Back to nature with the 3 R’s

Create a home recycling center.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: These are the 3 Rs to remember in your pursuit of a better environment. Hints on reducing and reusing, also known as precycling, will be featured next month. This time, let’s focus on the third R: recycling.

The first step? Create a home recycling center. While perusing the Sunday newspaper, you may notice various types of storage bins featured; you also may notice the high prices. Relax: You don’t need to spend a small fortune.

Most “recycling centers” are rather large – not the best option if you keep recyclables near the kitchen. Consider five- to eight-gallon, stackable plastic trash cans. The smaller containers look tidier and keep your recyclables from overflowing.

If you’d rather store recyclables outside, you’ll need a lid to keep away bees and other pests. (A quick rinse helps, too.)

Now that you’re recycling, don’t wait too long between drop-offs. Better to get into a regular habit of taking glass and aluminum to neighborhood recycling igloos. More frequent trips make it easier to stop for the minute or two it takes to deposit everything.

Since glass and aluminum take virtually forever to decompose, and are the most easily recycled, it makes sense to keep them out of landfills.

Plastic (including grocery bags, dry-cleaner bags and bottles labeled 1 and 2 on the bottom) can be deposited in bins at many grocery stores. Unfortunately, plastic containers with other numbers listed on the bottom are just trash. Keep this in mind when grocery shopping.

United Paper, 300 N. Oakland (near Baylor), takes virtually any type of paper. Items accepted include cereal and cracker boxes, junk mail, newspapers (no need to separate the slicks), catalogs, phone books and magazines.

If every household recycled its newspapers, we could save a million trees every two weeks.

By keeping your recyclables in check, sorting and dropping off becomes hassle-free. And in the words of Thomas Henry Huxley: “The great end of life is not knowledge but action.”


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