Nearly all Canadians have a residential recycling program available to them. Statistics Canada reports that nearly 98% of residents utilize this type of service. However, far too many are not following best practices resulting in millions spent and massive amounts of recyclables ending up in our landfills. Life transitions like moves and remodels generate huge amounts of waste and not everyone knows how best to dispose of it. This can be improved by following some guidelines and making recycling a normal part of your household cleaning.

Learn the Recycling Rules in Your Area

Curbside recycling makes it very convenient to recycle household waste but it’s important that you follow the guidelines in your area. Some cities take only basics such as paper, cardboard, glass, and cans. Some allow plastic shopping bags while many others do not. A quick visit to your city’s waste disposal website will detail what you can and cannot put in your bins. Organic and artificial garden waste can often be recycled, too. For bulk recycling following a move or remodel there are often depots available throughout the city where items can be dropped off.

Make it Part of Your Routine

In order to have the biggest impact you have to make reducing and recycling a part of your routine. Have designated bins for recycling alongside all the garbage bins in your house. Choose cleaning products that are less toxic and have recyclable packaging. Use microfibre cloths and cloth napkins instead of paper goods. Whether cooking, cleaning, working, or playing recycling can be present in every part of your routine.

Recycle the Right Way

Once those plastics have been reused to the point of no return it’s time to send them to be recycled. If you want those items to actually get recycled, it is paramount that you recycle the right way. Your bin, along with all the others in your city, go to a sorting facility. If your items are in a trash bag inside your bin, they will get tossed out and head to the landfill. If you do not properly clean your items before putting them in the bin, they could cause that item and much more to head to the dump. Why? Contamination. CBC reported that one spoonful of peanut butter left in a jar could contaminate an entire tonne of paper and send the whole lot to the landfill. Recycling the right way matters or you may not be recycling at all.

Canadians have the best intentions when it comes to recycling, as evidenced by nearly all of us utilizing local recycling services. It’s time to up our game and become more responsible for our waste to ensure our items actually get recycled and we reduce the amount of waste we send out of our homes for processing.

Credits:  Jennifer Veidman, Calgary Alberta