Monday, January 26, 2009

Full-on household recycling...go for it!

Even if you’re not into resolutions, this time of year you can’t help but give some thought to the year ahead. For me the New Year is my cue to get organized and get rid of useless clutter. What we define as “useless clutter” is all a matter of perspective of course but we packrats are not immune to the need to get our homes – and by extension our lives - in order come January.

I suppose some people go looking for a life coach or a personal organizer, but a few Rubbermaid bins do the trick for me. That’s because tackling home recycling is a great way to get organized. And I mean recycling beyond wine and beer bottles and the newspaper. If you have that down pat then it’s time to move to full-on household recycling that includes rigid plastics, soft plastics and cans.

The only thing that requires any real effort is hauling your recyclables off to the blue bins. Thankfully there is a local service to look after that for you. For $15 a month you can have your sorted recyclables picked up curbside each week by a company called The Blue Run (, 657-BLUE).

With the biggest deterrent out of the way you can think of a system to keep the recyclables moving out of the kitchen, sorted, and stored in some organized fashion. We use plastic bins – two in the basement for paper and cardboard and two in the garage, one for containers that are redeemable and one for rigid plastic. We don’t have much in the way of cans so the few that come along get tossed in with the plastics. But if you have lots of cans then opt for an extra bin. The soft plastic, like bread bags, gets bagged and thrown on top. So that’s all it takes, four or five bins and a place to put them.

Here’s what can go in your bins:
Any rigid plastic with a recycling symbol on it (look for the numbers one through seven). That includes plastic milk jugs and mini yogurt containers. Be sure to rinse the containers and remove lids.

Soft plastic bags and wrappers, as long as they’re clean.

Clean paper and clean, unwaxed cardboard, including magazines, envelopes, toilet paper rolls and cereal boxes.

Tin cans, coat hangers, aluminium pie plates and clean tinfoil.

There is a complete list on the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission website ( or you can call the hotline at 738-1212. Also on the website are some great ideas for home recycling setups.

If you’ve every wondered where to start when it comes to getting organized, trying your hand at whole-home recycling is a do-it-yourself sort of therapy that I’d recommend.

One more thing, don’t forget to compost your Christmas tree. If you live in Rothesay or Quispamsis, January 10th is the drop off deadline. For those of you in Hampton, have your tree to the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Monday, January 5. Contact the Fundy Solid Waste Commission for details.

This column also appeared in KV Style

1 comment:

beth said...

Bridget!!!!! This is AWESOME! what a great idea! Good for you...keep it up!