We all produce trash. Sometimes it’s just a little here and there, but other times we can fill up an entire room with garbage! It may seem like a waste of time to organize your home trash, but it will actually save you time in the long run. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about having too much recycling or not enough landfill space again. Follow these simple steps for sorting your household trash at home!
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Why is Waste Separation Good for the Environment?
There are many benefits to separating your household trash at home. You’ll save time by not having to separate recycling from landfill space later, you’ll be able to recycle more items because you can sort them properly in advance. Recycling is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it reduces methane production. The process of producing virgin materials, such as glass or aluminum, produces higher carbon dioxide equivalents than recycling those items does. Recycling your trash can help you fight climate change!
In addition, waste separation can help you save money! You’ll be able to effectively reduce the amount of trash that your household creates which will lead to lower garbage bills at home. In fact, recycling and composting promote a circular economy where items are used until they’re no longer useful before being turned back into raw materials for new products. This process is much more efficient than producing goods out of virgin resources because it reduces energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the whole life cycle of a product.
Proper Separation of Garbage for Recycling and Composting
The first step to effective waste separation at home starts with your wheeled trash cans themselves. The green bin is for organic materials such as fruit scraps, coffee grounds, and cut grass while blue bins collect paper products like old newspapers, junk mail, and cardboard boxes.
Which Garbage is Recyclable?
Recyclable items include paper, plastic bottles and jugs, aluminum cans, steel food, and aerosol containers.
Food waste, yard trimmings, and paper products are the most common compostable material.
Glass can be recycled and made into new glass bottles, jars, and other containers.
Recycling one ton of glass saves about two cubic yards of landfill space. And recycling good quality used glass has the highest possible yield in weight compared to raw materials for making virgin products.
Plastics are classified by resin, the main ingredient that gives a plastic its specific chemical makeup.
There are different types of plastics and each has to be sorted as carefully as possible before recycling because some cannot be recycled together. For example: do not recycle HDPE (#) bottles with polystyrene foam or any other type of plastics marked “(X).”
Every day more than 100 million single-use water bottles end up in landfills around the U.S., even though most could have been recycled if they were rinsed first and turned in at special collection points.
Recyclable Cans and Bottles
When you take your recyclables to the store, be sure that they are rinsed clean and dry. If can have an inch of liquid in them, recycling companies won’t recycle them because there is too much moisture inside which can start a fire during processing. Many stores will only accept bags or boxes with a recycling symbol on them.
Most paper can be recycled including newspapers, magazines, junk mail, and even shredded paper. Paper that is glued or stained with food items should not go in the recycling bin at home but it can be brought to a local recycling center if you’re unsure about its recyclability.
Proper Bin-Sorting Process at Home
When it comes to recycling at home, many people struggle with the sorting process. It’s best to sort recyclables into one of the Wheeled Trash Cans:
- Paper and Cardboard
- Bottles and Cans (plastic)
- Glass bottles and jars – do not include windows or windshield glass because they are too difficult for recycling plants to handle.
- Tumbler for compost
After sorting, you can recycle your recyclables at a local recycling center or with the trash collector that services you’re home.