Recylcing 101? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-30-2010, 09:49 AM
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Hi everyone,

I feel very embarrassed to post this thread, but here goes...

I just moved to San Francisco (previously lived in Texas) and my brother told me that recycling here is the law. In Texas, I never was required to recycle and never did it (I know, bad bad me!) So I'm not really sure what I should recycle. I know paper (obviously) but what else should go into the recycling bin? Is plastic ok? For example, I opened a new tube of toothpaste, so should the old one go into the regular trash or the recycling bin?

Sorry to sound so clueless but I want to do this right.

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#2 Old 01-30-2010, 10:22 AM
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I think you should just go online ans check your local requirements. For instance, in my town we have to bring everything to the dump ourselves. They are crappy about recycling, only taking plastics #s 1 and 2, and only bottles with necks at that... Ugh.

But where I work, we have curbside pickup. Into a paper bag, separate from the bin, goes all the non-contaminated cardboard (for instance, pizza boxes cannot be recycled) newspaper, paper. All rinsed plastics, #s 1-7, all rinsed tin cans, rinsed glass - that goes in the bin.

That's how MY town does it

I'd just google "san francisco recycling program" or "san francisco recycling guide" and it will tell you how THEY want it done in your county.
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#3 Old 01-30-2010, 02:16 PM
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Semi is right. different communities have different guidelines on what can be recycled, and how they want it sorted. I imagine SF has a pretty decent curbside program. Where I live, we have to take all rubbish to the "transfer station", where they have bins for "mixed recycling" and "Hi5 (cash redemption)", and one for mixed glass. another transfer station I sometimes use has separate bins for newspaper, cardboard, tin cans, etc... and a collection center for the Hi5 stuff, where you can donate your redemption cash to a local non-profit.

Nec Aspera Terrent
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#4 Old 02-07-2010, 11:25 AM
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My brother lives in SF, and yeah, their mandatory recycling program is very complicated! You should have received detailed instructions. If not, better call the waste management company and have them send them to you.
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#5 Old 02-07-2010, 05:56 PM
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Portland is pro-recycling. When I visit my family in Pennsylvania, it always shocks and disgusts me that where they live there is no concept of recycling programs and they recycle nothing. It makes me insane while I'm there. I hate it. That place is like going back to the 1930s or something.

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#6 Old 02-08-2010, 07:51 PM
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I am a recycling nazi and it varies from state to state what they accept and there are always changes...ask and that will really help....good luck and happy recycling
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#7 Old 02-09-2010, 05:40 AM
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As everyone else said, it varies from council to council (do you have local councils in the US? God I'm clueless.)

Generally, nearly all state-run recycling programmes will take:



Type 1 and 2 plastics (bottles) but not 4 or 5 (rigid plastics like yoghurt pots) or wrappings and films

Maybe glass, might depend on what sorta bin you get given.

Recycling has been drummed into me as a child through school, but I still feel like the UK is waaaay behind places like Germany. When I was in Berlin I was literally overjoyed when I saw that in their supermarkets that you are charged for not only any plastic bags you use, but also any items packed in plastic (maybe a couple of cents per item)...but the supermarket had its own plastic recycling centre and when you were done, it printed out a receipt and the cashiers would scan it and give you the cents originally charged for the plastic back to you! I was blissfully happy, and everyone thought I was bonkers to be so excited by it. It works, because if the environmental aspect won't make some people recycle, being charged will!

If a supermarket has a recycling centre it might take somethings different to your local scheme. For ages, our city council wouldn't take glass or broken plastic bags so we would have to take them to the supermarket instead.
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#8 Old 02-21-2010, 02:16 PM
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Municipal recycling in my area includes nearly everything in one bin except for the plastic bags they pack your groceries in at the supermarket (although the plastic bags you put your produce in are ok to recycle) .

Every area will probably have some unique exceptions, so call the number on your bin
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#9 Old 02-21-2010, 03:33 PM
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Try here for starters:

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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