A few years ago I found myself thinking more and more about trash. Looking back now my interest in trash seems much more normal compared to what has now grown into a bordering on unhealthy obsession with it. I am of course talking about trash and how to recycle it…you knew that, right?!
Now that we have that cleared that up I wanted to share my experience with how to start recycling at home and hopefully give you some inspiration for getting started with your own family. It does require more planning and effort than I imagined but it’s definitely doable!
Where To Start?
I think the first place to start is to find out what the regulations are for recycling in your neighborhood and what your city or county may already support. They may provide collection bins and regular pick ups. Or you may have to do a lot of the leg work yourself – and pay additional fees. In our case, the county we live in provides recycling bins for paper and co-mingled plastic, glass and aluminum and offers a weekly pick up. Lucky for me (not because I’m lazy!) I wasn’t going to have to put in much effort at all to start recycling. Great, I’m all set, ready to recycle and save the planet. Okay, maybe not quite yet…
If you are squared away with bins and pick up…let’s move on! If not, do a little homework to find out what options you have available. Neighbors can be a great resource.
The Best Bins!
I have to admit I started out as a very casual recycler and I let my family get away with putting a lot in the trash. I think we started by walking each item we were recycling out to the bin that was in the garage. We live in a split level style house and the kitchen is on one side of the house and the garage is on the other side of the house on the lower level. This was NOT convenient at all! Needless to say, not much got recycled – it was a big pain! And, at the time my kids were still pretty young so I was in no mood for any extra tasks!!
We started using paper shopping bags on the kitchen floor near the trash can to collect recyclables – also not super convenient and kind of messy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using whatever bin works for you. And reusing a paper shopping bag to collect recycling is great. However, given our space and my obsession with our house looking like no one actually lives here (which never happens) I was looking for something more.
Anyway, lucky for me (again!) we were about to embark on a major home renovation which included expanding our kitchen and getting additional cabinets. After deciding to add a bunch of pantry cabinets I realized after ditching the lazy Susan and moving all of the canned goods I would have a great corner cabinet where I could hide the trash can.
After a bit of searching online I came across this rotary recycling center. I don’t think I realized how happy this silly set of bins would make me when I ordered it. Once our contractor installed it I couldn’t get enough of it. It was truly my favorite part of the kitchen renovation – really. I LOVED (and still do!) having the trash can hidden and what’s more I had an actual recycling collection center! We were big time now. No more walking to the garage, no more kicking the bag of paper recycling across the floor, just nice, neat, hidden bins.
Unfortunately, I had a seriously confused family. They couldn’t figure out which cabinet door the trash can was now hiding behind and when they finally did they came face to face with three identical looking bins that spun around and around. Did I mention I didn’t realize getting good at recycling would take more planning and effort than I realized? Well, I didn’t give up that easily. Stay tuned for ways to help your family choose the right bin every time!