Our household LOVES to recycle. For us, its second nature. Much like breathing. We just do it.
That said, I find it imperative to check our local curbside requirements OFTEN to learn of any changes (and to remind myself of what goes in and what doesn’t).
We live in a rural community. Technically our locale is an exurb of Oregon’s largest Metropolitan area (Portland). By nature, we are country dwellers just barely removed from the city center. As such, we get the joys of 45 minutes in the Prius to travel 17 miles from our house to downtown and we miss out on niceties like large, mixed recycling rolling carts. Such is rural life. The trade-offs are worth it (though if gas continues to go up, we may have to reconsider).
The crickets are chirping and the moon is high as I sit at the dining table, researching our local curbside regulations and using Earth911 to figure out ways to recycle the products which cannot be picked up. Oregon Dad sits across from me, his laptop butting up against mine as he works out color changes and materials on a new boys shoe. He is griping over some factory screw up on A SHOE and I am trying to save the planet one piece of plastic at a time. It’s a tireless job, but someone has to do it.
Here is the breakdown of our curbside pick-up. I know this is MORE than some of you get to put in your bins and less than others, so no wimping allowed.
Magazines & Catalogs
Brown Paper Bags
Cereal, cracker & shoe boxes
Paper egg cartons
Milk/juice cartons and juice boxes without straws (Rinse before placing in bag.)
Note paper, computer paper, file folders, stationery
Wrapping paper (No foil, plastic coating or tape)
Plastic Bottles & Milk Jugs – Please rinse.
Steel (Tin Cans) Please rinse. (Remove labels and recycle with scrap paper.)
Aluminum Cans, Foil, Trays
Empty Aerosol Cans
Small Pieces of Scrap Metal (No piece larger than 36 inches, must weigh less than 40lbs).
Cardboard – Flatten and place under one of your recycling bins (No piece larger than 36 inches in any direction).
For a long time I was recycling my coffee shop cold cups (washed of course), earth balance margarine tubs, etc… in here as well. Guess I can’t be doing that!
No tubs, cups, bags or other types of plastic.
We also have to leave all the lids out of our recycling, so tub and lids will go into my drop off tote.
Glass Bottles and Jars
Place rinsed and clean glass bottles and jars in a container or brown paper bag next to your recycling bins.
No light bulbs, window glass, vases or drinking glasses.
(We were doing this one right.)
MOTOR Oil goes into milk jug type container
Place in a see-through, one gallon, unbreakable container with a screw-top lid. Do not include other fluids.
(Oregon Dad was surprised to hear this… he has been storing it outside in containers waiting to drop it off.)
A lot of this information is different from the newspaper type flier which arrived in our mailbox a couple months ago. I should have saved it, however, I read it then recycled it. 🙂 So I will be calling our actual pick up office to confirm these details.
I was surprised and happy to see that juice boxes could be recycled. I am sad to say we have NEVER included these in our recycling. I do not anticipate purchasing juice boxes in the future as I just ordered our children Klean Kanteens and Laptop Lunch Boxes for back to school, however it is good information to have.
We do recycle all our aseptic containers (Rice Dream, Soy Milks, Pacific Natural Foods Chicken Broth, etc…) Our flier indicated this was okay. I do not see any information on the website regarding this containers so that is on my list of questions to ask customer service. Because of our dairy free children, we use a lot of product that comes in aseptic quart packages.
Here’s an interesting tidbit. Our trash collection is provided by Waste Management. The corporate main website hawks CFL and Battery Recycling kits. Intrigued, I click the link. There I find out that I can have these nifty kits for $14.95 each. Bleh. Good thing I checked Earth911 and found out I can recycle batteries at Office Depot on my next trip by and my used up CFLs can go to Home Depot. Since I drive right by these places at least weekly, why on Earth would I pay money to recycle them?
In case you haven’t figured it out by now… I am writing this to prompt you to CHECK your curbside recycling requirements. Use Earth911 to figure out where everything else can be dropped off. Our family of seven uses two kitchen garbage bags a week (13 gallon size). I think that’s pretty darn good, and yet I am trying to reduce that. We haven’t made the switch to bio-bags, and that’s next up on my list!
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Oh., And Don’t Forget To Compost.
Be Well. 🙂