We kicked off our Reducing Waste Challenge last Friday. For the first week, we challenged participants to do a trash audit. Here are some of our main takeaways:
Plastic packaging is a big problem.
“I’m surprised at the large amount of waste from food packaging.”
This was a VERY common sentiment this week. It seems like plastic packaging is everywhere. And, unfortunately, those kind of plastics aren’t recyclable. We’ll be exploring and sharing creative ways to avoid plastic packaging as this Reducing Waste Challenge continues.
Staying at home changes the way we look at our trash.
“We compost, we recycle. There’s still so much since we’re now both at home all day. But being at home gives us a chance to audit what would have been thrown away in several places previously so feel like we’re getting a very in-depth look.”
While staying at home has created many challenges, it has also given participants a different perspective on their trash. When life is “normal” we are throwing things away in a variety of different places: school, work, sidewalk trash bins. But, since most of us are spending a majority of our time at home right now, we are able to see all of our trash in one place. Seeing your trash helps you recognize what you’re throwing away most and can help you set goals to try and eliminate particular forms of waste.
Now that participants have done their trash audits, we are going to be focusing on setting reducing waste goals. Check back next week for another update.
Resources we recommend:
Here are a few useful resources that might help keep some things out of your trash can:
- Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District’s Recycling and Resue Outlets tool
This is an awesome database if you are unsure of if or where an item can be recycled. It will let you know if an item is recyclable curbside or elsewhere in the city. Someone in the group found a place to recycle keys this week using this tool!
- Imago’s Reducing Waste Swaps database
This is a searchable tool we put together that recommends different swaps for things commonly found in our trash. We’ll be updating it more as the challenge continues.
Rumpke accepts a lot of plastic bottles along with their tops. Whole Foods used to take what was left. Now that’s no longer possible. But they did give me an address in NY that would accept #5’s if you’re interested:
Preserve Grimme 5
823 State Route 13
Cortland, NY 13045-6574