Thursday, January 12, 2012

Think Thursday - Create Your Own Home Recycle Center

Setting up your home recycle center is easy and inexpensive. With a little planning, you can create a user-friendly center in your home. I use a variety of bins, trash cans and laundry baskets. You can find just about any size bins to fit your space. Before you track to the store, measure your space. (Twice I bought too large of bins and had to return to the store becasue I didn't measure first!) I bought my final bins on sale at Staples for about $4 each and the trash cans at Walmart for $1.99. I also bought three extra large trash cans for the garage for $5 each and two plastic laundry baskets for $2 each. That's a total of $35 for my one-time set up.

Our recycle center is two-fold with the first station in our kitchen:
In the kitchen, one trash can is actual trash and the other is for recycled cans, bottles and plastic (our county recycle center does not require that these be separated.) The bins are labeled "newspapers," "cardboards" - such as cereal boxes and "color papers" - such as catalogs. I took simple card stock paper (found at Hobby Lobby) and printed out the labels from my home computer and taped them on each bin so the kids could keep it all straight.

On the top of the bins, I have recycled vegetable cartons to hold light bulbs and batteries:
I also have a wall-mounted bin for plastic grocery bags (which I return to the store) and a bag for empty cardboard paper towel and t.p. rolls (which go to the art dept. at Grace's school.) All our magazines are taken to my gym for sharing.
When the kitchen bins get full, we transfer the contents downstairs to the second station where I have three large trash cans, with secure lids. Make sure you get the lids to keep bugs and animals out of the cans! The recycled cans, etc go into the trash cans and the newspapers, etc go in a plastic laundry basket with handles. We also have a "donation" box and an area for "yard sale" items.

 About once a month, when the cans are full, we track it to the recycle center in our county. I take the paper stuff to the fire station drop off centers, and the donated items to the shelters.

The kids had a hard time remembering to recycle at first, but now it's a habit! Our actual trash went from an average of one full bag per day to one per WEEK! I kid you not! For a family of five!

 Resolve to do your part this year- even if it just using BOTH sides of a sheet of paper! I'm not one to harp, chant and rave, but I do think a little goes a long way, one family at a time.

Thursdays in the Simple Life Series are all about reducing the clutter (mental and physical) you bring into your life in the first place, starting with our “green” tips. I will let you know what I am doing to make simple changes in my own life. I hope you follow along and try some of these steps yourself. Please let me know how you are coming along by leaving comments at the bottom of each post. Tell me what works, what doesn’t, if you are bored – whatever – we are learning and growing together. Hopefully by the end of this process, you will have a better view of your health, your money, your lifestyle, your dreams, your regrets and use these findings to make steps to improving your life overall.

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