Where I live, in Richardson, Texas, they make it extremely easy for residents to participate in recycling. They offer mixed use recycling (no sorting!), and residents use “blue bags” for recycling item pick up once a week, which the city then takes to a local Materials Recovery Facility for processesing.
The city also offers document shredding and electronics recycling for an additional fee, and sponsors community clean up events.
Accepted Materials in the City of Richardson’s Recycle Program
The items below can all be placed in the blue bags:
Plastics #1-7 (excluding Styrofoam), Aluminum, Tin, Steel, Empty Aerosol Cans, Newspapers, Mixed Paper, Paper Grocery Bags, Magazines, Catalogs, Corrugated Cardboard, Paperboard/Chipboard, Phone Books, Junk Mail, Glass Containers (All Color Glass)
Hazardous Waste Disposal
This is one area which I am sad to say I fall short by my lack of follow through. The City of Richardson advises some clear warnings about hazardous waste disposal, but when it comes to batteries and old light bulbs, I have been negligent in applying the same standards I have as other sustainability initiatives. One might say that this is definitely my “growth opportunity”.
The City of Richardson advises the following information regarding household hazardous waste:
USE UP ENTIRELY:
Always read labels and follow directions carefully. If you can’t use a product up, try to find a neighbor, friend, or community organization who can.
STORE IN A COOL DRY PLACE:
Between collection events or trips to the recycle center, keep all hazardous products in original containers with lids fastened securely. Do not mix, combine, or consolidate them.
RECYCLE OR TAKE TO COLLECTION SITE:
Never throw hazardous products away with your regular trash. Motor oil, brake and transmission fluid, antifreeze, and car batteries can be recycled at most auto service facilities or auto parts stores.
USE ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE PRODUCTS:
Use latex paints instead of oil-based paints. Look for products that say: Environmentally safe, Biodegradable, Contains no phosphorus, Non-toxic, Non-corrosive.
DON’T LET PRODUCTS GO TO WASTE:
Buy only what is needed to do the job. Avoid over- purchasing with the thought it can be used later.
DISPOSE OF IT CORRECTLY:
Household chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, and batteries should be taken the the Home Chemical Collection Center.
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