Anonymiss in DC

{July 27, 2012}   How to recycle properly

There’s this awesome little thing that you can do, that takes very little effort, and saves resources. Win. It’s called RECYCLING. You may have heard of it. The problem, I’m finding, is that people, even in the reportedly “smart” and “progressive” Washington, DC metro area, do some pretty stupid things when it comes to recycling. Why do I care? Because those stupid things result in “contaminated” recycling bins whose contents are often thrown out– that’s right– EVERYTHING in the bin gets thrown out– because some bozo put something in there that shouldn’t be in there. It’s another case of someone ruining it for everyone.

To avoid being that someone, here are some tips from your not-so-friendly neighborhood recycling girl:

1.  You can recycle soup cans and yogurt cups IF YOU RINSE THEM FIRST. I just found two cans of Hormel chili in the bin on our floor that weren’t rinsed before some bozo put them in there. There’s now God-knows-how-old chili all over everything in the recycling bin.  It’s DISGUSTING. And now I can’t dump MY stuff, because then all of it will be thrown out because you were disgusting. Thanks.

2. YOU CAN’T RECYCLE PIZZA BOXES containing any of the following: the pepper or the garlic dipping sauce from Papa John’s, the crusts you didn’t want off your pizza, crumbs, grease stains or greasy napkins, cheese that stuck to the box… pretty much everything. Just break it down and THROW IT OUT.

3. YOU CAN’T RECYCLE PLASTIC BAGS (well, you can, but you have to take them to the grocery store.) Standard apartment pickup doesn’t include these, and they don’t care whether your using them to carry the rest of your crap to the recycling bin is really convenient for you. Use them for this purpose if you must, but dump the contents in the bin and take the bag back.

4. YOU CAN’T RECYCLE SANDWICH OR SNACK BAGGIES OR PLASTIC WRAP (the kind that’s wrapped around stuff you buy at the store OR the kind you put over your leftovers). You CAN recycle clean tin foil.

5. You can recycle your “paper cups” from McDonalds and Chipotle, but don’t put them in there with soda or ice cubes in them (I can’t believe I have to tell people this…) and chuck the lid and the straw!

6. In many areas, you can recycle  plastic take-out food containers. This varies by locality, so please find out what the options are in your area.  But…you guessed it… RINSE THEM before you chuck them.

If you’re that lazy that you can’t rinse stuff out before tossing it, then don’t bother to recycle, because at least you won’t contaminate the bins for the rest of us who ARE doing the right thing.

And by the way, shame on you, because you’re probably also attracting pests into your apartment complex.

That is all.

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