Monday, March 24, 2008

Curbside Recycling - Week 1

We received our recycling can 1 week ago. I've been very disappointed with what we can actually put in the can. I decided to make a list of things that we have put in our regular garbage that have the recycle symbol on them. In case some of you may not know, I'm going to first show the recycle symbols and then give some examples of what the symbol would be found on. There are more recycle symbols than I will show here. I'm only going to show the ones that I have found common in my house.

Polyethylene Terephalate Ethylene - Used for soft drink, juice, water, detergent, and cleaner bottles. Also used for cooking and peanut butter jars. Found in my house on water and juice bottles.

High Density Polyethylene - Used in milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent, and shampoo bottles. Found in my house on store brand whipped topping containers and milk jugs.

Polypropylene - Commonly used in caps, syrup bottles, straws, and film packaging. Found in my house on cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt containers.

The paper that was delivered with our recycle can said, in part, "Items you can recycle," and then had the following things listed:
Newspaper, Magazines, Phone Books, Office Paper
Tin Cans, Aluminum Cans
All Number 1 & 2 Plastics in Bottle Form
Corrugated Cardboard, Cereal Boxes, Egg Cartons
Brown Grocery Bags, Plastic Film
Small Appliances - i.e. irons, toasters
Pots and Pans
Metal Clothes Hangers, Copper, Brass, & Scrap Aluminum

Here are the things that we have put into our recycling can.
Milk Jugs
Egg Cartons
Soup and Fruit Cans
Newspapers and Magazines (which we were already taking to the recycle bin at Woods Cross Elementary School)

Now, more importantly, here are the things that have the above recycle symbols on them that have had to go into our regular garbage can.
Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, and Yogurt Containers (all PP5)
Store Brand Whipped Topping Containers (HDPE 2, but, not in bottle form)
Plastic Grocery Bags

For the first week of our recycling endeavor, we have only been able to remove about 5% of our garbage and put it in the recycle can. Notice also that Bountiful's Recycle Bins allow you to put glass in them, however, our curbside program doesn't allow glass in any form. Another big problem that I've seen with the recycle cans is citizens filling them with non-recyclable garbage. Just last Saturday I was driving on one of our streets in Woods Cross and noticed somebody pruning bushes and putting the clippings in the blue can. There is no way that the driver who dumps the cans will be able to check the contents of every can before it is dumped into the truck, thus, the garbage will have to be dealt with at some point. I'm still not sold on curbside recycling. What things have you put in your recycle can? What things do you think you should have been able to put in it?

1 comment:

Jesse Harris said...

About the only way we actually use the recycling can is to keep it on the back patio so we can step outside from the kitchen and throw it in there immediately. Even then, we have to remember to wheel it through the garage on the pickup day or risk a stockpile of "to be recycled" boxes in our garage. Is it a nice idea? Sure, but it's a bit of a hassle.