08 Feb Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Waste Management & Recycling Tips for 2024
As we start the new year with intentions for positive change, we must approach goals realistically. Instead of grand resolutions, focus on small, gradual changes for lasting results in your sustainable practices. Here are practical tips to stay committed to your low-waste goals in 2024:
1. Audit Your Waste
Take a moment to assess your waste and recycling habits. Track how frequently you dispose of each type of material. Are you generating more waste or recycling? Implement the following tips and observe the impact. Is your trash output decreasing?
2. Simplify Recycling
Make recycling as convenient as throwing things into the garbage by twinning your bins. Place a recycling bin next to every trash bin in your home or opt for a split container. Whether in the bathroom, home office, or garage, create an easy-to-follow system for your family.
3. Know Before You Throw
Recycling guidelines can vary by location. Familiarize yourself with the accepted materials in your area. Keep a copy of the approved list near your collection containers, and visit designated drop-off centers for items not collected curbside. If you live in a 1-4 unit household in the City of Milwaukee, download a copy of the accepted materials list
4. When in Doubt, Throw it Out
Avoid wishcycling—throwing unaccepted items into the recycling bin with the hope they might get processed. If unsure about an item’s recyclability, it’s better to discard it properly to safeguard the recycling system.
5. Skip the Bag
When emptying your recycling bin into the cart, ensure items are loose. Bagged recyclables can disrupt the sorting process and potentially damage equipment. Keeping items loose helps sorting crews work efficiently.
6. Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly
Safely dispose of hazardous materials such as batteries, electronics, and household chemicals through designated collection programs or special drop-off locations. The improper disposal of these can harm the environment and other people.
Reduce waste by donating gently used items. Create a donation pile and schedule trips to donation locations as needed. For larger items, explore options for companies that offer pick-up services.
8. Check Winter Collection Schedules
Be mindful of winter weather affecting garbage and recycling routes. Follow winter collection guidelines, ensuring your recycling cart is visible and accessible for crews during the seasonal schedule adjustments. Check out the city of Milwaukee’s garbage and recycling schedules.
Embrace these practical tips to make a meaningful impact on waste reduction in 2024. Small changes can lead to significant, lasting improvements for the environment and the community.