Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recycling 101

Since mentioning that we usually only have 1 kitchen bag of trash a week, I've been asked how we recycle most of our trash. I thought I'd share my process.

I start out by keeping a small trash can that can fit in a cabinet. I rinse or wash out any food particles first, and then I place all glass, aluminum, plastic and paper that can be recycled in this can. It's small so we have to empty it every other day or two days. Keeping this small can in the kitchen makes it easier to collect recyclable without running out to the big recycle bin all the time. I also have a basket under my coffee table that keeps newspapers, magazines and other paper.

Our main recycle bin is kept in the garage by the door (easy access). We bought this 3 bin organizer at Target a few years ago for about $30.00. You may be able to find one cheaper now, I recently saw them on clearance at Big Lots for $10. It's very durable and has been well worth the money. We use it to organize and divide our recyclables; one drawer for plastic, glass and aluminum, one for plastic bags, and one for paper. I've started using re-usable bags for grocery shopping, so we will probably soon re-assign that drawer to something else (probably divide the plastic or glass out of the top drawer). When the drawers/bins are full, we simply pull them out, load them in the car to drop at a recycling center.

There are many Recycle Drop-Off Locations and 3 Recycle Convenience Centers in Metro Nashville. The Recycling Convenience Centers also will accept items such as regular household trash, mattresses, old furniture. The center in East Nashville will accept hazardous household waste like old batteries, paint, and computer monitors.

These are other middle Tennnessee counties that have recycling programs that I found:




Robertson - White House



By recycling most of our trash and composting alot of our food scraps, we have been able to cut the amount of actual trash to about 1 kitchen bag a week. This is not only enviromentally friendly but also frugal. We don't use many trashbags. We also recently stopped our trash pickup service, it seemed silly to pay someone to come pick up one bag of trash a week. Now we will just dump that trash when we take our recycling to one of the convenience centers.

Of course, our system is not for everyone. But, I hope you will be inspired to find some ways to reduce your trash output.

Do you have a different way of recycling or frugal way to cut household costs? Let me know! I'm always looking for new and inventive ideas.

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