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Advice about Recycling

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Charity, Donations & Recycling > Advice about Recycling

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Child-proof, Not-too-Ugly Recycling?


I am a big fan of recycling, but find the piles an eyesore as well as a temptation to inquisitive kids. How do you collect your weekly recycling? This is what I do, which doesn't work too well: paper bags in entry way for papers and cardboard; tall trash can in kitchen for bottles, cans and plastic. Please share any better ideas. Thank you! Louisa

Get thee to Ikea! I got a large plastic container with lid that I keep outside my door to throw cans and other recyclables into. I put used newspapers into a plain plastic bin, also outside. Both were under $10 at Ikea in the home organization section. Good luck. Julie
What to do about the recycling -- we have the same problem at our house! I recently stopped the daily paper because I couldn't deal with all the newspapers anymore. So that is one less brown paper bag to deal with. Any occasional newsprint I just add to the mixed paper. For mixed paper, I bought two blue recycling wastebaskets from Office Max - the ones like you see in people's offices - they cost about 8 bucks and they are about the same size as a paper bag. But they are better than a paper bag because they don't split, they don't fall over and they are easily identifyable by all FMs. I put one in the kitchen (for junk mail, empty cereal boxes, magazines, etc) and one in the home office (for printer and homework discards). This has worked great. Meanwhile, the cans and bottles are in the city-supplied bins outside next to the back door. We have two. The raccoons do go through them every night and they are unsightly but at least they are not inside underfoot. FMs are pretty good about tossing their bottles/cans out the back door instead of just leaving them on the kitchen counter.

The only problem I have is junk mail. About 75% of our mail is junk, including big stuff like catalogs. There's a ton of it everyday. The FM who usually sorts the mail wants to stand next to the front door to do it, and wants to be able to drop the junk into a waiting receptacle without having to go a few steps into the kitchen. I didn't want to put the recycling bin in the front entryway because it is not very attractive plus there is not a lot of space. But I haven't been able to convince this FM that he should open the mail in the kitchen. So we have an imperfect system where an attractive wastebasket has been placed in the front entryway for the purpose of opening and sorting mail. Every few days, in theory, its contents are combined with the other paper recycling in the kitchen, but in practice it is overflowing by the time recycling day rolls around and looks unsightly (except for the attractive container). So I am hoping for some hints from others about this. Ginger

What works for me is to bring in the mail every day, quickly glance through it in the vain search for "real" mail, and stick it in a box in the garage. Then once a week I sort through it, in the kitchen, near the paper recycling container :), and then I pay the bills all at once too. It does turn into a big job, but I think it saves time to do it all at once. Deborah
Our solution to the recycle container near the front door is one of those lidded kitchen trash cans in an attractive hunter green. It's larger than a usual trash can, and lidded, so the recycle stays neatly contained until we empty it each week. (And we now do empty it each week because our new maids can't seem to figure out the difference between trash and recycle, even with the international symbol taped to the front of the container!) But even if you don't empty it every week, as long as you don't get a newspaper it shouldn't be a problem. Dawn
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this page was last updated: Jun 4, 2013

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