Keeping up with the Jonses shouldn’t be a focus, even at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from our neighbours. We asked you to share your recycling tips, storage hacks, and experiences in managing your recycling now that we’re spending more time at home. We received some great ideas and below, we’ve categorized your feedback and comments.
Sort to recycle more
In a previous post, we suggested some recycling storage methods, one of which many of you have already expertly employed at home.
1. Use separate bins for paper, containers and glass to sort your material. This helps ensure you’re not rushing to separate them the night before collection day.
Other great tips you shared include:
2. Have reusable bags to sort plastic bags and other flexible plastic packaging for your next trip to the depot. To help distinguish between the two categories, check out our informative graphic illustrating the characteristics of plastic bags and overwrap vs. other flexible plastic packaging.
3. Use additional bins to separate containers you can return for a refund.
Location, location, location
Once you’ve got your storage solutions sorted the next question is where to put it all. Here are some of your ideas.
4. Centralize your recycling. Having your recycling bins in a centralized location will make it easy for everyone at home to help out and become familiar with the routine.
- If you have the space, a porch or utility closet is a great location.
- Another suggested location was under the sink or putting smaller bins in a drawer
5. Match your system to the space you have. We love the idea of putting smaller bins in a drawer. This is a great option for people living in smaller spaces. It may mean a few more trips to the recycling room but it will keep your home tidy.
Here’s an example of drawer storage from Facebook follower, Donna May
6. Put a recycling bin in the bathroom. We often overlook this space but there are plenty of items that can be recycled that originate in the bathroom, including toilet tissue cardboard rolls, boxes for toothpaste and soap, empty shampoo bottles, and empty containers for lotion or other hygiene products. Of course, ensuring each item is emptied and rinsed, and paper is kept separate and dry, is key. Try it out for yourself and let us know how if works for you!
What about the other stuff?
The Recycle BC program is responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling in the province. There are many other programs in BC for recycling items that are not packaging or paper.
7. Sort other depot items. A common item from your comments was single-use batteries. These can easily end up in a junk drawer so using a small container to keep them collected is clever. You can find a drop-off location for batteries at Call2Recycle.ca, but be sure to check location hours as they may have changed over the past few weeks.
For other inquiries about recycling material that is not packaging or paper, our friends at the Recycling Council of BC are happy to help.
8. Reuse material from your recycling, like a paper bag, to collect food scraps for compost. You can also store compost in your freezer to help eliminate any odour or pests, like fruit flies. This also makes it super easy to dump in your green bin on collection day. Your municipality often manages compost and they can best provide guidelines on what is accepted.
It’s encouraging to hear from BC residents about how they incorporate recycling into their daily habits, and how they’ve adapted them to a more home-based lifestyle. Recycle BC’s newest team member, Tessa, shared this photo of her parents recycling set-up at home. They’ve gone the extra mile to mimic a depot at home and we’re impressed! We don’t expect all residents to go this extra mile but if you have the space this is great inspiration.
Keep up the good work, BC!