It’s a couple of days before collection day and your recycling bin is looking pretty full – what to do? If that’s a common occurrence for you, especially now that many of us are staying home more, here are some tips:
1. Compact your materials
If materials are big, bulky and full of air, try compacting them to make room for more materials. Put simply, smoosh them! Flatten plastic jugs, cartons, and boxes. Test your strength and give metal cans a little squeeze. Consider it part of your at-home fitness regime.
2. Take soft plastics and foam to the depot
If some depot-only materials are sneaking into your bin, make sure you drop them at a depot or London Drugs store. Plastic bags and overwrap (like shopping bags), other flexible plastic packaging (like crinkly wrappers and stand-up and zipper-lock pouches), foam packaging, and in some communities, glass, don’t go in your home recycling bin. But they can be returned to your nearest depot.
3. Leave out not-accepted items
Keep not-accepted items out of your bins to make more room for the accepted ones! Things like toys, scrap metal, hazardous material, electronics, plastic products (like furniture) should not go in your recycling bins. Consider donating them and keep them out of bins to make room for your packaging and paper recycling.
4. Flatten and stack cardboard
If your community uses blue boxes that are collected manually by drivers, and your cardboard does not fit in your paper box or bag, flatten, cut to 30” x 30”, and place beside your blue box or between box and bag for collection. If you use carts, cut even smaller so it fits inside. Many of us have transitioned to doing more shopping online, so we totally understand the cardboard surplus!
5. Request an additional recycling bin/bag
If you regularly have more recycling than your bin can accommodate, you might want to see if getting an additional bin or bag is an option. You can often request them from your recycling service provider.
6. Set out a second bin
If your community uses blue boxes that are collected manually by drivers, there is no limit to the amount of recycling you can set out on your collection day. So if you have too much material for your bin from time to time, place additional materials that do not fit in your recycling bin in any rigid container, like a laundry hamper or storage container, and set out for pick up. Remember to continue to sort recycling and keep materials separated like you normally would.
7. Reduce and reuse
See if you can reduce the amount of packaging you use. Or reuse items a few times when you can before setting out for collection. Empty yogurt containers are really great for storing leftovers and sometimes less really is more.
We hope these ideas help make room in your bin for all your packaging and paper recycling. Remember, communities across the province collect material using different systems (one cart, one bin, multiple bins) using different collection vehicles and methods (automated, semi-automated, manual), so all the ideas may not work in all communities. Check with your recycling service provider for more info.