Categories: Green

How to Recycle

Recycling. It’s something you have always wanted to do. The problem is, you never knew how to begin. Read on and learn simple ways you can start recycling today.

Why Recycle?

Those looking for information on how to recycle, typically learn about some of the benefits of recycling. Here are a few recycling benefits you may not yet know about:

  • Reduces waste in landfills
  • Conserves natural resources
  • Creates jobs and economic stability in fields related to recycling and manufacturing
  • Prevents pollution on land, in waterways, and in the air (through unnecessary refining)
  • Provides a domestic source of many materials, providing further economic stability

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to gain from recycling. The largest benefit, though, is likely personal. Most people feel immense pride and personal satisfaction knowing they’re doing their part for the planet and for the future of next generations.

How To Recycle

Recycling is a three step process:

  1. Reduce the amount of waste you create.
  2. Reuse or repurpose products to extend their life.
  3. Recycle.

Reducing is simple.

  • Use less
  • Waste even less
  • Choose products with minimal packaging
  • Buy fewer products
  • Focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to food, possessions, etc.

Reusing is even more useful than you realize. Plus, it can save you money in the long run.

  • Look for products like rechargeable batteries
  • Use portable drinking containers for water and coffee
  • Keep your vehicles longer before trading up to the newest model
  • Don’t discard items that are no longer useful to you. Instead, give them to someone who may find them useful.

Recycling involves an initial step to find community resources and information about recycling. Most communities have active recycling programs. Some offer home collections for certain recyclable goods, in special containers. Others simply ask you to use special bags for recycling, and dispose of your recycled goods in your usual trash containers.

Most communities offer programs that provide pickup or collection of the following types of recyclable items:

  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Metals (scrap metals, aluminum cans, aluminum foil, etc.)
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard

There may be specific requirements, like storing each one separately, rinsing out cans, etc., but once you get the hang of things, you do it without even thinking about it. Most communities offer abundant resources and information about recycling these types of products.

There are some materials, though, that aren’t easy to recycle, and they cannot be disposed of by simply throwing them away. Most of them contain ingredients or components harmful to the community, if they seep into the water supply. They include the following:

  • Paint
  • Used Oil
  • Computers
  • Electronics (mobile phones, televisions, etc.)
  • Tires
  • Batteries

Earth 911 offers a database of recycling centers that you can search by item and by zip code to find a recycling center for these types of items that are difficult to recycle through traditional means.

Recycling Mattresses

Additional challenges arise for many people looking to recycle mattresses, due to their size and weight. Unfortunately, Americans discard nearly 50,000 mattresses each day to landfills across the country, according to the Mattress Recycling Council, creating a huge crisis of landfill space.

How to Recycle Mattresses

The good news is that there are recycling centers that handle large products, like mattresses, for recycling. Mattress recycling is an ideal option for disposing of old mattresses since they take up so much space in landfills and roughly 80% of the materials used to make most mattresses are recyclable.

Another option is to choose mattresses that are made of 100% recyclable materials, like 100% natural latex mattresses, as your next purchase. Work with a reputable organization to purchase your latex mattress, and ask questions about recycling the mattresses when you are done.

Of course, the other benefit of using natural latex mattresses, is the long warranty that means you won’t need to think about recycling or how to avoid landfills for a very long time. PlushBeds 100% natural latex mattresses come with a 25 year warranty.

Recycling Food Waste

When disposed of in landfills, food waste can produce significant methane gas, which contributes to global warming as a greenhouse gas.

How to Recycle Food

Is it possible to recycle or repurpose food? Some household do it every day by eating food left over from the previous evening’s meal for lunch the following day. It’s a terrific solution for eliminating a fair amount of waste.

For instance, you could cook a large roast for lunch on Sunday, slice it for sandwiches on Monday, and shred it to go with potatoes or serve over rice on Tuesday. There are limitless possibilities if you set your mind to repurposing your meals for new meals in the future.

Finally, you can compost food waste. This includes things like leftover foods, egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable cuttings, and more. Composting not only reduces the amount of waste going to landfills, but also helps return nutrients to your soil at home for vegetable or flower gardens of your own.

Recycling: How and When

The earth offers a limited amount of natural resources. Recycling helps to conserve those natural resources. The more people who participate in recycling programs now, the more generations those resources serve.

The question of how to recycle has just been answered. If you’re wondering when to recycle, the answer is now.

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    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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