Waste and Recycling

The state of Oregon recycled 2,519,344 tons, or 43 percent of total waste in 2006.  This is a small increase in tonnage but decrease in percent of waste that is recycled.  This may be due to the increase in population of the state, and increase in waste generated per capita.  All the states numbers lead us to believe that, per person,  we are doing a worse job with our recycling.

What can we do about that?  Here’s just a few simple things you can do.

  • Avoid disposable items whenever possible.
  • Choose to purchase those items that minimize waste in packaging.
  • Tell your coffee shop to keep those plastic lids and other things that you don’t really need and are just going to get thrown away.
  • Use the blank side of scrap paper before recycling it.
  • Invest in some grocery bags made from recycled material and take them to the store.
    This reduces plastic bag consumption, and some stores give small “customers own bag” refund
  • Keep some of those plastic grocery bags inside your bags and re-use them again when you pick up more vegetables
  • Pack your lunches in reusable containers, and carry them in bags you likely already have at home.
    My lunch sack is a paper bag covered in duct tape.
  • Build and use a compost bin system.
  • Break the bottled water habit.  Americans consumed more than 31 billion liters of bottled water in 2006. Making those bottle required 900,000 tons of plastic and emitted as much greenhouse gas as 500,000 cars.
    Use one container, and refill it from the tap.  Most cases, the water isnt that different.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *