Dallas Does Recycle (Blue Bins for Everyone)

I admit, I didn't start recycling until recently. Actually, we all do our best to recycle cans, plastic, and paper at the office, and that's where it all got started.

Call it passion, because I want to share it with everyone: Recycling is easy.

No more sorting plastic 7 from plastic 1, 2, and 3. No more sorting glass from the plastics. And good grief, no more blue bags. Dallas launched a major recycling program in early 2006 and rolled out the blue bins on most city streets.

If you don't have a blue bin already, order yours online today through the Dallas City Hall. They will deliver one for you.

Check the map for service days, and leave the bin out back for your neighbors to use. Interactive map instructions:

1. Insert your address & zip code
2. Check the box below
3. Select Search
4. The map will tell the collection days for your address.

There are a number of reasons to recycle. And there is so much to recycle that you won't feel it's a waste of time. You don't realize just how much glass and plastic you go through in a week.

The National Recycling Coalition has listed 10 reasons to recycle on their website. Here's five of them to at least get an idea:

  • Good For Our Economy - American companies rely on recycling programs to provide the raw materials they need to make new products.
  • Creates Jobs - Recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide.
  • Reduces Waste - The average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day. Most of this garbage goes into to landfills, where it's compacted and buried.
  • Good For The Environment - Recycling requires far less energy, uses fewer natural resources, and keeps waste from piling up in landfills.
  • Saves Energy - Recycling offers significant energy savings over manufacturing with virgin materials. (Manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95% less energy.)

If you're more of a visual person, like me, check out NRC's Interactive Recycling Calculator. I just found out if you recycle 4 glass bottles/week, that's enough energy to power a conventional lightbulb for 16 hours. That's 832 hours/year.

The NRC also lists the 10 most popular items to recycle, but here's what's in my bag:

1. Wine Bottle
2. Smartwater bottles
3. Plastic milk carton
4. Contact solution
5. Shampoo bottle
5. Plastic water jug
6. Shavers (not too sure about this one, but eh)
7. Clear plastic garment bag from the dry cleaners
8. Starbucks lid
9. Toothpaste travel tube
10. Empty humus container

Your list will look different, and feel free to add to mine or give other random suggestions for readers to recycle!

If you're looking for a place to recycle electronics, I had the toughest time finding a place to drop off equipment. We finally had to pay for a company to come and pick it up. There seem to be some more companies out there doing this sort of thing now. It's really a shame that this isn't a government program already. And I hope that someone is monitoring these companies to ensure these products are being recycled and not sold or even thrown in our landfills. Just saying! Know of a reliable resource for electronic pickups? Leave a comment so others can find out about them!

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