Recycling Made Easy

Shauna and I both have done a terrible job at taking advantage of the recycling bin provided by the county. Most of it boiled down to laziness. It seemed like a real chore to take a few small items out to the bin on the side of the house. Moving it to the backyard also proved troublesome given the problems we've had with our garage door. It looked like we were destined to keep filling our main garbage can with perfectly good recyclables just because of some relatively small hassles.

And then Shauna's mom Shauna had a flash of genius. For some time, we've been asking for paper bags instead of plastic from the supermarket. My rationale has always been that the paper will break down whereas the plastic will likely not. Both bag types are recyclable, but the paper ones have a nice, flat bottom that makes the bag stand up on its own. Presto, instant second trash can for recycling. Since the bag is paper, we can just toss the whole thing into the bin.

Amazingly, we've managed to cut our volume of household trash in half once we started doing this. It's not a big deal in the winter, but trash space is at a premium when there are raked leaves and lawn clippings to dispose of. And all it took was using some paper bags.

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6 Responses

  1. Sherpa says:

    I share a 2 bedroom apartment, so space is tight, but we recycle also using paper grocery bags. Doesn’t take too much space, and once you get in the habit, it’s really, really easy to do.

  2. Shauna says:

    *ahem* The paper bag was actually my idea. I just happened to think of it while my mom was in town because she kept putting aside all the recyclables on the kitchen counter to take out later and I hate having crap on my counters. Since she was so hell-bent on recycling, I decided to give her a place to put the items that didn’t involve cluttering up my counter with trash.

  3. Jesse says:

    Sorry about that. I knew that one of you had the good idea, I just couldn’t remember who (and you were napping when I wrote this so I couldn’t ask). I fixed it.

  4. Kristi says:

    We’re slightly obsessed with recycling. It’s amazing how much on trash it cuts back.
    We use one of those plastic milk crates Dana picked up for free from work. It’s more baby proof. My favorite part is we make more recyclable trash than regular trash. The sucky part is they don’t pick up recycling every week. 🙁

  5. Daisy Paige says:

    Our method is to keep an open plastic tub in the laundry room and throw the recyclables in there. Once it’s full, we dump it into the outside recycling can and bring it back inside empty. It really is a simple solution and I don’t worry about the kid getting into it or anything gross leaking out onto my floor or counter.

    We’re also slightly obsessed with recycling, and have found ourselves sneaking recyclables into neighbors’ cans because every-other-week-pickup just doesn’t cut it. And we could easily live with regular trash pickup of every 3-4 weeks and be just fine (we mulch our lawn clippings, etc). Sometimes we even sort the garbage at Josh’s folks’ house because they’re too lazy to do so themselves. Borderline neurotic, but we think it’s important.

  6. Cameron says:

    We moved to our house in February, and the garden ground was terrible. So I started making my own compost, which has cut down on the garbage quite a bit. Not only do I use cooking scraps (potato peels, egg shells, etc), but I put in yard waste as well.

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