Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Closer Look: Recycling

Well, here is the first article in the series I promised you about looking closer at the three R's. To organize my research I asked my friends and family what questions they had about recycling and as it turned out, they all seemed to want to know the same thing more or less. While they didn't all ask the same questions, I figured I would narrow them down into only a few instead of answering the 20 I had on my list when I started my research.

1. Where are the recycle centers in my area?
You may be one of those lucky people who live in an area that offers curbside recycling. But what if you aren't? I would recommend saving up your recyclables and taking them to a local center at the end of each month. Well that's all well and good, but how do you go about figuring out where you recycling center is within your community? Earth 911 has a wonderful recycling center locating tool. Just put in your city and state and what you want to recycle and it will tell you where to go in your community. It's brilliant!

2. What exactly can I recycle?
These days you can recycle a lot more than just plastic, cardboard and glass. If you can find the right facility in your area you can recycle just about anything, including motor oil (who knew!). The California Zero Waste website has tons of information on what you can recycle and even goes so far as to provide links to the information or locator's you need to find the centers in your area (even if you're like me and don't live in California).

3. Can I do more to recycle that what you've already recommended?
There is, and always will be, more that you can do to cut back on your contributions to your local landfill, like starting a compost box to take care of your organic wastes. However, I feel like this question would be better answered in my next article about the second R: Reuse. Reusing things that you would ordinarily send to the dump is a great way to recycle and reduce your landfill contributions.

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