Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Super exciting recycling news!

Recycling foilI'm sure this won't be as exciting to anyone else (unless you live in Seattle), but we are now getting food waste pickup weekly at the end of the month and can put in delightful waste such as meat, fish, dairy and bones.

Our recycling is also being extended to include foil, foil trays, jar lids, plastic plant pots, paper and plastic cups! I don't care about the latter because I never use paper and plastic cups, but I do accrue a lot of plastic plant pots (which I've been saving) and the occasional foil from baking that irks me to no end that we can't recycle it. Lids from glass jars are also highly exciting for me.

So, let me tell you, I really am pleased with these changes and I can't think of too many other things that I would like them to accept (within reason). I'm in collection services hog heaven!

What kind of items would you like to be able to put out in the recycling that you can't now? Do you have food waste recycling and, if so, do you use it? If not, do you want it?

47 comments:

Bucky said...

Damn. That's sweet.

Instead of expanding, Houston is cutting back on its recycling program -- eliminating some neighborhoods altogether and cutting back from every other week to once a month in others.

I would love to be able to recycle most plastic (we only take #1 and #2 now) as well as all types of metal (they basically only take cans now).

As for food, that would be great but I don't see it happening.

Robj98168 said...

Aint it great??? Now if I could recycle light bulbs (especially CFL) and Window glass in the trash I would be complete! But I ain't bitching- my mom's apartment complex has no recycling- Way to go Waste MGMT or City if Burien- WHen she lived in her house she was an avid recycler- Now she is starting to feel no guilt.

Eco Yogini said...

Wow jar lids and foil! Ugh. Lucky.

Here in Canada Nova Scotia has a law for the entire province requiring composting, recycling of plastics, paper and glass. If you don't sort your garbage (which has to be in a clear plastic bag so they can see!) it either gets rejected or you get a fine. So even though we live in an apartment in a city- we DO compost and recycle! :) It's really super easy.

However- I have heard rumours about the government wanting to cut back on the recycling/composting program due to high costs to run it and with the economy being so bad.
I'd also love to be able to recycle more than #1 and #2 plastics... Perhaps I shall write a letter...

ps- so glad I found your blog! :)
Blessings!

camelama said...

I am *ecstatic* about all the new Seattle recycling/composting. In the past month I've managed to cut my garbage output in HALF due to Seattle yardwaste bins taking food wastes, and now the increased recycling.

I just love it! I will think about a smaller trash can soon, too, but am a little wary of going a size down. I dont know why. :) I just am!

Holly said...

Another idea on recycling your plastic plant pots is to take them directly back to the nursery they came from. Big places like Home Depot and the like typically don't take them, but smaller nurseries often love receiving them back and can reuse them for future plants. (even if you got them from a different place to begin with) This way they can be reused, before being recycled.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the styrofoam (sorry if this is misspelled), lids and expanded plastics in our area. But we can recycle most everything else. Including home food waste.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! I'd love to see Philadelphia take more that plastics 1 & 2, and to take home food waste and aluminum products. Sadly, I don't think this is going to happen since we are going through a budget crisis of epic proportions and people are wigging out about possibly having to pay for garbage pick-up. We are not an overly green city.

Billie said...

I am in the process of trying to find out what is recycled by our trash pick-up company.

Fairfax County in Virginia is actually quite horrible when it comes to recycling. They recycle all kinds of paper and cardboard, tin cans and glass jars at their recycle drop-offs but only recycle jugs and bottles for plastic. It can be any number but there must be a neck on the plastic container. I am hoping that our trash company picks up more than what Fairfax County recycles but I am afraid that they do not.

I seriously wish that I lived in some of the places that you guys lived in. I want my bulk food stores and recycling and... and... serious envy here.

pigbook1 said...

and here I am just hoping they will actually RECYCLE my recycling instead of picking it up with the trash (they're picked up at separate times where I live) I miss living in a place where recycling not only matters, but is supported as much as it should be.

Heather @ SGF said...

That's awesome! You west-coasters are always way ahead of the rest of us :)

My first wish is that we had curb-side pickup rather than me trying to bike all my recycling in (or waiting until the once every couple of months that I actually drive the car). We have two recycling facilities in town and they take different things so you have to be organized.

