Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sustainable Living 21

Cap collection waiting to be recycled
One way I try to live sustainably is to recycle as much as possible.  Our local recycling system leaves much to be desired.  We don't have curbside pickup and must take our recycling to one of a handful of sites in our community.  There they have large containers for glass, aluminum and steel cans, paper and cardboard, and #1 and #2 plastic bottles.  It is often discouraging to drop off items at the site because clearly people have their hearts in the right place, but they do not read the instructions and put a variety of unrecyclable materials into the bins.  I've seen plastic bags (not at all recyclable anyway) put in with both the glass and the paper; dirty styrofoam plates with the paper; etc.  It makes me crazy sometimes.  I often worry that these items contaminate whole batches.  However, I'm hopeful that the unusable items are sorted out and the rest is recycled.

Items that hate to send to landfill and was curious about recycling are the various lids that come on food and personal care items:  soda bottle caps, yogurt lids, shampoo bottle lids, etc.  I discovered that Aveda has a bottle cap recycling program but the nearest one to me is about 45 minutes away and not on my usual route when I run errands.  So that was out of the question and I started researching.  I found two sites that will accept caps, lids, and some other #5 plastics.  They are Caps-N-Cups in Indiana and Weisenbach Recycled Products in Ohio through their Caps Can Do program.  

It might seem silly to mail a box of caps for recycling, but when you consider the gas I would use (and do use) to drive to my local recycling centers, it really makes more sense to mail them.  If you're interested in sending items to one of these organizations, check out the web sites as there are some items that they do not take.  Sending the wrong items can taint an entire batch and render your efforts a waste of time.


Deanna said...

Lisa and I have been known to take pictures of the incredible things people put in our recycling bins.

EcoGrrl said...

When I did my Master Recycler certification, we all had one thing in common - digging through bins and pulling out the garbage :)

Check your local recycler and see if they take "hard plastics" at their dropoff site. Are you near Roanoke? http://www.roanokecountyva.gov/index.aspx?NID=112 says these schools take plastics 1-7....