I had the idea to do a little pilot program on my porch for some of the things I get asked about or that I end up taking for my neighbors. It was largely inspired by one particular neighbor who saves everything to talk with me about and how she can find a greener alternative and how what she has now can be recycled Jeanne has inspired many a post which I’m so grateful for.
Here’s what I’m taking right now and here’s what I posted to my neighborhood:
Hi Neighbors! I’m collecting recycling and certain linens (see below) that don’t go in your blue carts/curbside recycling:
– small hard plastics (smaller than your palm) but no credit cards or hotel cards These fall through the single-stream recycling system since they are so small.
– small scrap metal (smaller than your palm) This can include metal from those utility flags, random street metal, broken toys, etc. You can also leave unusable/unsafe pots and pans on my porch and I’ll take them to the recycling center for you.
– Styrofoam for the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center: no packing peanuts and bag it up if you have a lot please.
– old jeans, pillowcases, bath linens, and fitted sheetsfor Austin Wildlife Rescue
If I doubt, please ask/PM me first before dropping items off.
I am no longer accepting utensils packs for various food assistance groups. They don’t need or want them so practice refusing when you get your take-out or taking it back to the restaurant the next time you go in.
There are also rubber bands and Nerf darts in on of the bins if you need any.
Have a great green week!
Taylor, your Zero Waste Block Leader
Below are images of the types of items in the Hard Plastics and Scrap Metal bins. It’s things that are tinier than your palm or would tangle the recycling machines.
I did a pilot run with my neighborhood recycling group that I started and it worked pretty well. There weren’t too many contaminants so I just needed to follow through and post to the neighborhood at-large. There were two issues I had during the pilot: 1) credit cards and hotel cards and they were shredded! Credit cards are a mix of materials and more of them have the little computer chip in them. Check with your credit card provider on the best was to handle disposing of these. Mine actually sent me an envelope to mail back to them. Please turn in your hotel cards at the hotel so they can reuse them or put the burden of recycling on the hotel and not yourself. 2) Compostable items. Corn packing peanuts and brown compostable to-go food containers ended up in my foam bin. Those can go in my curbside compost program or would breakdown in a home compost system. You can even melt corn peanuts in the sink if you want.
I didn’t want to write on the bin itself since I want to be able to reuse it in general, and then I wanted to be able to change what went into each one.
At first I tried paper protectors but the sun literally disintegrated those into a thousand microplastic shards.
Laminate was better once I was really comfortable with the items in each bin.
Packing tape did not stick and masking/painters tape may have worked, but they’ll melt more in the sun so I went with duct tape.
I’ll keep you all posted on how the porch recycling goes. A lot of neighbors signed up for Ridwell, who collects hard to recycle items in reusable bags and bins in a porch bucket you leave on your porch and then pick it up for you and get it recycled. I’ll get a guest writer to share on that experience since I use City of Austin services for my items. Ridwell significantly decreased the Styrofoam and plastic bags I used to get asked to take to the Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center.
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