Recycling Your Trash

This notice is being sent out as a courtesy to you to help you come into focus on your refuse handling and as a guide sheet to help enable you to contribute on a daily basis to a system of good stewardship over your impact on our environment, EARTH. One piece of trash at a time, we CAN make a difference. I know I sound like a "Greeny-Weeny", but;

With the information herein, you should be able to understand your part in keeping our local environment clean and the planet better off as a whole.

The following information should be helpful and complete.

If there is something I missed, please feel free to add your own ideas:

List of items that DO NOT belong in the trash can!

Food & Compost

The following items all represent a list of things that, when properly assembled and rotated, turn into organic DIRT!

Things that make good dirt;

  1. Old leftovers
  2. Egg shells
  3. Coffee grounds
  4. Banana peels
  5. All other rotted foods, except ice cream and liquids
  6. Houseplant leaves
  7. Garden trimmings
  8. Leaves from the trees
  9. Weeds


  • All things made of glass
  • Most plastics, including plastic grocery bags
  • All metals, such as; aluminum cans, tin cans, all things made of steel, newspapers, etc.

Things that DO NOT get Recycled

  • Sheet plastics
  • Aluminum foil
  • Styrene foam
  • Spray cans, especially spray paint cans
  • Other kinds of paint cans, unless they are completely cleaned of all paint.

Plastic containers that can be Repurposed or Reused

  • Double wall, large juice bottles – Sugar, flour or cat food can be stored in them
  • Peanut butter jars – To hold screws and other small, misc. items.
  • Mayonnaise jars – Great for small parts you don’t want to lose.
  • Powdered Kool-Aid containers – Can be used to hold snacks or cat treats, for instance.
  • Other large plastic containers with lids – Great for nick-nacs, etc.


Additional helpful hints and notes

Always rinse the food muck and slime off of your recycles AND your trash, to avoid the buildup of nasty smelling gasses in your cans OR at the dump. The biggest problem at the dump is buildup of methane gas from compostable materials.

  • Pharmaceutical medications or other pills and powders are dangerous to the environment and should be handled separately. There are facilities and systems in place designed to handle medical and pharmaceutical disposals.
  • Fertilizers and poisons are also dangerous to the environment and should be handled with the idea of keeping them out of the natural environment including our oceans and waterways.


  • Always remember the 4 R’s;
    • Reuse – Do this as much as you can.
    • Repurpose – Every chance you get.
    • Reinvent – You’d be surprised what you can do with on old plastic bottle, for instance.
    • Recycle – And always rinse off the guck!


  • Having specialized containers in strategic locations is a big help to the process. For instance;
    • Compost container on the counter by the kitchen sink basin with a removable plastic bag insert.
    • Recycle trash can right outside the back door, with the lid off so you can literally throw your recycles from the door, to the can, no fuss, no muss. That’s how I do it.


  • Any worries about your compost friendly material stinking up the place can be put to rest. The compost, in fact doesn’t stink. And if you’re worried about it anyway, you can always empty it every night to eliminate any chance of odor buildup. Empty often! Also this keeps your trash can from stinking and attracting flies. No flies means no maggots!

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I didn't expect to see this here. But it does remind me of something that has bothered me about the "environmental movement". I was recycling and repurposing long before it became an international Green Agenda. I frequently visited salvage yards to "recycle" perfectly good used parts to keep my inexpensive car going when I was in college. Household items that were broken were either fixed, or the parts salvaged to make something useful. I learned this from senior citizens, the ones who lived through the depression. Not even this latest composting fad is new. A couple generations ago everyone used compost in their gardens.

But somewhere along the way, America became professional consumers, with new & improved products that changed us into a disposable society. Everything is disposable now. Nothing is repaired. Perfectly functioning products are tossed-out because newer ones are available. Americans don't even buy cars anymore. They lease them, so they can replace them more often. I call leasing, renting. No one wishes to fix or maintain their cars, just replace them. Computers, TVs, and other electronics are also disposable.

Take a look at the quantity and size of trash containers placed at the curb on trash day. The average home has multiple 45 gallon containers for landfill trash, PLUS several recycling bins. Years ago, the same families had ONE small trash container for everything.

This newfangled Green movement is just marketing.

Here's my addition.

1.  When purchasing packaged products, I sometimes choose one where the packaging is useful after the goods are used up. My favorite is the rectangular plastic jars for housing nails, nuts and bolts, and other stored loose items. They take up less space on the workbench and shelf than a round container. They stack nice too.

2. Many containers that pour liquids make excellent funnels when I cut the base off. Doesn't matter how many funnels I buy, I never have just the right size, so I make one from gallon and quart bottles. The cut off base becomes an open top parts tray or paint cup. They stack real nice too!

3. Those little prescription bottles house all kinds of small items that would be lost in a larger container.

4. The glass food jars that have vacuum packed lids can be used again for leftovers. I suppose they can be used for canning too. The vacuum lid still works if you fill it when hot. When it cools it creates a vacuum again and again. Have you priced Mason Jars lately?

5. The corded transformers for most of our electronic gadgets can be repurposed after the gadget expires its useful life. I toss them in a box. Somebody is always loosing one for some other gadget. Read the input and output voltage and swap out the charging plug to the needed type and size. This was much easier when Radio Shack sold parts. They eventually switched to selling cellphones and remote control toys and now are out of business. Nobody builds or repairs stuff any longer.

6. Did you know that many of our rechargeable power tools have dozens of AA batteries inside? Carefully cut open the battery pack and replace the batteries rather than buy a new pack. It's time consuming though. What's your time worth. Sometimes they can be rejuvenated without replacement. For a little while.

7. The unusable waste lumber from house construction projects can make workbenches. The shortest of cutoffs! I followed an article from and even went so far as to avoid the few knots, and ended up with heavy duty shop benches that rivaled furniture in quality and appearance. They were so nice, my ex-wife took them! Time to build more.

8. The one thing that is highly recyclable is lead and brass for reloading. But the today's Snowflakes don't understand that Second Amendment types are green too.

All the above items can be kept out of the landfill, and we have a chance to lecture the tree-hugging environmental crowd. "Don't tell us to recycle"! Recycling goes back to the beginning of time! Nothing was wasted.


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