Before You RECYCLE...
REDUCE the amount of material requiring disposal:
-Avoid the purchase of bulky, disposable items
-Pass on magazines, books and catalogs to neighbors, hospitals and nursing homes
-Buy products in reusable containers or in simple packaging
-The average family of 4 pays $1 for packaging in every $11 spent for groceries
-Reduce Food Waste! Check out Syracuse University's Center for Sustainable Community Solutions to see how they are tackling food waste in Central New York. You can even take the pledge to be part of the solution and prevent wasted food!
REUSE as much as possible:
-Plastic containers can be reused for food storage, glass jars for nail, tacks, etc.
-Reuse wrapping paper, plastic bags, boxes and lumber
-Donate outgrown clothes to friends or local charities. For more information on how to reduce waste from clothing, check out this blog on selling, donating and upcycling your old clothes!
-Buy beverages in returnable containers
-Try to repair before you consider replacement of lawn mowers, tools, vacuum cleaners, TVs
-Donate broken appliances to Goodwill industries, a local rescue mission or charity, or find out if a nearby vocational school can use them for parts or to have students practice repairing them
-Offer furniture and household items no longer needed to college students and friends, or donate to charity
-Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
-Junked vehicles can be brought to Auto Salvage Yards or given to Vehicle Donation Organizations such as Kars4Kids.
-Reuse your yard waste. Yard waste can be a great fertilizer and there are several ways to recycle your yard waste and to keep it out of the landfill. Check out this article on recycling & composting yard waste to learn more.
-Compost your food waste! Check out these helpful links to learn how to compost at home:
Easy Home Composting Poster
Composting At Home -- Cornell Waste Management Institute
Guide to Going Green at School
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Waste Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Envirofacts
Welcome to SMART! The Association of Wiping Materials, Used Clothing and Fiber Industries Since 1932