Designate a place to put items for recycling in your home

Recycle

It is good to instill the habit of sending recyclable items for recycling. An effective way to do this is to designate one or more spots in your home for yourself or your family members to place recyclable items such as paper, plastic bottles and glass.

In our home in the past, we did not have a fix place to place recyclable items. And yet, I am really serious about recycling items. If an item can be reused, why do we want to increase the volume in the landfill. So we tried make ‘mental notes’ of items that we wanted to recycle by not throwing it away.

After a while, these things turned to cluttered- occupying unnecessary space on surfaces and drawers as we soon forget about them.

Subsequently, I came up with a simple system to store items that I wish to recycle. I had some colourful bins that I had bought from Daiso (like below):

Plastic bins

….which I then converted a bright pink one to a recycling bin. I used a white sticker and labeled the bin “Recycle Bin” and placed the bin at a strategic corner of my living room (but does not obstruct anyone).

Recyclable items are placed inside:

  • cardboard (tissue boxes, packaging)
  • paper (especially from the mail and envelopes)
  • small items to be given away for charity

At the same time, I also had a bigger section located outside my kitchen next to my washing machine. Instead of throwing away a leaking plastic pail, I used it to house recyclable items such as cardboard egg shell holder, glass ketchup and sauce bottles, cans, plastic bottles which I would not leave in my living room (in case it attracted ants).

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When I purchase dog food or rice, I have a bigger sack which I would use it to store these recyclable items.

Once the recycled box in my living room is getting full, I will empty it into the container at the back.

Every few weeks, I will gather up the items and drop them off. For items to be given to charity, I would drop them off at a charity bin located not far from my home.

Where do I send the recyclable items to

Instead of dropping off the items at a recycling center or selling them,  I drive and drop these items directly at the home of an old lady who stayed not far from my house. This lady seemed to make a living out of renting out her room and also collecting recyclable items from the homes and offices around the neighborhood.

When she sees me she is always thankful – she told me that I could just leave the items outside my house instead of driving to her house and dropping it there but I really wanted to save her the trouble. I used to feel sorry for her to have to push her trolley around to walk through roads and streets to collect these items. Sometimes she gets caught in the rain. She would refuse help – for example once when it was raining and I was driving back and I saw her pushing her trolley uphill against the rain- she did not want to trouble me to help (nowadays she would go out with a raincoat when she noticed the sky is getting gloomy).

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And you know what, few times the trash collectors threw away the cover of my rubbish bin, perhaps in their haste to clear the rubbish. This kind lady had been able to provide me with 2 bin covers (that she had picked up from elsewhere) so that I need not buy a new trash bin each time my bin cover gets thrown away (because stores do not just sell the covers, if you lost the cover, you need to buy the whole bin).

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