According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, paper, plastics, and organics are still the top three components of our garbage in Minnesota. Paper makes up a quarter of what goes in the trash, 18% are materials made of plastic, 31% is organics. Reducing and recycling means less waste in landfills and more resources to make new products.
Five ways to get organized and reduce waste
Regain control of your surroundings and stuff during Get Organized Month this January by following these five easy and practical steps to reduce waste.
1) Stop unwanted advertising mail. RethinkRecycling.com tells you how to do it!
2) Buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging. For example, buy juice, snacks and other lunch items in bulk and use reusable containers to bring them to school or work.
3) Buy smaller quantities of perishable foods. It saves rotten tomatoes from the landfill and saves you money!
4) Shop with reusable bags beyond the grocery store. Remember to bring bags with you when you go to department and hardware stores, clothing retailers and everywhere else you shop!
5) Reduce waste by purchasing durable goods and reusing, repairing, sharing, and donating items instead of throwing them away
Get more great organizational tips from the National Association of Professional Organizers blog.
Top items to recycle consistently
How many of us have made a New Year's resolution only to realize we bit off more than we can chew? Keep your resolution simple to be successful by focusing on being better at recycling one or two more items. Once you’ve mastered those, challenge yourself to keep recycling more! Here in the Twin Cities, everyone gets curbside recycling, but some things are not always accepted for recycling by your hauler. Remember to recycle these items that all haulers take:
● Aluminum and metal food and beverage cans;
● Glass food and beverage bottles and jars;
● Paper (including magazines, newspapers, cardboard and cereal boxes);
● Plastic bottles and jugs (including milk and juice jugs, water and ketchup bottles);
● Cartons (including milk cartons and juice boxes).
When you start with these standard items, it's easy to keep a New Year's recycling resolution. Remember to collect recyclables throughout your house; not just in the kitchen! Collect recyclables from the bathroom, laundry room and office as well. Keep yourself accountable by letting all your friends and family know your new goal. You might even be able to save money by downsizing your trash bin! RethinkRecycling.com has more information on what can and can't be recycled.
Minnesotans have the second best recycling rate in the country. But as mentioned earlier, a large part of what still goes in the trash is recyclable. When you reduce, reuse, or recycle you help:
● Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators;
● Conserve natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
● Reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change;
● Help sustain the environment for future generations;
● Help create well-paying jobs in U.S. recycling and manufacturing industries;
● Help create the more than 4,500 products that use recycled materials.
By recycling over 2.3 million tons each year, Minnesotans are making a big impact! Make that resolution to join your neighbors and recycle!
Rethink Recycling is your “go-to” guide for recycling in the Twin Cities. Visit us at: www.rethinkrecycling.com