Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Start a Recycling Program For Your Community

How To Start A Recycling Program For Your Community

It’s the New Year and perhaps one of your resolutions was to improve yourself and the world around you. Increasing awareness about landfills and the overuse of resources in your community might make you think about the need for a recycling program, but with such a huge task, where do you even begin? If you are ready to make a difference, here are some tips to help you turn your town into a recycling community.

Get Support from Others

The best place to begin is by assembling a group of people like you who are aware of the need for recycling and believe in making it a reality for your community. Talk to your friends and family, and get some of your local leaders involved as part of your team as well. Many politicians and community organizers will be able to help you meet the right people to put your plan into action, help you with ongoing funding, and assist in navigating government bureaucracies and other hurdles along the way.

Create an Action Plan

There are many different decisions that must be made in order to put a recycling program into action, and it’s best to start out with a plan of action and a timeline for completion. Your plan should include things like:

·         What items can be recycled
·         How recyclables will be collected, and what types of bins to use
·         Negotiating contractors for a recycling hauler to collect items
·         Whether you will collect from businesses and apartments, in addition to single family homes
·         How often the hauler will come to collect recyclables
·         How much it will cost, and whether you will need to charge residents

You may be able to offset some of the costs by coordinating with neighboring communities who either already have a program in place or want to create one.

Study Your Community’s Habits and Needs

One of the most important decisions to make is what you will recycle, and while there are a number of items that can now be recycled, it’s not necessarily a good idea to include every single one of them in your program. To determine what you should be recycling, start by studying the habits of your community members to find out what they are throwing out most—for example, paper, aluminum, cardboard, or plastic.

Once you decide what you will include in the program, be specific with instructions to community members so they recycle the correct items.

Look Beyond Just Recycling Used Items

While recycling is a great way to reuse items instead of throwing them in landfills, another way to reduce waste is to implement programs that discuss and encourage people to use less. Educate people in your community about the importance of reducing overall usage, then recycling the things that are needed as a two-pronged effort of environmental awareness.

Recycling has become a positive force for many communities to reduce costs, lower their carbon footprint, and do something good. 
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