Recycling Tips

Follow these tips to recycle like a pro!


  • Magazines:
    • Pull out articles/information/pictures for later reference
    • Save interesting pages for decorative wrap
    • Use magazine pages and covers for book covers
    • Use colorful paper for origami and other paper projects
    • Donate magazines to friends, senior citizens, convalescent hospitals, doctors' offices, hospital waiting rooms, etc.
  • Avoid aerosol cans. They have no practical reuse or recycling potential. Instead, look for products like hair spray or room freshener that come in pump spray bottles that are recyclable.
  • If you bring home shopping bags, reuse them as garbage bags or return them to the store for recycling. Most supermarkets now have recycling bins for both plastic and paper bags. Even better, bring your own cloth or mesh bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Purchase products compatible with your neighborhood recycling program. Plan ahead and consider what you will be buying and where things will ultimately end up.
  • Donate unwanted clothes, toys, or household goods to a charitable organization or homeless shelter. Worn-out clothes can be turned into rags for household cleaning - just wash and reuse.
  • Disposable diapers take up a lot of room in our landfills. When possible, consider using a cloth diaper service instead.
  • Nature is one large composting system. Living organisms "eat"organic material and turn it into a rich, crumbly soil called humus. Food scraps and yard waste can be recycled through composting.
  • Green waste, including tree and grass trimmings, leaves, weeds, and related materials that are separated from other solid waste, should be placed in your green waste bin. Green waste does NOT include: food; fruits and vegetables; dirt or sod; rocks or concrete; oversized branches, stumps, or logs, large pieces of lumber; yucca leaves, palm fronds, or other fibrous materials.
  • Recycle your junk mail, screening it for non-recyclable items like magnets and membership cards. There are also several ways to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive, such as having your name removed from national mailing lists and broker lists.
  • Styrofoam® takes a long time to decompose. Instead of using Styrofoam® cups, use glass or ceramic. If you receive Styrofoam® peanut packaging, reuse it, or donate it to your local box or shipping company.


  • Compost your kitchen and garden waste at home. This can help reduce your waste by up to 25% and fertilize your soil (without having to buy expensive fertilizers).
  • Don't use throw-away items such as plastic and Styrofoam® plates and cups.
  • Make a list and buy only what you really need when you shop. Remember, perishable food ends up as waste in our landfills.
  • Buy in bulk whenever possible. It eliminates packaging waste and can save you money.
  • Buy concentrates such as cleaners and detergents - they have far less packaging and are often more economical.
  • Store leftover food in reusable containers instead of using plastic wrap and foil.
  • Use sponges or rags instead of paper towels.
  • Think "litterless" lunches for work or school. Place sandwiches, snacks and drinks in reusable plastic containers. Pack everything into a reusable fabric bag or plastic lunch pail.
  • Use mesh coffee filters instead of paper filters.
  • Reuse aluminum pie plates as freezer containers for baked goods or berries.
  • Leftover ceramic tiles make handy hot plates or trivets. Just glue felt to the bottom to prevent scratching.


  • Look for cosmetics and personal care products with minimal packaging and buy refillables.
  • Cut up old towels and bed linens and use them for household chores such as dusting, or donate them to an animal shelter for pet bedding.
  • Use old toothbrushes as cleaning tools for those hard-to-reach places.
  • Use an old shower curtain as a drop cloth when painting or as a ground sheet for camping.
  • Use refillable cartridge razors or an electric razor instead of disposable razors.
  • Buy liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner in refillable sizes.
  • Buy household and commercial cleaning products in refillable sizes.
  • Buy unbleached, recycled paper products in bulk.
  • Buy refillable deodorant containers (available at health food stores).
  • Buy pump bottles that can be recycled instead of aerosol cans.

Paper Products

  • Whether you are at home, school or work, don't waste paper. Use both sides of paper when copying and writing.
  • Share magazines and newspapers with friends or donate your "already read" magazines to hospitals, doctors' offices, convalescent hospitals, or community centers.
  • Create a demand for recycled paper by using recycled printing and writing paper. Support local recycling efforts.
  • Cancel unnecessary magazine subscriptions.


  • Buy products in packaging that you know can be recycled.
  • If you feel a product has too much packaging, contact the manufacturer and explain your concern or try to avoid buying that particular product.
  • Buy your milk in plastic jugs or glass bottles rather than in wax-coated cartons. Wax-coated cartons are NOT recyclable.
  • When shopping, take your own reusable shopping bags. If you need to use the stores paper or plastic bags, reuse them when you go back to the store or use them as trash can liners.
  • Food is a perishable commodity. Do not buy more than you need.