Recently I made a new friend who recycles 95% of all her trash. I was so impressed that I began the process of recycling all of mine. When you think about it, although it’s not as easy or convenient as tossing trash into the trash can, recycling is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Glass and plastic bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, magazines, newspaper, plastic bags and even kitchen scraps are all recyclable if you know what to do with it. It took several months to get all my ducks in order. First, I needed a special container in which to place all my biodegradable things, such as food scraps. Here is a picture of the item I purchased on-line, a stainless steel container that I place all my kitchen scraps in and then take to the compost pile every couple of days or when needed. This keeps one from placing biodegradable stuff in the trash which only invariably stink up the house. It has a special lid with a filter that allows it to breathe without having the odor of food scraps escaping. The resulting compost pile dirt is great to use to add to vegetable and flowering plants as soil conditioner and fertilizer.
Picture of canister
In addition, I needed several trash containers to place all the types of recyclable waste. I have mine in the kitchen where it is convenient but you can place them anywhere, such as in the garage, basement or shed.
Picture of trash cans. The non-recyclable trash can is not in the picture.
In to addition to all of this I needed to be educated on how to do everything properly without having stinky decaying waste sitting around my house and yard. With this in mind it is important to always rinse out anything that is being saved for recycling.
Below is the process I went through to decrease my trash footprint. I hope many of you join me in an effort to help save our world from trash.
Trash can #1
Here are all things that can not be recycled: metal and plastic lids, plastic storage bags, hard plastic packaging, #3, 4 & 5 plastic containers and other non-recyclables. If you’re really conscientious about recycling, this trash can should take a long time to fill up with non-recyclables, and then has to go out for regular trash collection or transfer station drop-offs.
Trash can #2
All paper items that can be recycled: cardboard, newspaper, office paper, magazines and catalogs can be recycled at the old hospital grounds in Romney on Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 am till noon. Some of this paper can be used as kindling in your fireplace or wood stove.
Trash can #3
In this container you can place all your metal cans, which will be taken to a recycling center out of the area. If you wish, you can take your aluminum cans to the Slanesville Ruritan on Saturday mornings from 8:00 am till noon where you will be paid a small amount for them.
Trash can #4
All #1 and #2 plastics can be placed in this container. Some recycling centers require that the #1 and #2 plastics be separated. In order to be a recyclable plastic, the opening must be smaller than the container; water bottles are OK; margarine tubs are not.
Trash can #5
This can is reserved for glass containers which usually needs to be separated by color (green, brown, clear) at the recycling center. No light bulbs, mirrors or broken glass is accepted. Fluorescent light bulbs can be recycled at Lowe’s stores.
In addition, plastic grocery store bags can be recycled at the stores where you get them.
If you make the effort to recycle, you’ll find that you have very little actual “trash” each week, and may find that you don’t need to pay for trash collection at your house, but instead can make occasional trips to the trash transfer station in Romney.
One of the closest places for Hampshire Countians to take their recyclable is Penn Mar Recycling at 975 Kelly Road, Cumberland, MD. There are also recycling facilities in Winchester, but they may be only available to Frederick County residents or by obtaining a permit.
The Hampshire County Commission is working on starting a comprehensive recycling program for county residents, as required by a referendum that was passed in November, 2014. The initial phase is the paper/cardboard recycling available at the old Hospital grounds in Romney. Currently, a recycling center is being developed at the Regional Jail property in Augusta, using a $120,000+ grant received from the WV State REAP program. Hopefully, this program will eventually expand to include all recyclables, enabling all Hampshire County residents to recycle. This will be our small part in saving the world, one piece of plastic at a time.