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Posts Tagged ‘recycling bins’

How do I Recycle thee in Bins, Let me Count the Ways

September 26th, 2010 1 comment

The fourth installment in our ecycler series on Recycle Bins and their set-up: recycle bin materials.

Recycle Bin Materials

Recyclables can be placed in many kinds of bins. There are high-quality stainless steel receptacles, such as those found in commercial spaces and public transit depots. There are bins found in public parks, offices and outside municipal buildings. There are blue ones, green ones, yellow one, red ones and white ones.

Some are made of corrugated plastic, others of formed plastic. Some have separate compartments for different kinds of recyclable items such as aluminum cans, newspaper and bottles. Others are simple bins, like the kinds many cities give to homeowners, in which all recyclables are tossed.

Occasionally, bins are fashioned from wood and may include a lock to prevent animals (bears) from making a mess.

Office paper is usually placed in blue trash-can like bins that a company picks up and removes for shredding.

The type of materials from which a recycle bin is made is determined by the type of environment in which the bin is to be placed.

Whatever the kind of bin a home, office or public facility uses, the important thing is to encourage recycling by placing a container, clearly marked with a recycling symbol, out for people to see in high-traffic areas.

The Lesson

  • Bottles and cans should be emptied before placing them in the recycle bin
  • Place a trash can near to the recycle bin for convenient disposal of trash in the appropriate receptacle and recyclables in their bin
  • Bins should have liners
  • Apply short and descriptive labels and signage to and around the bins
  • Right materials for right situation

Recycle Bins and Some Finesse

September 25th, 2010 1 comment

The third installment in our ecycler series on Recycle Bins and their set-up: labels and signage.

Recycle Bin Labels and Signage

When recycle bins are installed, one needs to clearly explain what is intended to be recycled.

The bins should be clearly labeled with what is expected to be recycled. For example, “Aluminum Cans ONLY!” or “Office Paper ONLY!“. People will only know the rules if you explain the rules to them.

It is also a good idea to supplement the recycle bin label with some simple signage, as this will reinforce the message of the labels. But, don’t write a novel on the sign, as people will never read it! Just a few words to describe what should be recycled in this particular container. Attach the sign to the wall just behind the bin. Of course, it’s ideal to print the signs on 100% recycled paper.

Sample ecycler Recycle Bin Sign

The Lesson

  • Bottles and cans should be emptied before placing them in the recycle bin
  • Place a trash can near to the recycle bin for convenient disposal of trash in the appropriate receptacle and recyclables in their bin
  • Bins should have liners
  • Apply short and descriptive labels and signage to and around the bins

Recycle Bins, Not as Simple as I Thought!

September 21st, 2010 1 comment

The second installment in our ecycler series on Recycle Bins and their set-up: recycle bin liners.

Recycle Bin Liners

What’s the point of a recycle bin liner? Despite the extra cost, the liner keeps the bin clean. It also makes it really easy for the collector to grab the contents of the bin.

Keep the Recycle Bin Clean

This is an important point, especially in a public (restaurant, shop, etc.) setting. The liner keeps any wasted liquids contained and it keeps all the bugs out. A clean (even hygienic) bin will continue to look nice and be an inviting asset to ones store or restaurant.

Collection Made Easy

The ecycler collector will be able to more quickly remove the contents of a bin that has a liner, rather than transferring the contents into another bag or a larger container. The transfer process not only adds time to the collector’s duties, but the noise (especially from aluminum cans) is an unwanted side-effect.

Liner Types

We, at ecycler, suggest using compostable liners–obviously a better choice for the environment. Or, at a minimum, liners that are manufactured with recycled plastics. The liners should be thick enough to resist tearing when the full bags are transported. A thickness of about 1.25 mil should be sufficient.

We’ve found that green or blue liners tend to reinforce the recycling idea. And, ideally the liners will have the universal recycling symbol printed on it.

Ideally you will find a liner made specifically for your recycling bin; otherwise, you can use a 30 or 33 gallon trash bag.

The Lesson

  • Bottles and cans should be emptied before placing them in the recycle bin
  • Place a trash can near to the recycle bin for convenient disposal of trash in the appropriate receptacle and recyclables in their bin
  • Bins should have liners

How to Set up a Recycling Bin

July 14th, 2010 1 comment

Something not everyone knows about recycling is that water and soda bottles should be emptied before being placed in recycling bins.

Full bottles, or bottles with any liquid in them, mean extra weight in the trucks that transport recyclables – and the more a truck weighs, the more gasoline is consumed, making the whole process less environmentally friendly.

When Tim, the other ecycler cofounder, and I set up some recycling bins at a conference we experienced the non-empty bottle problem. We setup up wireframe style recycling bins that hold a trashbag. Throughout the day we watched the bags fill up. When we went to take down the bins at the end of the day we almost could not pick them out without the trash bag breaking. We found that many of the beverage bottles were more than half full!

To encourage people in offices and public places to properly recycle their plastic bottles, ecycler recommends placing recycling bins next to sinks or drains so that people can empty the bottles first. Or placing a sign on the recycling bin to remind people to empty their bottles before depositing them in the bin.

Also, the recycle bin should be placed near to a trash can. Some people are creatures of convenience and will not seek out the garbage can if the recycle bin is more convenient for their dumping. In that case, garbage will end up in the recycle bin and can possibly taint the recyclables.

The Lesson

  • Bottles and cans should be emptied before placing them in the recycle bin
  • Place a trash can near to the recycle bin for convenient disposal of trash in the appropriate receptacle and recyclables in their bin