I am not into resolutions. But I do believe in getting more educated and that’s what this resolution is about. With more education, we make better, more careful decisions. So, if you haven’t already– or are doing so haphazardly- I urge you to adopt a practice this year that is close to my heart: Recycling. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s important. But if you don’t do it right, you’re wasting your time.
– Seriously– invest in a reusable water bottle. I swear water tastes better in my glass Life Factory bottle anyway. Get one today, and grab one for your best friend as well.
-If you must drink from a plastic bottle, remove the plastic cap and ring before recycling. If you don’t, it will get trashed at the sorting center. It takes too much time for the workers to remove these pieces, so the bottle ends up getting chucked in the trash. What a shame.
-Rinse food containers and remove labels. It needs to be done anyway and it’ll keep your bin from stinking.
-Find out what types of plastic are accepted in your collection area. If you flip over your plastic container, you’ll see the recycling symbol with a number in the middle. The City of Albuquerque currently only collects 1 & 2, however, Waste Management (if you live outside city limits and in Bernalillo County) accepts 1-7.
-Bring your plastic bags to the grocery store to reuse. Or better yet, carry cloth bags when you shop. They are more sturdy anyway. In fact, don’t just limit cloth bags to groceries, consider carrying cloth bags for all of your shopping needs.
-Most paper can be recycled. Junk mail, magazines, newspapers, phone books, notebook and computer paper. Shredded paper does not have the long fibers necessary for the recycling process, so use this in your compost pile instead. Wax paper and construction paper cannot be recycled either.
-Other goods that are widely accepted include: flattened cardboard (also called fiber board), brown paper bags, foil, tins cans, aluminum cans, pie tins, steel cans, and empty aerosol cans.
If you are already doing these things, I thank you! If not, please consider taking these small steps. This is a very tangible way that we can help improve our community. Happy sorting in 2013!