This week I ran into some more complications with my neighbours and their habits in properly disposing of their residential refuse.
Their habits to not separate their garbage and recycling and just dumping all of their refuse in the “garbage chute room” often times contaminates when recyclable materials are stored in the recycle bin.
Recyclables, that often times other residents have gone to the trouble (responsibility) of cleaning and making sure their items are ready for recycling.
But this carelessness often just renders everything non-recyclable and then it just ends up in the trash compactor and then in a landfill.
Lately, I have been thinking about the amount of recycling that comes out of my place with just me living here and that sometimes I am lazy and just chucking my shampoo bottle or the box my bar of soap came in, right into my trash.
Did you know that Brits will recycle 90% of their kitchen waste but only 50% of recyclables from the bathroom.
With bathroom waste counting for 30 to 40% of waste that reaches a landfill in the UK and only 20% of US Citizens recycling any of their recyclable bathroom waste, pardon the expression, but the shit is really piling up.
Just about everything I pick up from the pharmacy/chemist shop comes either in a plastic container or a plastic container inside a cardboard box with a bunch of papers for instructions. (Recycling your Prescription Pill bottles in Calgary)
I think about my prescription medications and I am disposing of; 8 pill bottles, blister seals for 240 pills, boxes for the blister sealed pills and all that lovely “literature”, that none of us read, every 30 days. Over the course the decade with my “new super powers” (eye-roll) this is the least amount of medications I have been on and I can’t imagine the size of the pile of containers I have gone through.
On top of that; what about the box your toothpaste or bar of soap comes in. What about your shower gel or shampoo bottles? Headache tablets; when is the last time you recycled the packaging for that?
Here are some Recycling Tips that you might find helpful;
- Shampoo & Conditioner, Body Wash & Mouthwash bottles; Typically made out of #2 plastic (High Density Polyethylene). Widely accepted by recycling facilities. Watch out for #3 which is not accepted at most recycling facilities.
- Pill and Medicine Containers; These come in many shapes and sizes and colours and can be found to be made of #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5 plastic. #1 and #2 are the most widely accepted recyclable plastics. Try and buy products contained in them. #4 and #5 may be accepted at your facility but it is likely that #3 won’t be.
- Cardboard; pretty simple, just flatten and fold it up. Remember that includes the toilet paper tube as well as the boxes from your OTC medications as well as cosmetics.
- Plastic shrink wrap and films; The kind that is often around the lids of products, to prove that the contents have not been tampered with. These are special and you will most likely not be able to drop them in with your curbside recycling.
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes; these fall under the same category the plastic film above. They are a “hard to recycle” item as well.
- Deodorant containers are not recyclable. Do with that what you will.