7 Ways to 'Rethink, Reduce, Reuse' On America Recycles Day

7 Ways to ‘Rethink, Reduce, Reuse’ On America Recycles Day

By Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland

Saturday, Nov. 15, is America Recycles Day, reminding us of the importance of our efforts to rethink our purchases, reduce and minimize waste, reuse everything possible, and return materials to good use through recycling. The process of recycling allows for the recovery, sorting, and redistribution of valuable materials, so that they can be manufactured into new products.

In Kane County, we are lucky to have excellent curbside programs through our municipalities, so most of you have a cart for steel and aluminum cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic containers, cardboard, and paper. Here are the Recycling Guidelines for everything you can place in the curbside bin at home.

A few lesser-known tips include:

  1. Do not place plastic bags of recycling materials into the bin; empty the bags out and use them again.
  2. Please place plastic lids back on empty plastic containers, so they can be recycled, too.
  3. Scrunch aluminum foil into loose baseball- sized balls for recycling, which helps in the sorting process. Foil should be fairly clean, but doesn’t have to be spotless.
  4. Do not place any Styrofoam into the bins; it can be taken to a drop-off.
  5. Did you know that, in addition to recycling containers and paper through your household curbside program, a ton of other items — paint, clothing, shoes, cooking oil, corks and Styrofoam — can be recycled at drop-off locations. Please have a look at this A-Z list of recycling and reuse opportunities in and around Kane County.
  6. For holiday parties, use reusable glasses, plates, utensils and cloth napkins. Avoid if possible single-use disposable service ware. That alone makes a huge difference in the amount of trash going to the landfill in the holiday season!
  7. Another big hitter is to Stop your Junk Mail for good! You can do that by getting on the National Do Not Mail list.

Every single thing we do really does make a difference!

Celebrate America Recycles Day by ReThinking your purchases, buying in bulk to Reduce excess packaging, ReUsing what you can, Recycling everything possible, and Composting food scraps!

If you have any questions, call your county recycling coordinator at (630) 208-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org and visit countyofkane.org/Recycling.