20 recycling resolutions for 2020

A monthly column from Waste Management.

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

It’s a new year – the perfect time to reflect on our sustainability goals and refresh our recycling habits.

This year, especially for Snoqualmie residents, the recycling experts at Waste Management are offering “20 for 2020” – 20 recycling resolutions to help reduce waste and clean up recycling. Are you ready to commit to better recycling habits for 2020? Here’s how you can do it:

1. Compost your Christmas tree — After your tree has fulfilled its holiday duty inside your home, Waste Management will help you compost it. Between Jan. 2 and 17, you can leave your whole (up to 6 feet tall), unflocked, undecorated Christmas tree next to your curbside cart for pick up as part of your regular curbside service. If you miss the special collection dates, you can chop your Christmas tree into 3-foot sections and place inside your yard waste bin. J

2. Go bagless – Plastic bags damage equipment and cause safety hazards at recycling facilities. Find a drop off location to recycle plastic film at plasticfilmrecycling.org.

3. Keep tanglers out of the recycling – Christmas lights, garland, ribbons, and clothing can easily get tangled around sorting equipment at recycling facilities, damaging it, and posing safety hazards. Reduce, reuse and donate these items when possible.

4. Keep recycling empty, clean, and dry – Food and liquids damage recyclables and can contaminate an entire load, preventing it from being recycled.

5. Keep curbside lids closed – When materials like paper and cardboard get wet, they break down and can’t be recycled.

6. Recycle plastics by shape – Plastic bottles and jugs are acceptable in your cart and will be made into new products.

7. When in doubt, find out – When you aren’t sure if something is recyclable, don’t just toss it in the bin, look it up online at wmnorthwest.com/snoqualmie. If you still aren’t sure, it’s better to put it in the garbage to avoid contaminating other recyclables.

8. Spread the word – Post recycling guides at home near recycling bins

9. Reduce food waste – Wasted food is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Do the planet (and your wallet) a favor. Buy carefully and use up everything you buy.

10. Give away what you can’t use to thrift stores or your neighbors through online networks such as Craigslist, Next Door, OfferUp, or Buy Nothing Facebook groups.

11. Go paperless.

12. Compost your food scraps — Any food scraps that can’t be eaten should go in the food and yard waste cart or your compost pile.

13. Say no to single-use — When you go out, remember to bring your reusable shopping bag, water bottle, coffee cup and straw.

14. Get creative — Try eliminating paper towels in favor of reusable rags and dish towels.

15. Drop off packing material at specialized recyclers –A quick online search will show locations near you.

16. Go green at work — For resources on starting a green team in your office, check out: http://wmnorthwest.com/educational/greenbusinesses.htm

17. Help your school go green – It’s crucial to develop sustainable habits at a young age.

18. Learn more about what happens after the truck picks up your cart. Take a virtual tour of a recycling center here: http://wmnorthwest.com/guidelines/videos/crc2.htm

19. Attend a “Fix it Fair” or “Repair Café” event.

20. Keep recycling. It matters.

Here’s to recycling right in 2020.

Hannah Scholes is Waste Management’s recycling education and outreach manager. To see what’s recyclable in Snoqualmie, go to wmnorthwest.com/snoqualmie.

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