• 2015-10-15

Garage and Shed Organization Makes Recycling Easier

Whether your garage or shed is a model of cleanliness or it still looks like you just moved in, we could all benefit from better recycling organization.  One of the main ways to minimize the cost of recycling programs is to keep materials as clean as possible.  This is where being organized really comes in handy.  By creating efficient storage you make it much easier for you and your family to recycle, which saves you time and money in the long run.

Waste Reduction Week is October 19-25, so why not use that week to get organized?

Start by setting aside a bit of space where you can store your recyclables.  Maybe a corner of the room, maybe build or buy some shelving. The important thing is to create an efficient and usable setup that makes it easy for you to recycle.  

Next look at the materials you’ll be handling. 

Tires: Unwanted tires are fairly easy to stack in a corner or even outside.

Paint: Architectural paint can be stored in its original can or pail but ideally it should be kept from freezing since the paint can’t usually be recycled if it freezes.

Oil and glycol: Oil and antifreeze should have spill proof containers made from oil resistant plastic and preferably marked with the #2 recycling symbol. Often a two to five gallon gas can works great for these materials (depending on how much you use) but be sure to label the outside with permanent marker to avoid any mistakes.  Used oil or diesel fuel filters can be kept in a plastic tub until you have time to bring them back for recycling.  It is fine to mix oils like used motor oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid or gear oil, but silicone based materials like brake fluid should have their own containers.  Keeping a pail for used aerosol cans (penetrant, grease, brake cleaner, etc) also makes life easier when it comes time to bring those items in for recycling.

If you have a curbside recycling program then you’ll need to pay special attention to what materials are covered  and how you have  to recycle them.  Do I use bins or bags? How many sorts do I need? What’s the best way to keep them organized and useable? Can they be stacked vertically to save space? It’s always best to ensure any recyclable materials are well separated and to take a few extra seconds to prepare the materials (break down boxes, remove plastic product windows, wire ties, etc) because they will take up a lot less space when you do.  Overall you’ll soon notice that when your recycling is well organized you can save both time and the environment together.

Jamie Seamans

Program Manager

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