I know that the idea of recycling can be quite intimidating, but my goal is to make your journey with the basics as simple and as inexpensive as possible! When it comes to recycling, it will vary quite a bit depending on the program that your city has in place. Some counties will require you to separate paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metals, and other types of solids, but others have a Single Stream Recycling Program. Single Stream, sometimes referred to as Fully Co-Mingled, gives the recycler the ability to mix everything in to one container that will be sorted by the employees at the center. Check with your local municipality because very often, with a simple online registration they can send you a recycling dumpster that can be picked up just the same as your usual trash pick up. Just to give you some insight as to what the process entails, here is a video of the workers sorting the recyclables.
I don’t have the option to get the single stream dumpster for usual trash pick up, so I made my own separate bins out of cheap metal trash cans. I realized that like most people, the three forms of waste that I accumulate the most are plastic, metals, and paper, so I only got three cans. If you consistently use another form of waste like glass or electronics, just get another trash can.
So, to make recycling as inexpensive and simple as possible, go to a super cheap store like Dollar General and get the cheapest trash cans you can find. You could go to Office Max and buy a big and expensive plastic trash can with a recycling label on it, but that’s a waste of money! I got each one of these for ONE DOLLAR!
Then, you will want to print out a label for each one so you can separate the waste because when you drop it off at the Recycling Center, you’ll have to dump each form of waste onto its own separate conveyor.
This is what mine looked like when I was done!
Here are the images that I used to turn into my labels! Just right click, save the image, then print on recycled printer paper of course!