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

Will Trump trip help GOP’s congressional races?

Expect mega money to be spent on campaigns in the next three months

American giving surpassed $400 billion | Brunell

Philanthropy is what we continue to do well

Tribes support sea lion removal legislation

Federal legislation allowing lethal removal of more sea lions in the lower… Continue reading

Blue wave crashes through Republican lines drawn in primary showdown

Democratic challengers leading in nearly a dozen legislative districts across the state

KCLS expanding its role as a community partner

With summer in full swing, it seems an excellent time to celebrate… Continue reading

All can consider, what would a great leader do? | Elfers

The time was 460 B.C. The place, across the Tiber River from… Continue reading

Does Washington need a ‘surgeon general’s warning’ for guns?

Initiative 1639 would require something similar on paperwork for firearms purchases.

GE’s Tumble from Grace | Brunell

Last month, General Electric lost its place among our nation’s top 30… Continue reading

Sweetest revenge? Sometimes it’s just being nice | Elfers

We need to be (re)taught how to be kind to others

Mental health competency delays are costing state millions

The state is paying millions of dollars a year in sanctions because… Continue reading

Jetsons cartoon robots now reality

The Jetsons television series about a space-age family featuring “Rosey the Robot”… Continue reading