Tuesday, November 15, 2011

America Recycles Day

November 15 is America Recycles Day. The day focuses on the recycling portion of the "reduce, reuse, recycle" trio.

Although few are happy with the state of recycling in Wichita Falls, you can recycle more than you think you can. Anything organic can go into your city composting bin if you don't compost yourself: cardboard, paper, magazines, newspapers, garbage, yard waste, etc. I put out our compost bin almost every week there is a pick up. I put out regular trash perhaps once a month.

Of course, we drop off glass behind United Market Street and take aluminum cans to a recycler for a little extra money.

However, preventing waste to start with is important. I do look for less packaging. I choose glass containers over plastic, since we don't have a good plastics recycling option in our community and plastics contain a lot of crap I just don't want to deal with. Consider cooking more from scratch--you would be amazed how much trash you will cut out and how much less salt, sugar and other chemicals (such as BPA) you'll put into your body. Change  your newspaper subscription to the e-edition. No more black fingers, and it saves a few dollars a month too.

You can repurpose your waste by trying to do something else with it before discarding. I am not very crafty this way, but my husband found some free plastic barrels that were someone else's trash and made me some compost bins and a rainwater harvesting system--things we wanted and for a lot less money. He also tears apart old/broken wooden items and creates new things such as planters, etc. from the pieces.

Post good items to Craig's list for giveaway or for a low price. Give things to Goodwill or the Salvation Army if they are in good shape instead of throwing them away. Shop for used items--I buy most of my books used and also pick up some nice clothes and household items from thrift stores and resale shops. Anything we can get one more use out of reduces the amount of things that end up in the landfill.

Take cloth bags to the store instead of having them drop it in a plastic bag. If you have plastic bags, reuse them at least once more. Ban plastic water bottles from your house if there isn't a health reason to avoid your tap or well water (and if you get your water from the City of Wichita Falls, there isn't one.)

Here are some additional resources for you to consider:
Recycling Glass and Paper in Wichita Falls

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