We moved into our new home in mid-October 2012. I saw a few recycling bins around the neighborhood, but I assumed it was an additional fee since only about a quarter of the houses seemed to have one. Well, you know what assuming does…
Finally Looked Into Recycling
Well, the lack of easy recycling has been annoying me a little. We are a household with 5 adults and throwing away aluminum and paper makes me cringe. I was saving our aluminum cans and newspapers, and then would Craigslist them for free every few months. But that was taking up a lot of room and brought in some bugs to the garage. So I stopped earlier this year. 🙁
Overall, I’m not a sustainability fanatic in general, but I am a fan of doing the easy stuff to save money or help the environment. For example, we use those energy-efficient light bulbs when we replace burned-out bulbs. Why not? The extra cost makes up for itself and then some apparently. We also bought a Prius in 2008 instead of the SUV we were looking for since it had the storage we needed and cost $5000-$7000 less. It having way better gas mileage is just a gigantic bonus for us.
In short, I was hoping to find an easy way to recycle that wouldn’t cost me extra. When I was talking about that last week, one of our friends – Anne – offered to pick up our recycling every week when she visits and just throw it into her bin since her neighborhood just upgraded to those gigantic ones that are as tall as me. I loved this idea but it did motivate me to call and see how much our own recycling bin would cost since I would feel a little bad sending our trash home with a friend every week.
Bin on Its Way
I first called our water utility provider since that is who is listed as our trash provider as well on my home owner’s association’s webpage. They nicely informed me that they did not run our trash, but they gave me the correct phone number. So I called that one and had to leave a message. A rep called me back within 10 minutes and let me know that they only handled trash, but they also were super friendly and gave me the phone number of the recycling company for our area. I finally called the right number and found out some very interesting info!
Not only did they provide recycling bins, but the service was already paid for through fees on our water bill! So I have been paying for recycling pickup for 6 months and didn’t even know it! Moving on…our recycling bin will be dropped off today. And I finally understand why our bill is about double that of our old house even though we use similar amounts of water. So two birds with one stone, yay!
The company even seems to accept a lot of recyclables and I don’t even need to sort them:
- Paper – magazines, newspapers, copy paper, computer paper, catalogs, pizza boxes, paper egg cartons, shredded paper tied tightly in plastic bags, etc.
- Plastics – juice, water, milk, soda, cleaning and detergent containers (if in doubt, check container for stamp. Most plastics have mold stamp; they collect #1 – #7).
- Thin Plastics – grocery store bags, dry cleaning bags, produce bags, plastic sleeves from newspapers
- Aluminum – any type of soda, beer, drink, foil, pie pans, trays, etc.
- Tin Cans – any food can, pet food, etc.
- Cardboard – boxes, cereal, food, detergent, pet food, etc. (please break down larger boxes)
Getting the Word Out
I bet I’m not the only one who has been paying for recycling that they haven’t been using, so I’m trying to get the word out. I posted a topic in the forums on my HOA’s website. I updated my welcome-info form that I’ve been giving to all of the new families that move into this neighborhood. And I am going to request the recycling company’s contact info be placed into the community newsletter. With any luck, way more people in our neighborhood will be participating by this time next month. 🙂
Do you have recycling pickup where you live? If not, make sure, lol. Would you participate if you could?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!