My family visited the Perot Museum recently and we were enjoying a snack on the outside deck. For five solid minutes I stared silently at a couple in their mid-fifties who, for five solid minutes were staring silently at the recycling bin. They each held a styrofoam cup and could not figure out how to dispose of it. They stood motionless, except for the movement of their heads looking slowly toward the recycling bin on the left then toward the trash can on the right, back and forth. They eventually deposited their drink cups into the recycling side. Pop quiz: Did they make the right choice?
Answer: No. They did not.
I cannot fault them. I have been in their shoes and, honestly, even pretty recently. About two years ago, my oldest daughter – a Kindergartener at the time – asked me why we didn’t recycle. “Uh, good question. We just don’t have a bin. I’ll look into it.” The real answer? Recycling was a little intimidating to me. You know the way it feels when you cannot remember the name of a person who has given you their name a dozen times? You ought to know it by now – too much time and too many conversations have passed for you to ask again. So you start avoiding them like the plague because not knowing at this point makes you feel like an idiot.
That was me and recycling.
I remember learning about recycling in elementary school and what I remember best is that there were lots of rules. Coding and sorting and checking numbers. Who could keep it all straight? Well, fear not. A lot has changed in the recycling game since we were kids. Since “going green” became a roaring movement as of late, recycling programs and processes have become easier and more streamlined than ever. And guess what? Bins are free from the City of Dallas. You put in an online request and one gets dropped off in your alley.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty of How To Recycle: At A Glance.
**Note that these rules apply to curbside recycling pickup.** Some of these NO items can be dropped off at recycling centers – just not picked up in your alley. For a more exhaustive list, check here. For at-home recycling, just print off the list above, tape it up inside a kitchen cabinet as a cheat sheet and off you go. As with anything, the more practice you have, the more confident you become in what you’re doing. In no time, you’ll be a recycling guru. And if you have a momentary lapse in your recycling memory, what is accepted in a bin is posted on the lid of the bin itself.
Turns out, recycling is so easy, none of us have any more excuses. When it comes to recycling, it’s true that every little bit matters. McCommas Bluff landfill in Dallas collects 5,000 tons of trash per day, which is almost 2 million tons per year (!!). Recycling of course helps the earth and keeps our communities cleaner – Dallas is behind the national curve and it’s time we got with the times. Contact the City (Call 3-1-1) today to get your bin!