Starting a recycling program

Starting a home recycling program is a great way to extend Earth Day’s
reach beyond April 22. Now is a great time to start a program, especially if you are spring cleaning.

The first thing to do is decide what you want to recycle. Most people
focus on kitchen waste since this is where we generate most of the garbage. According
to a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency, a person produces 4.3
pounds of waste per day. This number has declined in recent years in part
because of recycling programs. Most U.S. cities have recycling centers and/or

When planning a home recycling system, it’s important to first check
with your local municipality to determine if they have a recycling program, what
items are accepted, and whether they have to be sorted. Some municipalities
provide recycling totes and/or do not require you to sort. Wiping or rinsing
out containers and bottles is usually a requirement, but it also helps control unwanted
pests and odors.

Next, determine a central visible location (remember “out of sight, out
of mind”) to set up your recycling bin. If you must sort, plan on at least four
bins (paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum). If you have young children, make a chart
and include colorful pictures. This is a great way to get them involved at an
early age.

Your recycling program may just focus on kitchen waste. You may also
decide to incorporate other activities such as electronics recycling or
donating unwanted items. Spring cleaning is a perfect time to go room-to-room
and determine new uses for old items. You could even have a rummage sale to pay
for recycling bins.

Now is also a great time to incorporate green activities. Prior posts
have plenty of quick tips you can use every day to go green. Start out small or
plan big from the beginning. Every action you take does make a difference. Good

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