My experience with Recycling

I’m back in Charleston finally, after a long stretch with my daughter in Abilene.  While in Abilene I researched everything about recycling that I could, and I blogged about it.  Now that I am back home, I am recycling myself!!

My first experience was as the grocery store.  I went to buy groceries, and at the checkout I purchased 4 reusable shopping bags, they were only 99 cents each.  All my groceries fit in those 4 bags, and I even got a free wine bag to put the 4 bottles of wine that I bought in.

It was so much easier toting 4 bags to the car than all those plastic bags.  I was very proud of myself and consider this a success!!  I eliminated the plastic shopping bags out of my life for good!  I only need to make a habit of taking them inside when I go shopping from now on.  I have a feeling that is going to the problem.  Since they are in my trunk, I will probably find myself in the store before I remember them.  I am going to have to work on that!!

Here are the pictures of my groceries in my new bags.  I hope you will take the first step yourself and get these bags.

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Recycle Metal

Most recycling places accept metal cans for recycling.  Soda cans, food cans, coffee cans.   All you have to do is clean out any food debris and place it in your recycle bin.

Unfortunately aluminum foil and food trays can’t be recycled.  So one way to eliminate this waste is to store all your left overs in glass or plastic containers that you can reuse.  Only use aluminum foil when you absolutely have to.  For grilling you can use a flat pan instead of foil.  That way, no waste!

There are rumors that removing the tabs from soda cans will collect you more money at the recycling centers, but it isn’t true.  The tabs are made from the same metal as the can.  Some charities like Ronald McDonald house and the Shriners Hospital for children do take tab donations, but it doesn’t fetch them any more money than the whole can would.   A million can tabs has a recycle value of about $366 dollars in the US.  To me, it’s better to just recycle the whole can.  No worries about separating the tabs or anything.

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Recycle Shopping Bags

You can’t recycle shopping bags!   You can reuse them, like bagging poop diapers or other stinky items for the trash, but they can’t be recycled.  What a shame!   So what are we to do??   We could choose paper bags at the market, or better yet only use the reusable bags.  They cost but once bought, you can reuse them forever!  (or at least until they wear out) .

As a consumer, we need to say no to items that can’t be recycled.  Eliminate the waste totally!  Most beaches have already banned them on our beaches!  By September 1, I pledge to only use reusable bags!  I can’t wait to get me some cute ones, and start using them!!   Get yours and start using them.  Why continue to use plastic shopping bags when they can’t be recycled??


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Recycle Glass


Here is how to recycle all your glass.  Glass can be recycled over and over!  This is awesome.  There should never be any glass in our landfills!  One way I help in this area is to reuse what glass I can.  I buy jelly that comes in these cute jars, they are perfect drinking cups after the jelly is gone.  Here is the jelly I buy, it comes in all different flavors and uses only fruit, sugar and pectin.  You can’t beat it!! 313633-75x75-A

You can recycle glass jars, bottles, or anything else that is glass.   Examples are wine bottles, food jars, and alcoholic beverage bottles.

With glass, you don’t have to remove the caps or the labels.  Just clean out the bottle or jar and put it in your recycle bin.  Easy peasy!!!

One thing that can’t be recycled is light bulbs!  Or at least in Charleston they can’t.  Always check with your local recycle center for specific questions!

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What plastic can be recycled

Plastic Bottles & Containers

Here is a list of what plastics can be recycled.  My first rule is to eliminate all waste first, so if you can use a water filter do that to cut down on plastic bottles.  Make your own cleaners and reuse your old bottles over and over.  Use a kcup filter that used ground coffee.  No waste is always best, but if you do have plastics, recycle them.

  • Water bottles
  • Soda bottles
  • Milk jugs
  • Liquid containers
  • Jars and tubs (yogurt, margarine tubs, etc.)
  • Detergent and all-purpose cleaner bottles
  • Soap and shampoo bottles
  • Rigid plastic product packaging, such as clean rigid clamshell containers (Remove any plastic film or aluminum)
  • Plastic cups
  • Kcups- remove the foil top, coffee and filter inside cup.  The plastic cup can be recycled

Make sure to remove labels from containers, remove caps, and clean them out.


Keep the following items out of your recycling cart:

  • Plastic bags (i.e. shopping bags, cereal bags, trash bags)
  • Plastic wrap (i.e. thin plastic food wrap or shrink wrapping/product packaging)
  • styrofoam packaging or food containers
  • household garbage
  • shredded paper
  • food waste
  • yard waste
  • cartons (i.e. juice boxes, chicken broth cartons)
  • bulky plastic items (i.e. toys, hangers)
  • batteries
  • light bulbs
  • electronics
  • clothing and shoes
  • construction debris (i.e. wood, insulation)
  • rope-like items (i.e. garden hoses)
  • medical waste (i.e. syringes)
  • diapers or sanitary products
  • propane tanks
  • aluminum foil and trays
  • motor oil and cooking oil
  • paint


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Recycle Water Bottles

water flows from the tap to sink
Photo by Kaboompics .com on

I am in the process of learning how to recycle.  This first post will be about water bottles!  Everyone is on this kick of drinking out of water bottles all the time.  I have even heard comments from people that they can’t drink water from the tap at all.  In Georgia our tap water is very good.   I love the way it tastes, so I don’t mind drinking it at all.  Of course, if you live in an area with bad water, you may think bottled water is your only option.  This is not true!  Zero water pitches are great alternatives to bottled water, and there is nothing to recycle!  You get the pitcher, fill it with your tap water and it removes 99 percent of the bad stuff.

If you still prefer bottled water, then recycling them is a great way to keep them out of the landfills!   To do this correctly, then follow these basic guidelines.

  1.  Remove the cap, most recycling companies cant recycle the plastic bottle if the cap is still on.  The cap is made from a different plastic than the bottle, so to prevent contamination, just remove the cap.
  2. Remove the plastic label is your bottled water has one.
  3. Put the empty bottle in the recycle bin.

Check with your local recycle center to find out what number plastic the accept.  Usually it’s 1 or 2.

Have fun recycling your water bottles!  for every ton of plastic recycled, 1 barrel of oil is saved!    Here are some fun facts I

1.)    Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled

2.)    Americans consume over 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water

3.)    Most tap water is more heavily tested and regulated than bottled water

4.)    Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose

5.)    It requires 3 times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it

6.)   Bottled water costs over 1,000+ times more than tap water

7.)    Last year, the average American used 167 water bottles, but only recycled 38

8.)    In many taste tests, tap water was preferred over bottled water

9.)    The NRDC conducted a comprehensive four-year scientific study of 1,000 brands of bottled water. The results showed that one third of the bottled waters violated their own industry standards for water quality

10.)  It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles yearly. This could fuel 1 million cars for a year

about water bottles.