is in the air and it is time to think about spring cleaning.
Part of the cleaning process is getting rid of old or extra
items around the house. A recycling center or collection area
for recycled items will help clean up and good for the environment.
the local regulations for what and how to recycle is a good
way to prepare for recycling. But where in your home are you
going to find space for storing recyclable items? You don't
need an extravagant recycling center. Instead, follow these
three steps to create a recycling center in your home.
1: Locate Your Center
easier to keep the recycling habit if you make recycling as
convenient as possible. Locate your center so you can make
recycling part of your daily routine. If possible, choose
a spot in or near the kitchen (where most of the solid waste
is generated). It's good if this spot also is convenient for
hauling away items for disposalwhether loading your
car for a trip to the recycling center or carrying items to
the street for curbside pickup.
you live a long distance from a recycling center, you may
want to create both short-term storage inside your home and
long-term storage in a garage or outdoor storage shed. Study
your situation to find some space for your recycling center.
your imagination. A storage unit in a corner of the laundry
room, or a closet could become a recycling center. You could
locate your recycling center in the:
Although it's not as convenient as a main floor location,
the basement may have more storage space available. Handle
glass separately to prevent breakage.
It's a convenient location to remind you to haul things to
the recycling center, and is ideal for larger storage containers
such as garbage cans, barrels, or boxes.
2: Select Storage Containers
number and size of storage containers you'll need depends
on the number of categories into which you must sort solid
waste, and how often you'll be making trips to the recycling
center. Some recycling programs allow various wastes to be
commingled; others require wastes to be sorted.
available "recycling centers" can be expensive and
may not adapt to your needs. In the true spirit of recycling,
try to use existing containers, rather than buying or building
Use paper bags on shelves, in deep drawers, or stand them
on the floor. A standard grocery bag is just the right size
to hold newspapers.
Ask local stores for cardboard boxes. Line with old plastic
bags to keep the cardboard dry.
Obtain moving cartons (boxes or barrels used for moving household
Hang a bag on a hook and fill it with soft drink cans or plastic
milk jugs. The bag will be easy to carry when full.
Use old plastic bags for collecting recyclables.
3: Make Recycling Easier
recycling a family affair. It's easier to get people involved
if they know what they're supposed to do. Here's how to help.
Have a practice session for everyone in the family. Decide
who will be responsible for what recycling jobs.
Color code, label or put pictures on containers, so small
children can help sort recyclables. Show them how to separate
plastics by using the numbers on the bottoms of the containers.
Post special instructions in or near the storage area (such
as a list of items that can be recycled, or special handling
Reduce the volume of tin cans. Remove paper labels, rinse,
drip-dry in a dish drainer, cut off both ends, then step on
them to mash them flat.
Keep storage areas free of insects and odors. Take materials
to the recycling center frequently, or move them to a long-term
storage area outside. Find a safe place for storing hazardous
wastes until the items can be taken to a community clean-up
day. (Contact your county extension office or the Lincoln/Lancaster
County Health Department, 441-8021, for more information about
Make regular trips to the redemption center a part of your
Provide incentives. The person who recycles the soft drink
cans get to keep the refund from the redemption center.
the blue pages of the phone book for local recycling drop
offs in the area. The Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department
will hold household hazardous waste collections throughout
the year. Only household wastes will be accepted. The next
collection dates will be Friday, May 3, Hickman, NE (2nd &
Main), 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, State Fair Park, parking
lot north of Ag Hall, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.