Recycling At Home

Recycling at Home -Recycling bins, Recycling tips.

Recycling At Home

Read about our reviews on recycling containers, recycling bins and general recycling tips.

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The very first thing that you'll want to do when you recycle at home is find and purchase recycling containers. Having the right set up for your home is going to make your job so much easier.

The first thing that you'll need to figure out is how many bins you'll need to recycle at home. In most cases, three is the magic number. You'll have a bin for mixed recyclables, a bin for glass, and a bin for aluminum.

Figuring out how many recycling bins you'll need is as simple as calling your local recycling center to see how they separate materials.

Once you know how many recycling bins you'll need, it's time to choose the right containers for your home.

Start by thinking about how you live. Do you have easy access from your kitchen to your garage? If so, you may want to place your recycling containers in your garage. If you are using your garage as your home recycling center, your best bet is to go with plain plastic recycling bins.

You probably aren't concerned about making a fashion statement in the garage. The best bin set that I've found is the Suncast Recycle Bin Set. It comes with three bins which is perfect for most households and the bins stack quickly and easily which comes in extremely handy when you are trying to recycle in a small space.

Each bin has a lid that lifts and all lids can be lifted even when the bins are stacked.

But what if your kitchen is a long ways from the garage or you don't have a garage at all? You can still recycle, you'll just have to set up a recycling center in your kitchen. Unless you want your kitchen to look like a college dorm room, chances are good that you won't want to have plastic recycling containers cluttering up your kitchen.

The good news is that you can have function and beauty in the kitchen at the same time. We use a Stainless Steel Recycle Bin Set, that looks good and works well. The size is perfect - meaning that it doesn't take up too much room in the kitchen, and it does a good job of holding most recyclables. You may still need to store large items elsewhere, but this set does a great job of handling most things that you'll want to recycle in the kitchen.

Once you have your bins, you're ready to start recycling at home.

Recycling Tips: What To Recycle At Home

Now that you know where you are going to place your recycled products, you've got to figure out what to recycle. In all honesty, the best thing for you to do is contact your local recycling center as it's not yet an activity that's the same across the board. Different locations accept different items.

However, as a general rule, there are certain things that can be recycled pretty much everywhere and there are things that can not be recycled no matter where you live. Here's a broad overview:

Recycle Paper Logo

Recycle At Home - Paper Products

Paper Products:
Newspapers: should be saved separately.

Magazines, glossy paper, office paper, phone books, envelopes, etc should be saved together. These can all be recycled. Staples may be left in, but plastic should be removed.

Corrugated Cardboard:
is recyclable. You want to keep the cardboard dry and to remember that if it's coated with plastic or wax or is very greasy it can not be recycled.

Plastic Products:
The types of plastics that you can recycle will depend on your local recycling center. Check with your local recycling center to see what types of plastic they accept. While you are on the phone with them check to see if they provide recycling bins.

All plastic products will have a number imprinted on the bottom of them. This will help you to decide how to recycle the item.

Plastic bottles:
will usually have a #1 printed on the bottom of them. They can be recycled.

Plastic grocery bags:
These are typically a type #2 plastic and can be recycled. Many grocery stores will have an area where you can drop these off. Better yet, buy reusable bags to take to the grocery store and stop using the plastic ones completely.

Egg cartons, cups,and food trays are usually marked with a number 6:

Some recycling centers are now accepting these items but they are difficult to recycle. Try to limit using them.

Items marked with a number 5 or 7 can most likely not be recycled. Try to avoid using these items.

Recycle Logo

Recycle Whenever You Can

Glass Items:
Glass can be recycled. You may leave paper on the glass.

Some recycling centers may ask you to separate brown, green, and clear glass.

When recycling glass you can also include light bulbs (not CFL), sheet glass, and mirrors.

To recycle your compact fluorescent light bulbs contact your local recycling center to see if they accept them.

Aluminum, Steel, Copper:
Aluminum-can be recycled. This includes aluminum foil.

Paint and aerosol cans:
can be recycled but require special handling. Check with your local recycling center.

Food cans:
can be recycled. They should be rinsed out and smashed flat if possible.

can be recycled.

such as computers, printers, and other hardware can be recycled. Some recycling centers accept e-goods. You can also consider donating old e-goods.

Printer cartridges:
can be recycled. Many schools collect them and they can also be dropped off at Office Depot. When you buy new cartridges, they often come with postage paid envelopes that will allow you to send in your old cartridge.

Cell phones:
and batteries can also be recycled. One option is to drop them off at Office Depot - they will take them for free.

Recycling Tips At Home
    Start by contacting your local recycling center to see what they accept. Find out if you have curbside pick up of any items. Ask them if they will provide you with recycling bins. If they won't provide you with recycling containers, or you need something nicer to keep indoors, check out our favorite recycling products on this page for great ideas.
    Get enough recycling bins so that you have one for each type of item that you'll be recycling.
    Find a place in your garage or somewhere convenient to set up your home recycling center. A large closet in the house could work as well.
    Wash all items that have had food or liquids in them before placing them in your recycling bins.
    Have one bin in the kitchen or a designated spot for all recyclable items. Daily you can prepare your items to be taken to your recycling center at home. This is a great job for kids. If they are too small to read or remember what goes in each bin, tape a picture on the outside of each bin showing what should go in it and allow them to sort the items for you.
    If you have curbside pick-up, remember to bring your items out to be picked up. If you have to drop them off, choose a day each week or two to do so. It's worth the drive!
Great Products for Recycling at Home

Stainless Steel Recycling Bin Set. The stainless steel recycling bin set is perfect for in the kitchen where people will see them. They match well with other stainless steel appliances, and make recycling at home a breeze. Foot pedals on each bin means that you don't ever need to touch the unit with your hands.

The only drawback to this particular item is that it's not large enough to handle big items like lots of milk cartons or wine bottles. However, it's the perfect size for the kitchen and does a wonderful job of holding lots of everyday kitchen recycling.

Suncast Recycle Bin Kit This three plastic recycle bins are my favorite for a few reasons. First they're stackable which means they take up only a small amount of space, which is great for a crowded garage or closet.

Each bin is a different color which makes it easy for small children to help. They only need to know that paper goes in blue, glass in green, etc.  They're also durable and easy to use.

Reusable Grocery Totes, Super Saver 12 Pk. Twelve recycled grocery bags for under $19. These bags are washable and water resistant. Since they are also resistant to tearing, they last a long time. When you are done with them they are 100% recyclable.

Reusable & 100% Recyclable. Strong and Durable Hypoallergenic, odorless and non-toxic. Washable and water resistant. Go Green today and help keep the planet clean!!

Reusable Grocery Tote Bags 5 Pack "A World of Thanks" Print: Similar to the reusable grocery bags above, this is a five pack of larger bags for just under $10. We like to have a set of both and use the smaller ones for small heaver items like canned goods, and the larger bags for big items that are light, such as cereal boxes.

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