Okay, in this time of environmental awareness, I am so not getting this.  When I was at my Aunt & Uncle’s home, I opened a can of something, cleaned it out, and then asked where their recycling was.  They told me to just throw it in the regular trash.  Huh?  So it goes into the landfill?  My cousin piped up and said, yeah, I just threw the phone book in the regular trash because we don’t have recycling here.  I about had a heart attack and a stroke.  I felt like I was committing a crime against nature.


In my little part of the world, there are different types of trash collection, which is paid for by me and supplied by my garbage company.  Regular trash, paper trash (including cardboard), cans, bottles and plastics (depending on the number on the bottom of the plastic container).  We have a toter (or your own garbage cans) for regular trash and two recycling bins for items to be recycled.  Two trucks drive by, one regular trash truck, and one with compartments for recyclables.  We are threatened with fines if we don’t recycle.

At work we have one big dumpster, a smaller paper/cardboard dumpster, and two toters for cans, bottles and plastics.  And it’s not reasonable, but in the long run, it is very reasonable.  It also takes up a lot of parking lot space, but this is what is required of us in New York State.  And it’s just part of what we do.  Break down boxes, wash out cans and bottles, and keep them all separated.

So, please tell me, because I am very curious, what do you do in your part of the world about recycling, if anything?


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruth
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 10:25:00

    We have a very active recycling program in our area of Ontario. Blue boxes for plastics, paper, carboard, aluminum, glass and cartons (like milk cartons) and we have green bins for compost. We add vegetable matter, bones, meat, pet waste, kleenex, paper towels to our green bin. I cannot put all that stuff in my composter in the yard. That leaves very little for a garbage bag. We also have special yard waste trucks for leaves, branches, garden waste.


  2. Kathleen
    Dec 01, 2008 @ 18:15:27

    Unfortunately, we are a bit behind you and Ruth. In my township, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, we are provided with a blue bin for montly recycling of glass, plastic and aluminum. That’s it.

    My mother’s church has a recycling/fundrasiing program for paper. The good news is that they will take newspapers, phone books, magazine, junk mail,etc. But, no cardboard.

    I am a teacher and our school district is supposed to be recycling, but I don’t trust that it happens. I carry all my paper (school and home) to my mom’s church.


  3. Liza Lee Miller
    Dec 02, 2008 @ 00:28:14

    Oh, here in Santa Cruz county California, you gotta believe that we recycle. We just got a new garbage company and they will fine you if you don’t recycle enough of the stuff that could be recycled. We have one recycle bin for everything (even those evil plastic bags from the grocery store). They sort it at their facility which is nice. So, we have garbage, recyclables, and green yard waste containers at the curb every Friday morning. Living Green in CA. 🙂


  4. jayne
    Dec 02, 2008 @ 07:46:18

    No county recycling here. We have to collect, sort, and then carry it to a recycling center.


  5. Linda in Erie
    Dec 03, 2008 @ 02:40:41

    We recycle but sometimes I question if more energy is used and water wasted washing out the cans than what we save by recycling. I personally don’t buy very many items in cans anymore.


  6. Kathi
    Dec 04, 2008 @ 11:04:07


    We don’t have curbside recycling, so I have to sort and store my stuff till I can get it to the community bins for pick-up. I do bimetal and aluminum, cans, glass bottles, #1 & #2 plastic, newspapers, magazines, cardboard and paperboard. I haven’t gotten around to doing other paper yet.

    I have cut my trash down to 1 garbage can every two weeks. Unfortunately, I still pay the same for trash service as my neigbors who have several cans every week. Can’t convince the garbage service to base their fees on the volume of trash per household. Seems like I should get a discount!

    Ruth: As a general rule, it is not safe to deposit pet waste in your compost pile, especially not if you plan on using that compost in your garden. Domestic compost piles rarely get hot enough to destroy the bugs in pet feces, and you could be exposing yourself and your family to any number of zoonotic organisms, including roundworms, hookworms, and Toxoplasmosis, all of which are contagious to people.


  7. Mary Carlson
    Dec 04, 2008 @ 22:20:29

    Santa Clara County, California has a recycling program much like Santa Cruz County that Liza Lee commented about. We have 3 separate pick-ups. One for garbage, one for all kinds of recyclables, and one for yard waste. Paper, cardboard, textiles, plastic and glass can all be put in our recycling bins for pick up, and the waste management folks do the sorting.


  8. bevson
    Dec 05, 2008 @ 07:48:18

    Here in northern NJ in a rural mountaintop lake community, we have regular garbage which we are required to have in bear-resistant cans (supplied free to the homeowner) and weekly recycling. One week it’s glass, metal, plastic (which we do not separate) and the next week it’s paper, cardboard, junk mail. We do not have any yard waste removal, if you do not dump it in the woods, you can load up your car or truck and haul it to the recycling center where there is a giant field to dump your yard stuff. The good point of that is that there is free mulch there for the taking.


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