How to Recycle

To start recycling you need to have some plastic bins.

After you collect some plastic bins, find out what you can recycle. To find out you can contact your local Department of Public Works (or go to their site) to find out what materials they process. These items can include: glass bottles, newspapers and certain plastics are common, but each city has different capabilities and policies. It is important to adhere to local regulations.

After finding out what you can recycle, you’ll need to locate a nearby recycling center. Though curbside recycling services are available in many areas; however, depending on where you live you may need to transport your own recycling to a service center.

Purchase your recycling bins (if you haven’t already). Some areas require you to sort your materials by category (plastics, paper, cans, etc), while others allow you to mix everything together. Check your local regulations and purchase bins accordingly. Bins with lids are ideal because they prevent spills and mask odors. Note that some areas allow recycling to be kept in plastic bags while others do not.

Set up your system. Once you have your bins, it’s time to set up your in-house recycling center. Recycled materials can add up, so choose an accessible spot that has a decent amount of space.

Check your glasses and plastics. Plastic and glass items usually have a “chasing arrow” logo encircling a number that indicates their type. This does not automatically make them recyclable. Check your local regulations to see which types are accepted and whether or not they need to be separated from each other.

Clean items before recycling them. Rinse off food or drink residue before placing them in a bin. Clean materials are worth more to recycling facilities and they won’t generate nasty smells in your bins. You don’t need to clean your recyclables as thoroughly as a plate you’re about to eat from, but give them a decent rinse.

Now take your recycling into your local recycling center or to the curb weekly and continue to sort and recycle.


Good luck!


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