Quick Tips

Recycling

Start Small, Recycle Bathroom Items

If you’re new to recycling in general, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the process as a whole. Instead, relax and think in terms of starting small. Begin at home recycling in the smallest room in the house, the bathroom. Simply place a small bin next to your bathroom trash can, rinse empty plastic bottles, etc…, and start recycling!

bathroom recycling binCommon Bathroom Recyclables:

  • shampoo/conditioner bottles
  • pill/medicine containers
  • toilet paper rolls
  • soap boxes/paper wrapping
  • toothbrushes
  • lotion bottles

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Start Small, Recycle Bathroom Items

QTbathroom recycling2If you’re new to recycling in general, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by the process as a whole. Instead, relax and think in terms of starting small. Begin at home recycling in the smallest room in the house, the bathroom. Simply place a small bin next to your bathroom trash can, rinse empty plastic bottles, etc…, and start recycling!

Common Bathroom Recyclables:

  • shampoo/conditioner bottles
  • pill/medicine containers
  • toilet paper rolls
  • soap boxes/paper wrapping
  • toothbrushes
  • lotion bottles

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Holiday Quick Tip: Recycle Electronics For Gift Cards

electronics recycling2So the kids have a new gaming system on their wish list – to replace the one you just bought last year! Well sell it back to Sears and receive a gift card! Sears has partnered with Gazelle to help consumers responsibly dispose of electronics. For more details, visit http://sears.gazelle.com/

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Choose Screens Over Trees

recycle-computerIt takes 500,000 trees to produce the paper needed for Sunday’s newspapers each week. But there’s no need for eco-aware individuals to forgo the in-depth environmental reporting that can be found in newspapers. Reading mostly online is the obvious green alternative. If reading a real paper is your thing, consider reducing your subscription to a weekend or Sunday-only format. Don’t forget to recycle when you’re done — recycling every newspaper that gets printed would save 250 million trees per year.

Thanks to the Sierra Club for this tip!

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Clean Your Closet, Clothe An Actor

Walk_In_Closet_-_Expandable_Closet_Rod_and_ShelfDonating clothing and furniture to various charities is not only a way to help others, but it keeps these donated items out of our overflowing landfills. But, have you ever thought to donate these items to local community theater groups, or college or high school drama departments? Local theater groups are always on the look out for furniture for their sets and clothing and accessory items to dress the cast. Donated goods help to defray costs. Also consider donating leftover paint and building supplies needed for creating the backdrops and sets for their productions.

An internet search or checking out your local newspaper will supply you with a list of theater groups in your area.

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Why Recycling Soda Cans Matters

 recycling logoCliché, but recycle your aluminum cans! Even the smallest things make a big difference.

Recycling one aluminum can can save enough energy to run a computer for up to three hours!

 For more information about recycling in Birmingham, check out our Recycling Page!

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Enough With The Catalogs

Pile_of_junk_mailIt’s happened to us all before – you order one item from a company, and then suddenly you are on their list to receive every catalog (and there affiliates catalog) in the mail. A total waste of paper, especially considering most major retailers have their catalogs available for perusing on-line.

Reduce the amount of catalogs mailed to you. Catalog choice is a free service that lets you decline paper catalogs you no longer wish to receive. Sign up at: www.catalogchoice.org

You will easily reduce your yearly mail by several pounds and a few thousand sheets of paper.

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Phone Book Recall

800px-AnnuaireWhen was the last time you actually looked something up in a phone book? Many folks opt to use their smart phones and the internet to look up phone numbers and addresses.

If you don’t use paper phone books, call to stop delivery all together. Telephone books make up almost 10 % of waste at dump sites. To discontinue the delivery of your phone book, contact AT&T at 888-757-6500 (open Mon-Fri 8am – 7pm EST & Sat 8am -5pm EST).

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Overdue at the library? At least be green about it…

1024px-Library_PengoThe Jefferson & Shelby county Libraries are discontinuing overdue notices.  Please help your local library in their green efforts by signing up for email overdue notification and courtesy reminders.  It will help our library systems to cut down on paper usage and also, reduce your mail clutter at home!  For more information, visit http://www.jclc.org/email/ or ask about it at the circulation desk at your local library.

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Curbside Recycling in Hoover-the Facts

recycle-girlIf you’re a resident of Hoover, then curbside recycling is a must! Recyclables should be placed on the street in appropriate containers by 7 am on Wednesday mornings. (To request a recycling bin, simply call 205.444.7796)

Recyclable items include: aluminum cans (no other products made of aluminum), glass, plastics with recycle labels embossed with numbers 1 through number 7, (no plastic flower vases), plastic bags (grocery and shopping), tin cans (food cans only, no paint cans or other products made of tin), paper, and cardboard.

