You know plastics and aluminum and cans and bottles. Cardboard and newspaper and magazines and junk mail. But do you recall...the most unknown recyclables of all?
("You're welcome" for putting Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in your head for the rest of the day). What I would like to share with you today is something we in the Earth-Friendly Thomas Household discovered recently. While researching whether batteries can be recycled or not (answer: yes, but you have to pay $35 for a box and ship them away somewhere. Translation: rich people can), I discovered that there are lots of plastics that we throw away all the time that should be recycled. (I'm not talking about the hard plastic that toys and other popular Christmas gifts come in-- the kind that are impossible to open and when cut are razor sharp. Those should of course be recycled too). I'm referring to soft plastics, including but not limited to grocery bags, packaging material that paper towels and toilet paper come in, bread wrapping, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, and so on. That stuff doesn't need to go in a landfill, people! It is unclear to me whether the curb recycling will accept it, but there is a bin in our grocery store that will collect it. Here is a list of all accepted recyclable soft plastics. So we just keep a bag on a kitchen cabinet below our sink and put those items in there, and when full, take it to the store.
The bottom line is this. Now that we have a compost pile, recycle the usual cans/bottles/hard plastic/paper goods, and now these other plastics, our family of 6 averages one 13-gallon bag of garbage per week. That's it.
Al's right. It's a little more inconvenient. But once you start, you'll have a hard time doing it any other way.