Most everyone knows about the¬†three R's - Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.¬† By following these three¬†principles we can all¬†cut down¬†the amount of waste each of us generates every day.¬†
Reduce the amount of stuff you¬†have by only purchasing the amount¬†you need, whether it be household chemicals, paint, or whatever household product or personal item.¬† Select items to purchase that use less packaging and that use recycled materials in the products themselves.¬†¬†Bring your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.
Reuse what you have by¬†finding a new use for things that you might otherwise discard.¬† Use clean plastic butter containers to store small craft supplies, keep¬†frayed or stained¬†towels on hand to use as cleaning rags, or¬†make phone message pads from¬†single-side printed paper.¬†
Recycle what you can.¬† Inquire with your residential waste hauler if they offer curbside recycling services.¬† If home pickup isn't available in your area, you may be able to find a recycling center near you.¬† Many businesses have special bins for recycling newspapers, styrofoam egg cartons, plastic grocery bags, aluminum cans, and many other items.¬†
- To search for a location near you that takes your specific items, visit Earth911.com.¬†¬†¬†
- Recyclers servicing Metro Atlanta
Plastic by the Numbers
You have most likely seen the recycling symbol of three arrows forming a¬†triangle¬†on bins, products, and in advertisements.¬† You also may have noticed on plastics that the symbol has a number inside the arrows.¬† Have you ever wondered what those numbers mean?¬† These seven numbers¬†are used in the plastic recycling industry to determine the type of plastic used in the product.¬† Some recycling centers only accept certain numbers, so it is important to check the symbol before placing the item in a recycling bin.¬† See below for a description of each number.¬†
Polyethylene Terephthalate - water and soda¬†bottles, food containers, shampoo bottles.¬† Recycled into clothing, furniture, and carpet.¬†
High Density Polyethylene - milk jugs, cleaning product bottles, grocery bags.
Recycled into "plastic" lumber, new containers, drain pipes.
Vinyl or Poly Vinyl Chloride - pipes, container bottles, wire jacketing.
Recycled into piping and siding.
Low Density Polyethylene - container bottles and plastic bags.
Recycled into can liners, bins, floor tile.
Polypropylene - Yogurts and butter containers, caps, medicine bottles, straws.¬†
Recycled into signal lights, battery cables, landscape borders.
Polystyrene - egg cartons, meat trays, CD cases.
Recycled into insulation, egg cartons, foam packing.
Other - Polycarbonate, bullet proof items, water bottles, signs.
Recycled into plastic lumber and custom products.