The first way to keep things out of the landfill is to reduce your waste by using less and recycling more. The problem with recycling is usually knowing where to do it. I know batteries shouldn’t go in the landfill but I have been driving around with a plastic container filled with them in my car waiting to find a place to take them.
The State of NJ has many different recycling programs throughout the state that are awesome. The hard part is trying to find them. Leave it to a guy who moves here from London to take on the project of helping put all the info in one place. His name is Paul Leonard and he came to NJ to work at Rutgers as a research biochemist. Although it has nothing to do with his job, he is passionate about saving the earth’s resources and took it upon himself to create www.RecyclingNJ.com.
I found out about this through another blog Green Talk run by Anna Hackman, that I think is a really great resource for all things green. There is so much helpful information on this site! This is where I found an article Mr. Leonard wrote himself about the site. (You can read it here.)
The Recycling NJ site has a lot of helpful information about recycling in general and specific info on the where and the how. I just learned that the water filter on my Brita pitcher is a plastic type #5 which can be recycled at our local Whole Foods in the #5 bin they have by the door. I also found out that the used plastic gift cards are a plastic #3 which local recycling centers don’t take. This site gives you a company named Earthworks with an address that you can mail them to and they will recycle them for you.
Other ideas include the extra materials you may have left over after working on the house. Habitat for Humanity loves to take these kinds of donations. If they can’t use the materials in their own building projects, they will sell them in their retails stores (called ReStore) and use the funds for the projects. We have one near us in Asbury Park that I love to shop in and I find a lot of great furniture in this store too.
There is also a link to Terracycle on the site that takes potato chip bags from Frito Lay off your hands and makes designer purses out of them.
So take a look around Recycling NJ. If you know how and where to recycle, you may be more likely to do it!