The United States generates over 290 million pounds of waste each year. That’s about five pounds per person per day! This year for America Recycles Day, a national day of celebration and education for recycling, askHRgreen.org challenges you to reduce the amount of waste you create by starting smart and recycling right. The Start Smart, Recycle Right campaign from askHRgreen.org encourages residents of the 757 to be conscious consumers and savvy recyclers.
Starting smart means making better choices as a shopper. When grocery shopping, look for products with less packaging or packaging you know can be accepted for recycling. It is as easy as bringing your own reusable tote bags to replace single use plastic bags or choosing eggs packed in cardboard instead of Styrofoam™. You can even prioritize packaging you can reuse like coffee cans or glass jars. Starting smart nips waste in the bud and is the most effective way to reduce your waste production.
Recycling right is also essential. Here in Hampton Roads, we’re getting back to the basics of recycling. No matter where you live, know that paper, plastic bottles with a neck or spout, and metal cans are accepted for recycling. Just make sure they are empty, clean, and dry. If your item is not one of these things, do not place it in the recycling cart until you know it is accepted. Many well-intending people put too much in the recycling bin hoping it will be recycled. This “wishcycling” contaminates the recycling process and does more harm than good.
The best place to refresh your recycling know-how and avoid wishful recycling is our handy Recycling & Disposal Lookup Tool. Listed by city or county for Hampton Roads residents, you’ll have no doubt about what goes in your recycling cart, what you should take to a drop-off center for specialty recycling, and what is just plain old trash. For America Recycles Day, many cities and counties in the 757 are holding specialty drop-off recycling events to help residents responsibly dispose of a variety of items – from electronics to thrift store donations to hazardous household chemicals. Check out the listing of regional America Recycles Day events list below!
Remember, it’s up to you to Start Smart and Recycle Right.
- Think before you buy
- Choose recyclable packaging
- Reuse it, if possible
- Know what can be recycled
- Know where it can be recycled
- Clean before putting in the bin