you could build bins for aluminum cans, glass and general refuse.
If you don't want built-in compartments, consider using plastic stack bins or
storage carts on wheels. You can find these items at most hardware or general
merchandise discount stores. It's a good idea to install a wall-mounted can
crusher near the bins to reduce the amount of space they require.
Many households design a longer-term storage area for glass and plastic in
their garage. This could also include space for newspapers, glossy magazines and
recyclable high-grade paper. Remember to structure these storage areas so it's
not a tedious process to take them to the next location---either to curbside
pick-up or your local recycling center.
You'll need to check with your local recycling coordinator to find out what
products can be recycled and what the requirements are. Here are some questions
you might want to ask at the outset: Do labels have to be removed? How about
caps? How should newspapers be bundled?
Composting organic waste is another excellent form of in-house recycling. A
small container with a cover located near the sink is ideal for collecting
organic matter. It should be emptied daily into a composting bin where
decomposition can occur.
Although systems you set in place now are likely to change somewhat as
recycling programs mature, later adaptations should prove comparatively simple.
If you get involved now, you'll be well on your way to controlling household
waste and helping the environment in which we live.