Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We're all about recycling but..

A Recycled Basket (all items inside are made from recycled content) donated to a local customer for an employee event. 

I find it absolutely amazing all the things that can be recycled and I love to point out items that are a product of recycling (I mean, it's pretty much my job to do that). Everyday new technology allows items previously destined to live decades in a landfill (or nearly forever) to become something new. I think that it's essential that people know what can be recycled and the actual impact that recycling has. To see that my water bottle, when thrown in the recycling bin (along with a few "friends") has now become a tee shirt encourages me to never take the easy road (and when required) walk a few extra steps to ensure that my items are recycled

Lately I've read that cigarette butts, diapers, mattresses, carpet, waxed drink containers can all be recycled. Part of me gets really excited, we all need to use less items that end up in the landfill, another part of me gets a bit worried. Most times when someone sees a quick blurb on their computer about carpet being recyclable the next time they have some they chuck it in the recycling bin. Yup, it's recyclable BUT only when it's collected by a handful of companies, located in a handful of states, used for a handful of products. I'm not criticizing the effort, I believe in recycling one bottle or can at at a time but I am worried for the amount of items that end up in the recycling bin that can't actually be recycled at the local materials recovery facility. If the recycling center that sorts the materiel cannot process or utilize the items they will not only get thrown away but sometimes contaminate the other clean items that are supposed to be in the bin.

Education. I can not say it enough,education is essential; know what your local center accepts. If you aren't sure ask questions. It's tough enough to get material in the bin we certainly don't want to cause items to be contaminated and unable to be recycled in the end.

Branch out. If you really want to recycle the items that your local center won't handle do some research and find out who will, and how to get it to them. If there are no close by solutions reach out to your local center (in a nice, concerned citizen sort of way.. not an upset, angry customer sort of way) and ask if they know where it can be recycled or if they could consider accepting more items. You might not get a direct answer or results but at least they'll be made aware of interest and if they get a lot of calls maybe they'll decide it's something worth taking. 

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