There’s always room for improvement when it comes to recycling, so let’s dive into some tips that will help improve how you recycle at work and at home.
1. Statistics Put Recycling In Prescriptive
Everyone knows recycling is important; however, it’s hard to conceptualize the impact your recycling efforts have on the environment. Part of encouraging people to recycle is educating them on the effect their efforts have. It’s a little easier to understand the importance of your recycling efforts if you see how the materials are used.
Most people don’t think twice about tossing the occasional aluminum can in the garbage, however, recycled aluminum adds. up. With every ton of aluminum we recycle, we save 14,000 kWh of energy. Additionally, every ton of recycled aluminum frees up ten cubic yards of space in landfills.
Similarly, recycling one ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil. Cardboard is one of the most common materials that continue to be improperly recycled – we’ll look at this later. One ton of recycled cardboard also saves 6.6 million Btu’s of energy.
The above statistics are just a glimpse at the impact recycling has on the environment. Even the smallest effort towards recycling makes a difference. The following are some tips to make recycling easy in the workplace or at home.
2. Invest In Quality Bins
Investing in quality recycling bins is a great way to increase the likelihood of people recycling. Sticky bins or bins that need lifting up to access often get bypassed in favor of an open garbage. A clean, open top recycling bin is much more likely to be used by people in the office or at home. Recycling bins with a metal or laminate finish are excellent options to match your existing decor.
Maintaining your recycling bins is also an important part of getting people to use them. If your bins are consistently overflowing and dirty, people are going to stay away. Your bins also need to be clearly labeled, so there’s no confusion on which side is for cans and which is for paper. Your recycling bins need to be placed at a height where everyone can access them. People who have to use mobility devices such as walkers, wheelchairs or canes should be able to access the recycling bins easily. Accessibility goes a long way when it comes to encouraging recycling.
3. Rinse Before Recycling
Any recyclable that has previously held food or juice must be adequately rinsed before put in the recycling. Dirty cans attract bugs and create issues for the workers at recycling plants. Sticky cans also ferment overtime producing foul odors. Taking a few extra moments to rinse your recyclables goes a long way in contributing to the recycling process.
4. Properly Dispose Of Pizza And Frozen Food Boxes
As mentioned earlier, cardboard boxes are one of the most improperly recycled items. Before recycling your cardboard boxes, make sure you remove all materials inside such as wax paper in pizza boxes, plastic wrap, and other debris.
Another important thing to remember about cardboard is the greasy spots commonly found on pizza boxes are no longer recyclable. The grease contaminates the cardboard, and similarly to unwashed cans, the grease attracts bugs and creates problems at the recycling plant. Fortunately, most pizza boxes come with perforated lines for you to tear. You can add the greasy parts of the pizza box to your compost.
5. Make It Easy For People To Recycle
Finally, the most important factor in encouraging people to recycle is making it easy for them. Although most of us won’t admit it, most of the time not recycling is done purely out of laziness. Having clean, properly labeled bins for people to use makes recycling much more likely to happen on a consistent basis. Strategically placing recycling bins throughout your home and office is an important part of making it easy to recycle.
All in all, even the smallest effort towards recycling makes a difference. Try incorporating the suggestions in this blog post in your home and work environments!