Recycling at Home

Recycling programs differ by county. To find out what you can recycle, and the rules and procedures for storage and pick-up, contact your local solid waste coordinator or waste hauling company. Some items that are almost always accepted for recycling are:

County Recycling or Solid Waste Contacts (where available)

Many waste items are not recyclable in county and city recycling programs, but are recyclable through other regional or national programs.
  • Recycle old cell phones through Eco-Cell.
  • CDs and DVDs are accepted for recycling at stores such as Best Buy and Staples. Call your local store for more information.
  • CFL bulbs can be taken to Lowes or Home Depot locations for recycling.
  • Donate clothing to local charities, such as Salvation Army or Goodwill, or to churches in your community. Contact them to find out more details on accepted items.
  • Packing peanuts and bubble wrap can be reused when mailing packages or take them to a local mailing store for reuse.
  • Plastic grocery bags can be reused as trash can liners or return to stores such as Wal-Mart or Kroger for recycling.
  • Many used printer cartridges can be sent back to the manufacturer or taken to office supply stores to be reused or recycled.
  • Terra Cycle offers programs to recycle commonly used items such as chip bags, candy wrappers, and Styrofoam products.
  • Earth911 provides information about recycling other items in your region.

Recycling at Work

If you are interested in recycling at your business, here are steps to help get your program started.

1. Make the commitment; decide to recycle as a business.

2. Find out what is accepted through your local recycling program with the help of Bluegrass Greensource. Most programs accept cardboard, aluminum, phone books, and paper.

3. Identify which materials will be recycled. Estimate how much of what your business is throwing away could be recycled. One of the most accurate ways to do this is by conducting a waste audit.

4. Work with Bluegrass Greensource to find out how your recycling will be serviced. Services vary from curbside pick up to drop off stations.

5. Acquire recycling bins for indoor and outdoor locations. Indoors, recycling bins should be located everywhere there are trash receptacles. Make sure bins are clearly labeled and visible.

6. Publicize and communicate with all staff members about the recycling program. Make sure all staff andemployees are aware of the recycling program and what materials are to be recycled. Well informed custodial staff are essential for the success of any recycling effort. Trainings are an excellent way to promote the recycling program.

7. Designate someone to be the recycling coordinator. This person will oversee the program, continually encourage and be a resource to coworkers and monitor pick ups. Another option is to begin a green team. Try and have members from different areas of your business involved – housekeeping, kitchen, office, grounds.

8. Evaluate. Monitor the program, considering the staff ’s input. Another waste audit could be done to evaluate progress.

9. Create a waste reduction plan. Now that you have started recycling, you can look at reducing the amount of waste that is produced by your business, through strategies such as buying items with less packaging, and reusing materials where possible.