Introduction: How to Start a Recycling Program in Your Home

Have you ever wondered how much you have thrown away that could have been recycled? According to reports, Americans throw away 1 million pounds of garbage each year. Regardless of where you live though you can make an impact on what you put in your trash can and what you do not. Before you begin, let’s make sure you know what you can recycle.

• 2-4 small to medium size garbage bins
• 1 large garbage bin (you provide or the local government does)
• A variety of sizes of garbage bags (optional)

Step 1: What Can You/Can't You Recycle?

There are a number of things that you can recycle that you usually throw away each day. Much like the food pyramid we can break these items down into categories: paper, plastic, metal (mainly aluminum cans), glass (depending on where you live and what your local government says), and other items that you can recycle not in your trash but at local businesses (such as ink cartridges, glasses, phones, etc.). Depending on the leftover food you can recycle it in compost piles in your garden or backyard.

Step 2: Where Can You Find It?

Depending on where you live many local governments and cities provide cans for you to put your recycling into, which gets picked up weekly or bi-weekly. If this is not the case, you can go to your city hall or information center and find out where you can take your goods so they can get processed accordingly. In both cases, you need a few things to hold your recyclables in your home.

Step 3: Buying Your Bins/Bags

If you are trying to find a bin to hold all your recyclables you have many options. Many marketplaces sell bins that you can buy at low cost in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some places sell bins with recycling logos already printed on them. Get about 2-4 bins depending on where you are going to put them in your home. You can always pick up some grocery or garbage bags as well. They work just as good!

Step 4: Placing Your Bins/Bags

Put your recycling bins or bags where you think you are going to use them the most. This would probably be the kitchen and the office. Other places you could put them is in your room or even the garage (a larger one to dump all your smaller ones into or to put only your bottles and cans in to).

Step 5: Waiting for the Garbage Man

If you are a kid this can be one of your most favorite days. I know it was for me. Every week or every other week a garbage truck will come by and take away all the recyclable material you have collected to a facility where it will be sorted and sent out to different companies that will buy and reuse the materials in some way. If there is a not a day where this happens in your area but there is a community dumpster there will be an allotted time where they will come pick it up.

                                    “A society is defined not only by what it create, but by what it refuses to destroy.” – John Sawhill

Help make a difference today in deciding what you throw away and how it can help others in your community! Jump on board and RECYCLE!