Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize and celebrate the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious resources and securing our planet’s future. It is a day for everyone to come together and put the planet first.
Manufacturers, municipalities, and recyclers like Athens are doing their part to increase recycling. Efforts include reducing contamination, improving recycling technology, and finding new markets for recyclables.
Consumers can do their part, too. Small, simple steps can add up and make a big difference. Here are ten tips that can help you reduce, reuse, and recycle more this year.
- The best place to start is at home. Half of what Americans throw away can be recycled. Go to athensservices.com/residential/ and choose your city to find out what is accepted in your recycling bin.
- Avoid “wishcycling.” Also known as aspiration recycling, wishcycling happens when you put something in the recycling bin with the hopes it will be recycled. Unfortunately, many materials do not belong in curbside recycling. Learn what can go in your recycling container.
- Properly dispose of masks, wipes, and gloves. Please remember to dispose of gloves, masks, and wipes properly in the trash. These items are not recyclable, nor should they be flushed or tossed on the ground for someone else to pick up.
- Rinse your recyclables. For the best results, rinse your empty cans, bottles, and cartons of food and liquid waste. Contaminated recyclables are difficult or impossible to recycle and may contaminate other items waiting to be recycled.
- Keep electronics and batteries out of the recycling cart – and the trash. Electronic waste and batteries do not belong in your curbside trash or recycling container. When improperly disposed of, these materials can start fires in recycling facilities and landfills. LA County residents can visit the Department of Public Works to find e-waste recycling events and drop-off locations.
- Do not bag your recyclables. In most communities, curbside recycling and drop-off programs do not require recyclables to be bagged. Bagged recyclables also present challenges when brought to materials recovery facilities and often get tangled in sorting equipment.
- Reduce. Consider purchasing smaller amounts of food or fresh items with less packaging.
- Reuse. Choose reusable items when possible, and bring zero waste with you on-the-go!
- Donate, don’t dump! If you are doing some spring cleaning, consider donating gently used items like furniture and toys to your local thrift store. If the item is large and must be disposed of, you can request the pickup of a bulky item.
- Reconsider buying certain items depending on what they’re wrapped in. Examine the packaging of what you purchase to see if it is recyclable or made from recycled content.
There are many ways to reduce your consumption, reuse items, and rethink your needs and approach. Small actions by everyone can have a big impact overall!
And Athens is here to help. We provide tools, resources, education, and outreach to help consumers, businesses, and communities increase recycling and reduce waste.
What are you doing to celebrate Global Recycling Day? Go onto our Instagram or Facebook and comment to let us know!