Compost, Recycle or Landfill?

IMG_2181.jpg

I remember when my high school first introduced recycle and compost bins on campus. Although their intentions were good, no one took the time to educate students on how to properly dispose of their waste among each of the three bins. It’s great that compost and recycle bins appear more commonly, however, these bins aren’t very helpful if people aren’t told how to properly use them. This is why environmental education is so important! If you aren’t confident about recycling and composting, you’re not alone so don’t be embarrassed!

It’s important to take the time to dispose of your waste properly. I know that it’s very easy to simply toss everything in the trash can, but think about it. Everything that you put in the trash bin will end up sitting in the landfill forever. If you take the time to compost and recycle, you will make a difference!

Over the last few years, San Francisco has made recycling and composting mandatory for both businesses and residences. Because of this rule, San Francisco now diverts 80% of it’s trash away from landfills! SF Environment has many great resources for how to correctly dispose of your waste, such as their signs posted below.

Compost

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 1.10.10 pm

  • Why is it so important to compost if these items will break down in the landfill anyways? Food that decomposes in landfills is not exposed to oxygen, therefore, as it decomposes, it begins to release methane, a greenhouse gas that has a much higher warming potential than carbon dioxide. If food scraps and yard clippings are placed in compost bins instead of landfill bins, they will be exposed to conditions in which they can properly decompose and their nutrients are returned back into the environment.
  • Examples of what you can compost: pizza boxes, coffee grinds, tea bags, paper plates, wooden utensils, napkins, yard trimmings and leftovers

Recycle

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 1.09.36 PM.png

  • You cannot recycle containers that have food residue. If you want to recycle things such as an ice cream tub or milk carton, please rinse it out first!
  • Examples of what you can recycle: glass bottles, wrapping paper, magazines, cereal boxes, aluminum cans, plastic toys and plastic bottles.
  • Not sure if something is recyclable? Just look for the little recycling symbol which is usually on the bottom!

Landfill

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 1.10.27 PM.png

  • Examples of what should go to the landfill: diapers, Styrofoam and shiny food packaging wrappers
  • What should NOT go in the landfill? Hazardous items such as medicines, batteries, light bulbs, paint and electronics. These items need to be dropped off at designated waste locations within your city.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: