The first and most important step is to reduce your use of products that create waste. Choose a reusable cup instead of getting a paper cup at the coffee shop each morning. Use less packaging by purchasing in bulk, and recycle packaging correctly. Plan ahead to reduce impulse buying and always keep a reusable shopping bag in the car. Think about all the ways you could reduce waste everyday – start simple, learn from friends and neighbors, and start reducing waste today!
There are countless ways to reuse everyday items! Instead of recycling a delivery box, you could pack holiday decorations or seasonal clothes in it. Take magazines to a nursing home for others to read and enjoy. Try shopping at second-hand stores, repaint old furniture, and donate items that are in good shape. Reusing things takes little effort, but makes a big difference.
Recycling has never been easier as urban and rural communities both enjoy curbside collection. Most recycling programs offer single stream or co-mingle recycling, which means less sorting and fewer trips to the curb. Office buildings, schools and public places also offer recycling bins. Be sure to learn how to recycle right in Adams County.
In our current “throw-away society” it often seems easier to toss items in the garbage and buy new. But as we’ve learned, that is wasteful. With a little tender loving care, an old bike could last for years with a little extra time oiling the chain and tightening the brakes. Mending clothes and fixing electronics will not only cut down on waste, but will save you money!
Mother Nature is the greatest recycler of all. Organic material such as lawn clippings, leaves and garden debris, and certain food scraps, can be piled together and with the right amounts of water, oxygen and microorganisms, will decompose into a soil amendment called compost. Composting can be done in most backyards, at community gardens, and inside your home using worms. Organic material in the landfill creates methane, a greenhouse gas that is expensive to capture.
After you have reduced, reused, recycled, repaired and composted your waste materials there is actually very little left that needs to be landfilled. Many local municipalities provide garbage and recycling containers for collection or you can bring these materials directly to the County Landfill & Recycling Drop-Off.