More than anything I wish people recycled at all. Our community is really bad about throwing things away. It's garbage day today and I can see all the overflowing trash cans from the window - I can see the cardboard containers, newspapers, milk jugs... all of it recycleable but everyone just tosses them because they don't understand the impact... :(

agreenfire said...

That is wonderful. There is no curbside recycling of any kind where I live.

News like this gives me hope that easy recycling will eventually arrive where I live.

Tameson said...

I live in a rural area. We have no trash pick up of any sort, we have to haul it in to the transfer station. They take just about anything including yard/food waste for community compost, but only the city folk (new people) really use that - like the guy accross the street who actually rakes his leaves Ha! Everybody else either finds a spot on their yard for compost - most do slow (cold) compost, but the diehards are all into hot piles...it's interesting conversation at town meetings and social eventsto hear how hot their piles were during the last cold snap.

M said...

We *just* received recycling bins at my apartment building in Los Angeles. I don't have a car, so I had saving my recyclables up and pawning them off on my boyfriend who dumped it into a bin.

With that said, I do wish we had the "green" plant material bins for food waste and maybe something to deal with at least some of the basic "electronic" waste things. So many people don't realize that it is illegal in California to throw batteries away or don't want to take the time to take batteries and other electronics away to a special recycling center. My friend and I do a recycling program at work, but we have to draw the line for things larger than batteries and light bulbs.

Carmen said...

I live in Montgomery County, MD, we have a really awesome recycling program. The only things they don't take that I wish they could include:
* That plastic that berries comes in - I guess it is the same as the plastic that electronics come in - the clam shell packaging
* Scrap Metal

Of course, I can just take scrap metal into the recycling center, they just don't pick it up curb side.

They even give out free compost bind in this county, which I think is awesome.

Carmen said...

Thought I'd share the link for our recycling center - I just think they have a great community outreach. They have a recycling blog, they're on twitter - very accessible.

www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste

LadyCiani said...

I am pretty happy with our program. Our city in Southern California has a .pdf you can download and print out, and it says they accept all plastics #1 through #7 (including nursery pots), foil, paper, phone books, cardboard all metal, aluminum and steel food containers with lids (even disposable cookware), and all glass beverage containers with lids. No window glass or mirrors, no pvc pipe, no milk cartons, styrofoam, juice boxes, plastic drink bottle caps, or soiled pizza boxes. They do accept empty aerosol cans.

Our yard waste accepts most regular things, but also OKs christmas trees and lumber that fits in the big bin. The also have a subsidy for buying a home composting bin from an online source. Just send in a utility bill proving you live in the area.

Alison Kerr said...

I'm in Kansas, in the Kansas City metro area. Our local landfill is filling up much faster than anticipated; because of that we're seeing increased opportunities for recycling. I can now put paper, cardboard, cans (all kinds), and plastics 1-7, including yogurt and margarine tubs, out for curbside recycling.

The two things which I can't currently curbside recycle are glass and yard waste. The recycling is picked up by one big truck and sorted later; they can't have glass in with everything else because it would break. I'd love to recycle both of these!

I think we may see some yard waste recycling within the next year. For now I have to pay to have tree and bush trimmings recycled - a local garden center takes them if we drop them off, but we have to pay to have them accepted.

I'm developing my own system for kitchen waste recycling and for small yard waste - I don't much care if they offer that or not at this point. I think I may even be able to recycle the larger yard waste at home soon.

All that to say, I wish they'd take glass! I can drop it off but it means a special trip and gas usage so I've not considered it green to do so.

Green Bean said...

Awesome! My city just got food waste pick up starting last week. It feels SO great to put all food waste in that bin instead of just the fruit and veggies scraps and such in the compost bin.

Sadraki said...

I love the new rules! I honestly don't know what I would still put in the trash except the cat poop (it clogs our toilet if we flush it).

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Anything, we have no recycling in town and the closest drop off is at Lower Brule reservation at least a half hour away. Oops, we can recycle aluminum cans at work and if we try really hard, we can recycle paper at work.

thetinfoilhatsociety.com said...

Anything at all is what I would like my community to recycle. They shut down the recycling center in Prescott Valley over a year ago, and the recycling center at the dump transfer station only takes cardboard.

Stacy S said...

