Saturday, October 9, 2010

reduce, reuse, recycle

We are kind of nutty at our house about the recycling. On the news a few nights ago, we heard a story about the Salt Lake County Landfill. It is filling up quite rapidly. The report stated that the current landfill will run out of space in less than 50 years. That might not seem like a big deal, but when they do run out of space, the only option will be to haul the waste to another location which will likely be 100 ‘s of miles away. And it will be done by an outside company—not the city or the county. The costs for this service will be 10 times the cost for the current waste removal services. The sad part is: over 80% of the waste that is going to the Salt Lake County Landfill is recyclable.

I had a conversation not long ago with a fellow neighbor and recycler. She mentioned that she knew some people who were down right annoyed at the fact that if they were to recycle it would cost them an additional $5 to $10 a month for recycling services. However, these same people don’t flinch a bit about paying the extra $10 a month to have 2 garbage cans.

What’s the difference people???

The difference is that if you are responsible and take the extra few seconds to separate your trash from the items that can be recycled you are reducing the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill. You are being responsible with our resources. You are helping keep the world a more beautiful place.

We separate our recyclable items into 2 different containers:

Paper in one. Everything else in another container.

First Container: Paper. Newspaper. Junk Mail. Catalogs. Magazines. All of those extra copies from the computer printer. Cereal boxes. Macaroni & cheese boxes. Cake mix boxes. Cardboard boxes.

example: recycle the cake mix box, not the plastic bag

Second Container: Everything else: aluminum cans (pop). Steel cans (vegetables, fruit, soup). Plastic (milk jugs, yogurt containers, cottage cheese containers, bread bags, grocery bags). Anything with one of those triangle arrow things.

The only thing that is not recycled is glass. I wish I would find a place that would recycle glass.

Other things that do not recycle: pizza boxes that have touched food, plastic bags (like sandwich bags) and food (but that’s OK because it can go to the compost bin!!—just not rice and meat)

It makes me think of living in Michigan. When you would buy bottles or cans of pop, you would pay a deposit. So a 12 pack of Diet Coke would cost an extra $1.20. However, the streets, roadways, trails, and parks were never littered with drink cans and bottles. I knew of a little family that would go to a local recreation area to gather pop cans for FHE. They would walk around until they found enough cans to take in to recycle and then use the money they got back to buy a treat. They always looked forward to those days when they would gather cans to see how much money they could get back. So, next time you are in Michigan, notice how free the roadways are of cans and bottles. Way to go Michigan!!


The Blairs said...

Great post! Our city started recycling this year. It's been awesome. On garbage pickup day our can is barely half full. They pick up the recycle can every other week and it is overflowing. Its amazing to see how much stuff can be recycled. -Ryan

Galo Fab 5 said...

Couldn't have said it better!

Jess said...

thank for this post. I may refer some friends to it. We are big recyclers here too. In fact, we just got our compost bin for yard waste and veggie scraps. I am happy to say that our recycling bin fills up twice as fast as our trash bin. Also, some schools have a bin for recycling paper products and they get paid by the ton. If you are already separating your paper from your other recyclables then you can just take it to one of the green garbage bins near schools. I haven't recycled glass either, but I know there are some drop-off places here in SLC. Thanks for the reminder, I'll look that up and get started doing that. There is no reason all these things that can be reused should sit in a quickly filling up landfill.

Jacobson Five said...

I loved the Michigan 10 cent refund, when we lived there.
Am I the neighbor you were talking about? I never said I would never pay $10 for recycling, because I totally would. But I would never go take my stuff to 100 different locations. I don't think you ever told me about the people that come and collect it. What do you use for recycling bins?