SO… HERE’S WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM SLASH YOUR WASTE SEPTEMBER
WE GENERATE WAY MORE RECYCLABLES THAN I THOUGHT …. Putting all of our recyclables out on the front porch and sorting them for a month was a very educational experience. I’ve heard some people call this a waste “audit”. Right there, in front of my eyes (and the neighbors!) I could see all the waste this household generates in all its awfulness. I’m not as eco-evolved as I thought.
THE ONLY WAY TO RECYCLE CORRECTLY IS TO FIND OUT WHAT YOUR COMMUNITY ACCEPTS FOR RECYCLING. There are a LOT of things that I thought SHOULD be recycled that are not. For a lot of reasons. It’s REALLY IMPORTANT to know EXACTLY what materials your community accepts, and not just dump anything you believe is recyclable into your bin. “Wishcycling” doesn’t work! DO THE RESEARCH! It takes 5 minutes on the Internet!
DO NOT BAG UP YOUR RECYCLABLES IN PLASTIC BAGS….IT’S JUST MORE PLASTIC OUT THERE ON THE PLANET, AND ACTUALLY MESSES UP THE RECYCLING PROCESS!
IT’S NOT EASY TO FIND OUT THE FACTS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR RECYCLABLES AFTER THEY ARE PICKED UP AT THE CURB. For the past two months I have been on a mission to find out what happens to our recyclables. I was able to clarify exactly what our local trash hauler/recycler does with our stuff, but only after contacting the LA County Board of Supervisors and asking for help. It shouldn’t be that hard. Here’s what I found out from Athens services; your community may have different endpoints for recycled materials:
Glass and metal are recycled domestically
Paper is shipped out of the country; there are too few domestic paper mills to meet the demand
Plastic – some is processed in the US, some is shipped overseas
RECYCLING IS A LAST RESORT. OUR BEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEALTH OF THE PLANET IS TO MINIMIZE OUR WASTE PRODUCTION.