I'm just outside of Toronto (in a place called Mississauga) in Canada. We have a weekly 2 bag limit on garbage, we can recycle almost anything (except those berry containers and plastic food wrap) and we have green bins for food waste (they take any food, as well as napkins and shredded paper). You can even buy the finished compost dirt (he he) cheap. We also have yard waste pick up from April to November (too cold the rest of the time). I have come to expect all this, but reading some of the other comments makes me realize how good we've got it!

GreenChick said...

I would love my recycling program to pick up food waste.

I think recycling programs should pick up pet waste, you know like doggie poo. Kinda gross, but makes sense.

On this blog I talk about converting pet waste to Methane Gas:
http://this-greenlife.com/2007/06/18/today-pet-poop-tomorrow-methane-gas/

Amber said...

We don't have a food waste recycling program, and I would love that. We also can't recycle foil or jar lids, and that would be great too.

I also think we ought to be able to recycle fabric. When my jeans give in and they're no longer wearable, surely there must be a use for the fabric? Or the shirts my kids stain beyond recognition?

Laura said...

Rockin'! I gotta tell my partner. He will be very happy about the lids a such.

aelfie said...

I live in San Jose, CA...our recycling accepts anything recyclable. Except for compostables...I think if they started to accept a compostable pickup my garbage would cut down to 1/3 to where it is. I've been bugging them for years about it.

Jennifer said...

Washington seems to be on the forefront of the "green movement". That is awesome. California should get a clue. I would love to have my food waste recycled, untill I get my compost bin going. We have 3 different bins that are picked up individually (that seems like a lot of gas). Do you know if you can put compost stuff in the green bin?

Jennifer said...

P.S. I noticed that Ed Begley keeps "nice" paper to recycle separately from the stuff that goes in his recycle bin. He says that stuff gets contaminated. Do you know more about that? I

saucy salsita said...

actually that is pretty exciting news. and i don't live in seattle. I have my own compost hole, which i love dearly:)
Saucy Salsita, AKA The Sexy Hippie - Because sexy comes in GREEN!

Angie Goodloe said...

That is so awesome! Maybe we will be next (i live in sandy oregon- not too far from seattle)!

Tara said...

I live in North Texas, out in the hinter-boonies in an unincorporated area, so no city services. We pay a private company for trash pickup, but have no recycling pickup of anything. There's also no place to haul it to. This really breaks my heart. On the upside, we try really hard to generate very little trash. Our food waste gets fed to the livestock or composted, but we can't do much about bottles and cans except try to minimize their use as best we can, or re-use them in some way.

Just a side note: the suburban town we used to live in required all trash to be bagged. Or rather, if you put a reusable trash can on the curb, they would simply haul it off, WITH the can. We wrote our city officials about it (because it irks us to have to buy plastic bags JUST to throw them away) and they explained that they used to allow cans, but people left them in the street, creating a traffic hazard. Interestingly, when they emptied our recycle bin every week, THEY left it in the street, smack in the middle of our driveway (so we couldn't pull in without moving it), or just wherever. Somehow I don't think the residents are the ones with the problem. ;-)

Condo Blues said...

In Columbus we have to pay for curbside recycling pickup and even then they don't take everything such as cardboard. But if you take it to a city recycling dumpster you can recycle all paper, paperboard, cardboard, metal, glass, and 1-7 plastics. I take our stuff to the dumpster. We also have paper retriever dumpsters that takes paper only and the proceeds go to a charity that sponsors the dumpster.

Cheap Like Me said...

That's great! We can recycle a lot of stuff here in Denver, but not yogurt tubs/plastic containers. I am working toward making more of that stuff (cottage cheese, yogurt) but it is sad anyway. I collect it for a year and then drive it 30 miles to a collection point.

Denver is doing a pilot yard/food waste program. We aren't a part of it, but I hope it becomes a citywide program.

nfmgirl said...

That is great news! I always loved how forward thinking the west coast was when I lived outside of Seattle.

For those interested in recycling and reusing, and want to have some fun doing so, Lisa Swilka is hosting the Project Blogway Challenge. You can learn more on her blog:
http://projectblogwaychallenges.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I wish! We had curbside and lost it a little over a year ago b/c the parish decided it was too expensive and switched waste management companies. So now we are paying the same and have no recycling.

They recently put a community recycling site, but they don't empty it regularly. Often there is no room for paper or plastic...ridiculous!

