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30 Green Days / Setting Up a Recycling Center


Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to make positive household changes. For us, that means making a more conscious effort to recycle. Recycling is one of those things that we’ve been slacking on, but I’m happy to report that our efforts to reduce waste are improving.

A great way to recycle more efficiently is to set up a recycling center in your home and get the whole family involved. Before you start, it’s important to know your community’s recycling process and guidelines. Our community’s recycling system is single-stream, which means we can place all acceptable items in one large receptacle provided by the city. Some communities use a multi-stream system where multiple bins are used.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the items that are accepted during recycling pickup by calling your local waste collector or by visiting your community’s website. For a while we threw all kinds of items in our bin that we thought were acceptable, until we discovered they weren’t when doing some research. I’m sure quite a few people make similar mistakes. Our community accepts clean paper (newspapers, magazines, junk mail, etc.) glass, plastic, cardboard and metal containers. They go in depth to include: glass bottles and jars, metal cans and jar lids, and plastic containers (including water bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt cups, and frozen dinner trays) that are labeled for recycling, numbers 1 through 5 only.

Once you have an idea of what to recycle and how to prepare items for for pickup, you can decide how you want to sort and collect them indoors. Setting up a recycling center doesn’t have to be complicated. You can swing for recycling systems and stack-able bins or you can use items around the house. We collect excess papers in a simple cardboard box, nothing fancy. We place cans, glass, and plastics in a small storage bin we’ve held on to. At the end of the week, we empty the box and bin into our recycling receptacle outside. It’s just that easy.

Another great way to reduce waste is by using concentrated products such as SC Johnson’s Scrubbing Bubbles Mini. SC Johnson’s concentrated cleaner refills are packaged in small, easy-to-pour bottles, using 79% less plastic than the standard spray bottles. Concentrated cleaners are meant to be poured into a refillable spray bottle (use your own or purchase separately) and diluted with water. Find SC Johnson’s concentrated cleaners at the Green Choices Marketplace.

I hope I’ve inspired you to get recycling. Tune in this Friday as I will be sharing how to recycle a household item that most of us have probably disposed of incorrectly. Oops?


While SC Johnson is the sponsor of the 30 Green Days Challenge, all opinions and comments within this post are my own.

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