Recycling resolutions for a greener 2018 | Metzler

  • Thursday, January 4, 2018 12:45pm
  • Opinion

It’s the most optimistic time of the year. The gyms are packed, classes are at capacity, and we’re all making lists of ambitious goals to get outside and read more.

If you’re looking for another way to make a difference, we suggest adding an easy-to-keep New Year’s resolution to the list: A commitment to better recycling at home.

In 2018, recycling is all about getting back to basics. Don’t worry, it’s easy. All you need to do is follow the Recycle Right Pledge:

Recycle all my clean and dry bottles, cans, paper and cardboard.

Place all recyclables loose in my bin, no plastic bags!

Educate my friends and family on how to recycle right.

Easy enough, right? But like any resolution, the trick is building a foolproof system for success.

Start by setting up a system that includes recycling containers around the house and easy-to-read signage. That way, even the most recycling-challenged friends and family know what goes where. You can make your own labels using the recycling guidelines and pictures on the Waste Management website. Then, attach the labels to the containers. Post guidelines on the fridge too, just for good measure. You’ll be leading a team of recycling all-stars in no time.

The next thing to tackle are those pesky plastic bags. When placing recycling in your cart, it is super important not to recycle bagged items or loose plastic bags. As minor as the “no plastic bags” rule may seem, it makes a huge difference to the recycling system. Plastic bags in recycling carts get caught in machinery at the recycling plant and can even shut down the entire facility. By reusing your plastic bags or returning them at your local grocery store, you can keep the recycling system humming along smoothly. Better yet, bring reusable bags with you when you go shopping. Saying no to plastic bags will reduce your environmental impact and even save you a little money at some stores.

While we’re cutting back on waste, another simple way to reduce your footprint is to opt-in to paperless billing for your credit cards, bank statements, utility bills and more! It’s greener, easier to keep track of and more secure than paper billing.

So, there you have it, one more small but important resolution for 2018. Like any resolution, every day won’t be perfect, but if we all work together, we can make 2018 the greenest year yet in Auburn.

Michelle Metzler is Waste Management’s recycling education and outreach manager. Learn more at recycleoftenrecycleright.com.

More in Opinion

Lt. Dan needs lots of helping hands | Brunell

Gary Sinise making year-around commitments to help veterans and their families

President, governor or retirement – only Inslee knows his plan

Inslee has his share of options to determine his future

Eyman putting his latest fight on his tab

Activist using own money in signature-gathering drive to place a $30 car tab measure in front of voters

New approaches needed to fight super wildfires | Brunell

With Western States wildfires growing in size and destroying more homes, farms… Continue reading

Photo by Matt Phelps
President, governor or retirement — only Inslee knows his plan

What we do know is that he’s off to Iowa in June to deliver the keynote address at a party fundraiser.

Growth, knowledge, learning at your library | KCLS

Spring is the time of year when many of us focus on… Continue reading

Skilled trade jobs go unfilled in our robust economy | Brunell

Millions of good-paying opportunities available in blue collar jobs

Lawmakers hope to examine concerns of Sea-Tac International Airport and its impact on the quality of life in places like SeaTac, Burien, Des Moines, Tukwila and Federal Way.
State antes up money to address bevy of issues

From wolves to airplanes, state looks to tackle issues

Innovative library program emerges for the 21st century | KCLS

The King County Library System has long been committed to offering a… Continue reading

Earth Day flashback: 30 years of Puget Sound recycling | Metzler

What were you doing in 1988? Catching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in… Continue reading

Trade war could hit Washington hard | Brunell

Any trade war between the United States and China is worrisome, but… Continue reading