Monday, July 19, 2010

And you thought you knew how to recycle...

I was over at my sister's house the other weekend and went to toss something in her recycle bin when I found a few things in it that couldn't be recycled. I then went to throw something away in her trash and found something that could be recycled! I admit, my family knows me as a recycle nut, and I'm not afraid to point things like this out to them. Thinking about the things I see in the trash at my work, and talking about recycling with my sister, I thought that a post on recycling might help a few people out!

The number one thing I recommend is using the recycle guide that the city sends to you. I seriously have it on my fridge so if I'm not sure about something, I can take a quick glance at it. A pdf version of what I have can be found here.

  • Aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper
  • Cardboard- it drives me crazy how people at work don't recycle their frozen food containers!!!
  • Plastic bottles and tubs (except for #7)- this includes shampoo, lotion, toiletry type things.
  • Plastic grocery store bags- BUT they must be collected into a big ball of bags. You can't just throw one in- single bags can get caught in machinery.
  • Aluminum foil- but it should be clean of food residue.
  • Milk cartons
  • Lids- 3 inches or wider. Smaller lids and caps can be recycled at Aveda stores
Don't Recycle!
  • Chips bags
  • Food storage plastic bags (ziplock, bread, produce)
  • Paper towels
  • Batteries (SEE BELOW)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Styrofoam (SEE BELOW)
  • Paint cans
  • Oil bottles (engine)
  • Vegetables & fruits (cooked and raw!)
  • Breads, pasta, dairy/cheese
  • Meat/fish/bones/beans
  • Paper towels, napkins, plates
  • Compost-able to go coffee cups
  • Lint, hair, dirt, pet food
  • Basically- if you can eat it, you can compost it!
Don't Compost!
  • Non-food items
  • Poop (human and non)
  • Take-out cartons lined with plastic
Many homes and apartment buildings in Seattle are now required to provide a yard waste bin that you can put your compost-ables in. One thing my sister brought up was how it's gross how they have to dump their food waste straight into the bin. There are corn based "plastic" bags that you can line garbage cans or counter top canisters with to make it a less messy process. I either use a big paper bag from the grocery store if I know I'm going to have a lot of waste to collect for the week, or I'll use my counter top canister and line it with a BioBag. I found mine at Bartell's. They come in small and large garbage can sizes.

Going one step further, just think when you're throwing something away- can I recycle or compost this? I loooooove going to the recycle center in Tacoma, it's so much better than the main one in Seattle. They recycle all kinds of batteries, cell phones, Styrofoam popcorn, you name it. It's kind of fun too since everything has it's own little station.

Hopefully you already knew all of this- if not, I hope this might help you in your future recycling adventures! : D


katie seling said...

also a biggie (kinda): compact fluorescent light bulbs. everyone's got the twisty bulbs, if they care about saving energy, but these contain mercury, so should be taken to the household hazardous wastes place.

what about broken glassware? that's a no-no, right?

clorox green clean wipes are compostable, for those of you (and me) that buy such things.

what about cds? like, old burned ones or scratched ones? they're plastic, right?

Patty said...

Broken glassware- you're correct! It's got to be trashed. Not sure why- maybe it's a different kind of glass? And cds, I think those are trashers too. Or Goodwill-able!

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