Greenjoycie said...

I compost all food waste. We have pick up of plastics #1 and #2. I found a place called Preserve/GImme 5 that takes #5. You have to mail it to them. I live near the mailing address so I'm stockpiling my #5s (not many, for sure) until they allow dropoffs at the building. We recycle all papers and cardboards also.

risa said...

A friend, before the health dept. went after him, ran a free soup kitchen by going around on his 3-wheel bike to organic restaurants and collecting their end-of-day pan contents to serve the next day. He was a clean operation --and much needed -- but -- nada, no-can-do. I would like to see some way of relegitimizing such efforts.

dee dee said...

Oh, Crunchy, I can't tell you envious I am of your community's recycling opportunities. I head up our little town's recycling committee and we're just beginning to deal with a dismal 30% compliance rate. We don't have municipal trash/garbage/recycling pick up...it's all privately contracted. So, even though we have a mandatory recycling ordinance, there is no enforcement mechanism. The good news is that some of the haulers are now taking cardboard and plastics #3 - #7 (previously on #1 &2). We have such a long way to go.

Renee said...

Oooh! Can't wait until Portland hops on that bandwagon!

Broke but Happy said...

R U kidding? The City of Chicago is still in the dark ages. They recycle...exactly NOTHING!

It's quite distressing; although a year ago, they opened a very small single station on the north side that is open just two and one-half days a week where one can drop off toxic items, such as cans of oil paint, computer terminals, etc.

I took a huge bag of clean plastic shopping bags, and they said, "We don't accept those," and before my very eyes, dumped this huge load of about one year's savings of plastic bags into a regular garbage can.

Worst part is they are only open a few hours a week. When I have gone there, I'm like the only customer.

Kind regards to all,
Broke Girl

Sharlene said...

I wish we had food waste recycling. Its seems silly that we don't. I thought California was supposed to be on the forefront of this stuff. Congrats to Seattle for stepping it up.

knittingwoman said...

I too live in Nova Scotia and I was going to post that I would love to be able to recycle more plastics as we can only put on #1 and #2 plastic. We do have a law making it illegal to put organics in the garbage and we have every other week pickup of compost which is fabulous. we do use blue bags for recycling but nobody where I live uses clear bags for actual garbage and I wish the city would be tougher on people who don't comply with the lawa.

leslie said...

Hi Crunchy, nice site. Been following you for a while since the NY Times.
Someone told me that with the economy as it is, recycling center can't sell their stuff to wherever they sell it to.
Here in Cody, its so weird. They are so particular about what kinds of cardboard they take (only corrugated, not cereal boxes!), they will take 1 through 6 plastic, but not all of them, just the bottles. I even tried to recycle some #1 tubs and they couldn't take them.
As far as food waste, well, I live in Grizzly country so that's out. I came from the Bay Area where their program is very good and I composted. But the lesson for me out here is that Recycling is really the very LAST thing one should do. Reuse is the first. Trying to do that more. Old timers out here are quite good at that. We could learn more from the depression era survivors.

Kim said...

We don't have curbside recycling in AK. Not only they, but (at least in Anchorage) our services are being cut back. They are no longer accepting plastic bags (not a huge worry for me since I always bring my own bags...but BF does occasionally come home with plastic bags) or GLASS!

That's right, we can't recycle glass anymore. I can't tell you how much this is bothering me. And you don't even want to see the stack of glass I've accumulated because I can't bring myself to throw the stuff away. :-/

Crunchy Chicken said...

Kim - Oh man, I would be hoarding recycling if I were you. The brain seizures would start with the plastic bags and the glass would send me into full-on conniptions.

scifichick said...

That would be nice if we had food waste pickup... But then in our building we don't have any kind of recycling pickup, so that's kind of a mute point. At this point I'm taking all my recycling to the city drop-off site, and they take everything! Or everything I could think of, pretty much. But no food waste :(

Ayseg├╝l said...

Fairfax County is now doing single stream curbside pick-up for residential customers and Plastics 1-7 (Except Styrofoam), including lids are now picked up!
See : http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/recycling/branching-out.pdf

But there is still conflicting info on the county website: older documents stating only plastics 1&2 and no lids are recycled, are still on the website.
And too many people still think that paper napkins, paper towels, paper plates, plastic utensils and styrofoam are recyclable.

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