 

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The Lights Are Out – Now What?

tree_recycleAfter hauling all of Christmas lights down from the attic, you anxiously plug in the first strand only to be dissapointed by a big fat nothing. What can you do with old, broken holiday lights?

Recycle them!

Many home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s will recycle used holiday lights, but for a local resource, try Technical Knock Out. They will take your used lights for free. All you have to do is drop them off!

Look them up in our Green Guide under “Recycling.”

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The Number Game

800px-Nestbarer_Behaelter04So if you are going to break the greenie cardinal rule and buy plastic, at least buy “good plastic.”

When buying plastic containers, try to buy those that are labeled with a 1 or 2 within the chasing arrows symbol. These two types of plastics are widely recycled. Avoid buying plastics with numbers 3 through 7 – they are difficult to recycle.

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Ran Out? Grind Up!

EVD-tenis-050Running shoes worn out? Grind them up!

Recycle your worn out athletic shoes through Nike. They will take them off your hands and turn them into Nike Grind – a material used in sports surfaces. How cool is that?

Fore more details, check out www.nikereuseashoe.com.

 

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Don’t Let Your Package Stop at the Door

REcycleSo your package has been delivered, now what? Keep the packaging materials on the move – recycle the materials used to ship your goods.

If you receive a shipment packaged in plastic peanuts or bubble wrap, locate a shipping company, like the UPS Store or Pak Mail that will take them off your hands.

Check out the Plastic Loose Fill Council at www.loosefillpackaging,com to locate the closest drop-off location where leftover plastic packaging can be reused. Yeah, there’s a website for that too.

 

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Old Junk, New Beginnings

Battery-Recycling-Symbol2Don’t toss it out – re-engineer it!

Stop and think before you automatically consider a broken item destine for the trash. Maybe it can be reincarnated before it leaves your home. You may be able to do some dismantling and salvage parts to reuse yourself or to recycle, donate, or sell.

For example, the wheels and handle from a broken push lawn mower can be reused in building a wagon for your little one. A broken broom handle can be used as a plant stick or hanging rod.

Get into the habit of looking at broken items differently to help divert as much as possible from the waste stream.

 

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Less Is More

800px-Food_to_goLet the package be your guide.

All things being equal, select foods at your local market and other items that have less packaging. The less packaging you have to get rid of, the better the world is, right?

 

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Say no to take-out extras

plastic spponsSay no to take-out extras.

In the land of the drive-thru, carryout, and delivery it’s easy to forget you’re a greenie when trying to eat between appointments or needing a quick fix for dinner idea desperation.

On a recent trip to a local fast food restaurant in Birmingham, the MGB.com crew assessed the extras of carryout dining. For two grilled chicken salad orders, we received plastic silverware (fork, knife, spoon, and salt and pepper packets), a super-sized plastic bag, way too many napkins, a flier advertising restaurant specials, and a menu – all waste that we didn’t need.

Try specifying in your order that you only need your food and none of the additional fanfare. When you can, place your order inside and take in one of your reusable totes to carryout your order. If taking your food home, be sure to also say no to plastic silverware and condiments and use your own.

Show those fast-foodies what being a greenie is all about!

 

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Take Your Cap Off

800px-Song_Dong_Waste_Not_bottle_capsSeparate bottle caps from your recyclable bottles.

Contrary to popular belief, plastic caps from shampoo, detergent, water bottles and more are not easily recyclable. You are actually tainting your good works, by not separating the two.

Bottle caps can get caught in the nooks and crannies of recycling machines, causing them to stall or even break down. However, there is a solution!

Richard Joseph SalonSpa and the Alabama Environmental Council are teaming up to recycle plastic bottle caps. Take your caps to Richard Jospeph SalonSpa or have a box sent to you for collection. All caps are sent to Aveda for recycling.

For more information check out www.richardjosephsalonspa.com/

 

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I Want To Recycle… Where Do I Go?

recycle_al_lgWe know, we know… recycling in the City and surrounding areas is not a robust amenity. Curb-side pick up is not a given for all residents, so many of us have to cart our recyclables to the nearest center. “But where is it?” That’s the question we get from a lot of our followers, and we are so glad the Alabama Environmental Council hooked us up with the answer!

The AEC recently added a search database for you to locate places to recycle a variety of materials and items. Simply select the item(s) you plan to recycle and plug in your zip code, and voila! You are off to the nearest location to your home to get your recycle on.

Don’t forget the AEC Recycling Center is a wonderful resource in the heart of downtown Birmingham to take your recyclables.

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