Recycle More Than Bottles

Recycling isn’t just about tossing your water bottles in a bin that a service picks up at your curb, or that you take to your local transfer station.  There are so many more ways to recycle, and so many more items that can be kept out of the landfill with just a little planning.

Those plastic bags you get from the grocery store should never be included in a recycling bin — but they can be recycled into amazing products!  Many grocery stores accept the plastic bags, you can check to see if your favorite grocer does, and if not, encourage them to start.  A company called TREX turns many different kinds of plastic bags and film into beautiful decking, benches and other long-lasting products.  Here is a list of collection sites in Virginia.   They also offer communities and schools that enroll in their recycling programs are eligible for high-performance, low-maintenance awards and prizes.

Another organization, TerraCycle, recycles many everyday items or connects you to companies that do, such as contact lenses, Burt’s Bees cosmetics, coffee pods, Colgate toothpaste tubes, and Gerber products, just to name a few.  Look them up, see which products you use that can do more than head to the landfill when the container is empty.

Did you know that cigarette butts are recyclable?  TerraCycle has a program that you can participate in to send them cigarette litter, including cigarette packaging and butts.  Find out how it works here.

Speaking of cigarette butts, congratulations to our ten August winners below who will receive a cigarette butt receptacle.  You can learn more, or enter your name in the September drawing!

John Cario, Hilton Richmond Downtown, Richmond
Laura Frick, Piankatank Community League, Gloucester
Tammy Hahn, Vine Cottage Inn, Hot Springs
Marshall Hall, Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE), Richmond
Gray Komich, North Franconia Civic Association, Alexandria
April Peterson, River Rock Outfitter, Fredericksburg
Angela St. Peter, Town of Irvington, Irvington
Susan Stimeling, Craig County Public Library, New Castle
Jessica Weaver, Weaver’s Auto Service, Suffolk
Elisabeth Wilkins, Middle Peninsula Master Naturalists, Yorktown

So many plastics and other things can be repurposed or recycled to have another life.  Take a look around your house to see which products you are using, and explore more recycling option.