How Can I Reduce When I Can’t Recycle?

I remember when the recycling movement began when I was a kid. As a member of Campfire (basically like Girl Scouts) we took a field trip to the local recycling center where they taught us the importance of recycling, how to recycle, and even showed us the magnet test to see what metals were recyclable. From that point on my family would collect our recyclables and take weekly trips to the recycle center.

I must admit, after initially living on our own we failed on the recycling front. We didn’t recycle at our home and didn’t think much about it. However, 2 years ago we came back with tenacity. I set up bins and recycled everything we could. It something we think is very important and we keep as a priority in our household.

As time goes on the recycling movement has evolved. More items have become recyclable and most locations offer curbside pick up. Unfortunately our municipality is severely behind the curve on evolution of recycling. So much that it seems like we’re regressing. We are limited in what we can recycle. If it’s not classified as 1 (PETE) or 2 (HDPE) plastic, paper, or aluminum our area will not accept it. In addition, not only does our city not offer curbside recycling, but also at the end of April all of our local recycle centers were closed. What?! Yep, that’s right. The good thing: some local waste companies offer recycling. The bad: as with many things, there are tradeoffs.

At this point I’m trying to figure out what is the best choice, not only for us, but the Earth.  In the meantime I cringe and my heart breaks everytime I throw a recyclable item in the trash.

Be grateful and keep smiling. =)


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