Chances are your household trash and recycling containers have been a bit fuller this year. Across the region, waste management departments have seen an uptick in residential waste collection during 2020 as many residents continue to work and learn from home. As part of the national America Recycles Day campaign, held annually on November 15, askHRgreen.org is encouraging residents to consider reducing waste and recycling right. Luckily, waste reduction and recycling right are two things easily accomplished from the comfort of your own home.
For many of us, household recycling has become a habit, albeit a good one. If there’s a little triangle with a number inside it anywhere on an item, many people will toss it into their recycling bin without a second thought. askHRgreen.org and recycling educators across Hampton Roads want you to know that’s not always the right choice.
Residents are encouraged to brush up on their recycling know-how with the askHRgreen.org Recycling & Disposal Guide for Hampton Roads. The online recycling tool makes recycling right a little easier by connecting residents with easy to understand visuals of what can and cannot go in the household recycling bin. Local recycling contracts can change with the markets so it’s important to check back often to make sure you’re working with the most up-to-date information. When in doubt, remember that all Hampton Roads localities accept three basic types of products: paper/cardboard, plastic bottles, and metal cans. For anything else, it’s best to check your local Recycling & Disposal Guide to be sure.
Recycling right isn’t the only way to make a difference. askHRgreen.org encourages residents to always practice waste reduction measures as a first step to reducing household waste. Simple strategies like buying in bulk, avoiding single-use plastics like straws and cutlery, and choosing products packaged in recyclable containers can all make a big impact on the amount of trash or recycling we create each week. Don’t forget about donation, too. Donating unwanted household goods, clothing, and electronics is a great way to give items a second life and divert waste away from the landfill.
This America Recycles Day, reconsider your purchasing habits and take a moment to make sure you have the latest information from your local recycling program. Together, we can reduce household waste and ensure tomorrow’s park bench is made from today’s empty milk jug.