With global warming on the rise, it’s becoming more critical for us to try and be as socially responsible as we can. Going green starts with small things, like recycling. If you find you have items piling up that isn’t something you can put in the trash like electronics, recycling is an easy and effective way to start decluttering and give back to your planet. To help you get started, we have compiled a list of our top tips for recycling.

Setting Up a System

To start, you need the proper bins. Your local municipality likely provides you with recycling bags or bins; if not, look into buying about 4-6 bins to use. Label them correctly with each of the following categories:

  • Plastics
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Cans
  • Glass
  • Small bin for organics.

The next step is to place your bins around the house for where they are needed and start putting your waste in their proper spot.

You want to think practically about where you are going to place them. For instance, if you know you are willing to take the extra steps and walk all your recycled items out to the garage, it’s the perfect place to keep them. If you know you don’t want to walk out to your garage for everything, place them in more accessible areas around your house. If you live with young children, explain to them how recycling works and put up pictures, this will help them understand where each item goes.

Know Your Materials and How to Recycle Them Properly

Recycling is an easy task, you just need to know some small tricks to make the process smooth. If the item isn’t cleaned or didn’t go into the right spot, once arrived at the recycling depot, they will have to be thrown away, or they might clog the machines. To make things easier for the recyclers, follow these rules of thumb;

  • Make sure all plastics and glass are completely clean.
  • If there is any item smaller than a credit card, make sure you throw it into the trash as it will cause problems in the sorting machines later.
  • If the cardboard has grease on it or is dirty, throw it into the trash as well.
  • Items like plastic-coated cups, laminated paper, and bubble-wrap envelopes all belong in the garbage as well.
  • If you are unsure about a plastic item, there is a list here you can follow that will tell you if an item is recyclable or not.

Switch to Reusable Products

Not only do plastic bags of all kinds fill up our landfills, but they break down into harmful microplastics that can be ingested by small animals and pollute our waters. They are a huge problem when it comes to reducing our waste; this is why you should consider switching to reusable bags. They are perfect for going grocery shopping, and they will last you a very long time, saving you money in the long run. For everyday lunches, invest in containers, or beeswax food wraps. Both are reusable, and you can find containers made from recyclable materials. The beeswax food wraps are the perfect substitute for plastic wrap and can even help keep your food fresh for longer.

Use Recycled Paper or Print Double-Sided

Fun fact: recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water, and 9 square feet of space in a landfill. To help reduce your paper use if going electronic is not an option, invest in recycled paper. You can also try small things like always printing double-sided pages as every bit adds up.

If your recycled materials are beginning to build up, there are people who can help. Proudly serving the Greater Vancouver area and Victoria, 1st Hoarding Cleanup is here to help you make those first steps. Contact us today at 855-465-2597 or fill out a contact form here.