Recycling is struggling in the US. While we are still adjusting to China banning imports of recycled materials, we also struggle with getting materials to their best next lifecycle step.
But there is one simple thing we can do to improve the quantity and quality of recycled materials: refresh our local recycling rules.
Local Recycling Rules
Cities and townships often create a guide on what can be recycled and how to recycle materials. Different systems can accept different types of materials and it’s important to follow the rules. Often when incorrect items are placed in recycling bins the entire bin has to be thrown out.
Downloading or requesting an up-to-date recycling guide from your city or township will refresh your awareness, helping you become a rock star recycler.
Why is it helpful
If we learned to recycle as kids or teenagers, often we carry those rules forward. However when we move or just over time recycling capacity and services change from place to place.
Keeping a guide visible near your recycling helps you quickly reference and reiterate updated rules. Over time it can feel more like second nature, where you can even neighbors or coworkers properly discard their materials.
Where to find
Oftentimes recycling guides can be found online on your city or townships pages. Or if it is managed by private haulers only, a guide can be requested from your recycling provider. If all else fails, ask neighbors or community organizations where you might find an up-to-date resource.
Don’t forget to share
If you find some rules have changed, it’s a great idea to share this news with friends. Recycling rules rarely make the evening news or headline papers, so sharing with friends can give it a signal boost with your peers that also care about the planet.