7.09.2008

recycling... i've been doing it all wrong.

i'm very embarrassed to say that i thought all plastic was recyclable. yes, i knew about the numbers in the chasing arrows on the bottoms of containers, but i had no idea that my garbage company didn't process all of them. which means that for the last 4 years, jeremy and i have been throwing ALL papers and plastics into a large trash can in our kitchen, and later dumping them into our recycling bin outside.

what happens after that is kind of a mystery. are there people on the other end sorting out my gross trash from what can actually be recycled? if so, i owe them an apology. and a promise to change my errant ways. i went online to learn that our county accepts #1 & #2 HDPE & PETE plastics, plus all glass, mixed paper, cardboard, tin, aluminum & bi-metal (i don't know what bi-metal is???). they've also got an extensive directory, organized alphabetically, for how to properly dispose of items that they don't currently accept. this includes a wider range of plastics, which can be recycled at a facility about 20 miles from my home.

i felt totally guilty this morning to throw out several containers, one a #5 and 2 #7's. from now on, you can bet that i'll be looking at the number on the bottom of the containers for the packaging i buy. if it's not a #1 or #2, i'll try to opt out of buying it altogether, especially if the container isn't reusable. and maybe, if i do end up having to buy something despite its number, i'll start keeping them in a box in the garage until i can take them somewhere to be properly recycled. yes, i think i will.

here's to changing bad habits!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I just found your blog and have been reading back. I too was upset when I found this out. I've already started saving #5's. There is a place you can send them to get recycled. The website is http://recycline.com/gimme5/
I'll be looking at other ways to either not buy the others or repurpose.