Are you tired of the constant increase in waste in your home and are looking to recycle it as soon as possible? Look no further. Recycling is critical for waste reduction, pollution control, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity preservation. In an era where environmental sustainability is paramount, recycling at home allows you to contribute to this important initiative aiming to protect the environment. Whether you are a seasoned environmentalist or are just a common citizen looking to live a greener lifestyle, this guide will enlighten you with all the important information to initiate successful recycling at home. However, understanding what things can be recycled and what not is a confusing thing for most people. Therefore, to ensure proper recycling, you should have a clear understanding of what to recycle and how to recycle. In this blog, we will shed light on what recycling is, what things can be recycled, and steps for successful recycling at home.
What is Recycling?
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing waste materials and converting them into new and useful products. There are a variety of materials like iron, steel, aluminum, glass bottles, paper, wood, plastic, etc., that can easily be recycled and used as raw materials for creating new things. There are many benefits of recycling, such as:
- Environment Sustainability or Conserve Natural Resources
- Energy Saving
- Waste Reduction
- Lower Greenhouse Gas Emission
- Reduction of Water and Air Pollution
- Preservation of Ecosystem and Wildlife
- Reduces Harvest New Materials Needs
- Create Green Jobs
What can be Recycled?
- Paper and Cardboard: Newspapers, magazines, office paper, cardboard, cardboard containers, and boxes, mail, and paper packaging
- Plastic: Bottles, containers, plastic bags, wraps, and films, rigid plastic items, and other plastic items with recycling symbols
- Glass: Glass Bottles and jars
- Metal: Aluminum cans, steel cans, aluminum foil, tin cans, and metal containers
- Electronics: Old computers, cell phones, printers, household appliances, and other electronic devices
- Batteries: Dry cell batteries, other Rechargeable batteries, and some single-use batteries
- Organic Waste: Food scraps, Yard waste, Compostable materials
- Textiles: Clothing and fabrics in good condition
What cannot be Recycled?
- Cup with a plastic coating
- Shiny or laminated-coated gift wrap
- Ceramics, ovenware, or light bulbs
- Compostable or bio-based plastics
- Broken glass
- Lawn Material
- Takeaway coffee cups
- Garden waste
- Syringes or medical waste
- Polystyrene foam plastic boxes
Steps to Do Successful Recycling
To perform proper and legal recycling, it’s essential to have a clear idea of your local recycling guidelines. After that, follow the below steps to ensure successful recycling:
Create a Recycling Station
Creating a recycling station is the first step in starting a recycling process at home. Designate a particular area in your home and place different bins or containers for different types of waste like paper, plastic, organic, metal, etc. You can also use a single trash can with separate compartments for recycling, which is a more convenient and affordable option. Moreover, remember to use separate trash bins for dry and wet waste in the initial stage itself.
Find out what things you can Recycle at Home
There is a variety of recyclable things, but not everything can be recycled at home. It’s crucial to differentiate between those in order to avoid harmful consequences. Common recyclable things include paper, cardboard, bottles, glass, steel cans, organic waste, etc. However, there is a type of paper called shredded paper that cannot be recycled; therefore, it’s vital to put it in the nonrecyclable items bin. Besides that, a variety of recyclable batteries, like Lithium-ion Batteries, Lithium Metal Batteries, etc., cannot be placed in any home recycling bin due to their harmful nature. They should be sent directly to dedicated in-store recycling bins or household hazardous waste collection.
Sort and Rinse
Now that you have collected all the recyclable items separately, it’s crucial to place them in separate bins according to their nature. First, store your recyclable items in a separate place and then sort recyclables from nonrecyclables to avoid confusion. Start by cleaning the containers to prevent contamination. After that, sort the recyclable items, such as paper, plastic, metal, glass, electronics, etc., into separate bins. Remember to remove the lids, cap, grease, or anything that can cause disturbance while recycling.
Compost Organic Waste
Now, as you have prepared a separate trash bin for wet waste like fruits and vegetable peels, yard clippings, leftover food, tea bags, etc., compost it properly to reduce waste at landfills. Use a countertop composter to store such organic waste and use it in your garden as manure. Composting is the process of decomposing organic waste into nutrient-rich manure, which improves the soil condition and makes it more fertile.
Reduce, Reuse, and Donate
Recycling is the last option; before that, try reusing things whenever possible and reduce waste. For example, use cloth bags for shopping in order to reduce plastic bags and paper bag waste. Besides that, things like books, blankets, clothes, appliances, etc., that are in fine condition can be donated or even resold at a lower price. Donating such things not only reduces waste but also makes a needy person happy.
Send Recyclable things to the Proper Facilities
After composting organic things and reusing and donating the other reusable things, the leftover items should now be sent to recycling facilities for proper recycling, which cannot happen at home. Before sending them to the recycling facility, remember to review your city’s recycling guidelines to know what things they recycle. Based on that, avoid adding anything that is recyclable, but your recycling facility does not recycle it. Sending such things can lead to contamination.
Dispose of Hazardous Waste Responsibly
Hazardous waste like batteries, chemicals, etc., cannot be recycled either at home or at local recycling facilities. Therefore, contact your local programs for disposing of such materials as they require specialized recycling through advanced disposal methods. Never throw such things in your regular bins of any type.
In conclusion, we can say that recycling is a great initiative that allows you to take meaningful steps toward environmental sustainability and the conservation of resources. We have discussed what things can be recycled and what cannot be. This helps you sort and recycle the items in the correct way. At last, we have mentioned the important steps for recycling waste and other reusable things at home and sending harmful waste to specialized recycling centers.