Information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, our community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources.
Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your waste:
Did you know that approximately 25% of the City's residential waste is compostable? Click here to learn about the City's pilot composting center and how to compost in your back yard.
Use Reusable Products
Reusable products instead of disposable products is one of the best ways to stop waste. There are tons of opportunities to choose reusable products. Learn more here.
Reduce Junk Mail
Get tips from GlobalStewards.org on going paperless and reducing junk mail sent to your home or business.
Donate Reusable Items
Donate or Recycle Your Vehicle
You can donate or recycle your used vehicle with a local charity, such as Wheels For Wishes, which is a car donation program benefiting Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic. They offer an easy way to recycle or donate unwanted cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, or even boats, by turning them into a wish for a local child.
Recycle Non-recyclable Items
Send your difficult to recycle materials, such as candy wrappers and tooth brushes to TerraCycle, an international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products.
Complete a Waste and Recycling Inventory
See if you can cut your waste in half! Don't think it's possible? You will be surprised how easy it can be! A waste and recycling inventory can help to determine what might be missing in your recycling habits. Think of your waste basket and garbage can as the destination of last resort - where things go only when there is no other place for them. Make it easy to recycle by having a blue bin or other container handy in the kitchen.
Now for the inventory:
STEP ONE: WHAT'S IN THE TRASH CAN?
- Packaging materials? Most plastic wrapping like bubble wrap and air pillows can be included in the grocery store plastic bag recycling bin.
- Hard plastic packaging? Put in the blue bin
- Food waste? Start composting veggies and fruits.
- Flowers and other organic decorations? Compost them too.
- Light bulbs? Compact fluorescents are considered hazardous waste and should be recycled at the county transfer station, Home Depot, Ace Hardware or Mom's Organic Market (Mom's will take all light bulbs!)
- Christmas light strings? Take them to Ace Hardware to be recycled.
- Batteries? Rechargeable and button batteries go to the property yard, and Mom's Organic Market will recycle all household batteries.
- Wrapping paper and bows? Non-foil paper can be recycled. Have a bag handy for bows to save them and reuse. Next time wrap with recycling and reuse in mind, it'll make a difference!
- Styrofoam packaging? Next time look for products that don't use styrofoam packaging. It isn't recyclable through our city program.
- Clamshell food boxes? Select food items that aren't packaged in them because they aren't recyclable in our city program.
STEP TWO: WHAT'S IN THE BLUE BIN?
- Lots of plastic bottles? Use reusable bottles for your to go water.
- Individual serving size drink containers? Buy beverages in fewer, larger containers.
- Full of newspapers and catalogues? Re-think how much media you can truly read in a week's time and whether there are paper-free alternatives (online newspapers and magazines for example).
- Lots of catalogues and junk mail? Get tips from GlobalStewards.org on going paperless and reducing junk mail sent to your home.
- Making these conscious choices is the quickest way to integrate the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) into your life.