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Tips for Easy Home Recycling

At Dirt Direct, we care a lot about the environment, and do what we can to be eco-friendly. We are proud to help where we can by making sure the wood waste we handle is recycled, used for fuel at energy plants, or creatively re-purposed into landscape mulch and compost. We also recycle and repurpose at home, do you? We can all do better when it comes to waste and recycling, so we thought we’d learn some new tips and share them!

Did you know?
50% of the 254 million tons of trash Americans throw away is recyclable. Unfortunately, just about 34% of the 254 million tons of trash actually gets recycled.

Being better recyclers at home is pretty easy, really, all it requires is putting a Recycling System in place that the whole family can follow. Just two simple steps will get you started:

#1 Know Your Recycling Program

Familiarize yourself with your local recycling program. What kind of program is available in your area? What are acceptable items for recycling? How do the items have to be presented for recycling? When is the pickup or do you have to bring it to a recycling center? Every recycling program is different, but most towns now have some kind of recycling program.

#2 Create Recycling Storage

Create locations in your home, garage or storage to contain recycling. It doesn’t matter whether you use an old box, a recycle bin or bags, just have something out so organizing your recycling is quick and easy. Keeping recycling containers next to the trash will help remind everyone to recycle as much as possible.

What are some things that can be recycled?

Think: newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass jars

  • Paper
  • Aluminum
  • Glass
  • Cardboard

Did you know?!
You can’t recycle pizza boxes, paper towels, or paper plates. Nothing with food debris should be recycled.

Here are some simple tips to recycle more effectively at home:

  1. Flatten cardboard boxes so that you can fit more recyclables into your bin.
  2. All plastic bottles can be recycled, from water bottles to salad dressing, so put all of them in your recycling container.
  3. It is not just newspapers that you can recycle at home. Also, recycle wrapping paper, envelopes, junk mail, birthday cards and phone books. All sorts of cardboard can be recycled, too, even toilet and paper towel tubes.
  4. Most metallic items in the home can be recycled, such as empty spray cans and tin foil, and of course, all empty soda, fruit, vegetable and other food cans.
  5. When going out, stop at your local recycling center and drop off anything that was not picked up by your curbside service. This lets you fit your recycling into your life, and will also teach your children about the importance of recycling.
  6. If you are ever unsure about what you can recycle, check with your refuse provider website. There should be comprehensive information about what is or is not suitable for your recycling container or containers. Most refuse providers also have apps for your smart phone where you can check what to and what not to recycle.
  7. Glass can be recycled endlessly; it does not wear out after several recyclings, so be sure to always recycle your glass bottles and containers.
  8. To help your recycling center and to keep down foul odors, make sure you wash food waste off of any plastic or glass food containers before putting them in the recycle bin.

Did you know?!
EcoMaine offers a terrific resource in its Recyclopedia, a tool to search individual items for the best way to dispose or recycle it!

Other Helpful Resources:




Did you know?!
Another big item that isn’t recyclable is plastic grocery bags. While they are plastic, they pose a danger to the machinery so unfortunately at this time very little recycling options are available for plastic bags.