1. Know what is recyclable. Items that are accepted by your local recycling vendor vary by county. Obtain a factsheet from your local recycling vendor that lists items that are recyclable and hang the list in a prominent location near your recycling bins and refer to it often. If you live in Onondaga County, click here to find out what's recyclable.
We have good news for Onondaga County residents: #5 plastics are now recyclable! Place yogurt containers, margarine tubs, and cottage cheese containers (i.e., wide-mouthed, tub shaped plastic containers with the number 5 on the bottom of them) in your blue bin
2. Sorting your recyclables. Consult the rules of your local recycling vendor to find out whether they require that you separate your recyclables (e.g., separate bins for papers and containers). If you live in Onondaga County, OCRRA recommends that you continue to separate your recyclable papers from containers. Click here to find out more information on how haulers collect recyclables.
3. Assign a home for recyclables. Everything needs a home, even your recycling. Make it easy for yourself by having small recycling receptacles where your recycling is generated (e.g., in the kitchen and office). Once a week, or when full, empty these small receptacles into your blue bins which can be kept in your garage or in a hallway closet. Click here to find out how to obtain a blue bin.
4. Assign chores. Just like laundry, dishes, and other household chores, taking out the garbage is a necessary evil. Some families assign the same chore to each family member each week while others rotate chores weekly. Do what works best for your family but hold someone accountable for taking the trash and recycling out either the night before or the morning of trash/recycling pick up day. Consult your local municipality to identify which day your trash/recycling is picked up.
Elizabeth Bremer, CPO®