Did you know that I was a closet tree hugger? Yup. I like to pretend I’m Captain Planet by reducing the amount of trash we produce. I give myself a pat on the back for keeping our waste down to a minimum. One of the ways we do it is by sorting our trash (before it goes into the trash). As you can see, we only have a mini-trash can since most of the everyday trash can go in either the recycle or compost bin.
Most people think that only yard waste goes in the green and only aluminum cans and newpapers go in the grey. Here’s a quick summary of the things that can go in either bin.
Recyclables (grey bin for us):
- Glass jars and bottles (attention winos)
- Aluminum and tin cans, foil
- Junk mail, newspapers and magazines
- Food boxes and paper packaging
- Plastic containers (check with your trash company which types they take)
Compostables (green bin for us):
- Yard waste (grass clippings, tree branches, leaves)
- Food scraps (left overs, fruit and vegetable rinds, coffee grinds and filters, tea bags)
- Un-coated food containers (no shiny/waxy surfaces) such as paper plates and napkins
It might sound like a lot of work to keep everything separated, but we have a different trash can in our kitchen for each of the trash bins. We use an airtight cereal container for the compostables and take it out every other day. The covered container keeps the food from breaking down too fast and keeps away any odors. Rinsing all of the recycleable containers also keeps the trash from smelling.
For the most part, C humors me and sorts the trash. On the few occasions that I catch him throwing a tuna can into the regular trash, I charge at him and start singing:
Captain Planet, he’s our hero
Gonna take pollution down to zero
Happy Earth Day. Don’t forget to recycle your soda can.