Tag Archives: Recycling

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know we are trying to sell our home. In preparation for an eventual move we have been cleaning out and decluttering. As we cleaned out the garage we collected various cans of old paint, varnish, paint thinners etc.hazardous waste The question was how do we go about recycling hazardous waste?hazardous waste


In our area there are only certain days where you can recycle hazardous waste. After checking the calendar we discovered there was actually a collection date coming up, the perfect chance to recycle our hazardous waste.hazardous waste


You might wonder what sort of thins are considered hazardous waste? Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) are common household products that exhibit the characteristics of hazardous waste. As a result, these products may be harmful to human health and/or the environment. Many of these products are very common and are usually purchased from local hardware, automotive, and grocery stores. These products can be used and found in our houses, in our garages, on our lawns, and in our gardens.  Because these products are so common and easy to purchase, many people forget that these products can be extremely harmful to their health or the environment.


You may not even know that you have hazardous waste in your home or garage. We went through our entire house and the garage and came up with four boxes of hazardous waste! We collected cleaners, solvents, oil-based paint, varnish, stain, basically anything that had labels that say: Caustic, Caution, Corrosive, Danger, Flammable, Poison, Toxic or Warning.hazardous waste


Dropping off the items at the local collection point was quite easy. We had to identify which town we came from and then various volunteers removed the items from our car.hazardous waste


We were also given a packet of information, which included a booklet on non-toxic household cleaners. Various recipes for your laundry, bathroom and cleaning the kitchen were included.. They even included an all-purpose cleaner recipe on a magnet so you can put it on your refrigerator and always have it handy. I’ve been making my own all-purpose cleaner for years but I was so encouraged that Vermont is encouraging others to do the same. Lets’ cut back on hazardous waste and use recipes for household cleaners that are safe for our homes and the environment.hazardous waste


Have you ever recycled hazardous waste? How is it handled in your community?

Christmas has come and gone and if you are like me you may be wondering what to do with our Christmas tree? For over twenty years we have had an artificial tree but in preparation for our eventual move we sold it and bought a real tree this year.Christmas Tree


Recycle Your Tree.

In many towns they offer curbside pick up for recycling your tree. Many providers will collect trees during regular pick up schedules on the two weeks following Christmas. Unfortunately this is not an option for us.


Take your tree to a drop off recycling center.

Most counties have free drop off locations. Usually you may take your tree to the drop off location for no charge.


Yard waste.

Cut up your tree to fit loosely into your yard waste container.composting, prudent living


Place the tree in your garden or backyard and use it as a bird feeder and sanctuary.

Tie fresh orange slices or string popcorn to attract the birds and they can sit in the branches for shelter.Treats for the birds!



Cut up the branches and put them through a chipper and use as mulch in your garden. Rent a wood chipper and invite your friends and neighbors to bring over their Christmas trees for a wood chipping party. Distribute chips to everyone.Christmas tree

Create fish food and habitat.

If you have a lake or pond on your property consider dumping your tree into it. That old pine or spruce provides a natural and decomposing habitat for fish and will attract algae for them to eat.Mid Pond and original mansion.


DIY Coasters.

Use your band saw or hacksaw to cut your Christmas tree trunk into coasters and trivets. Make sure you sand down the surfaces and stain and seal them before using to prevent the sap from leaking. You can gift them next Christmas!Christmas tree


Make Firewood.

Chop up your tree and use it for fuel in your fire pit. While the needles will dry out quickly, you may need to wait a few months before the log is dry enough to burn.Christmas tree


Create a brush pile.

A brush pile often consists of leaves, logs and twigs so an old Christmas tree can make a great base. It directly benefits the wildlife in your backyard during the winter months because brush piles and dead trees offer food and needed protection from the chill.


Did you have alive tree this Christmas? What do you do with your old tree?

Do you recycle? I have been recycling for years. Growing up my mom started a recycling program in our hometown. The money raised by selling crushed glass and aluminum cans was used to purchase land to be added to the towns land trust organization; the Guilford Land Trust.  A win win situation.

Guilford Land Trust

Guilford Land Trust

As the years have gone by the way we recycle has changed. In many towns it is mandatory. Some towns require that the recycling be separated, glass, plastics and metal. In our town everything goes into one recycling container. However there are numerous rules we follow. For example when recycling glass you can not recycle light bulbs, dishes, Pyrex, drinking glasses, window panes or ceramics.

Cardboard can be recycled such as cereal boxes, shoe boxes, clothing boxes, soda and beer carriers, egg cartons but no laundry detergent boxes! No frozen food boxes or drink boxes. Can I recycle my pizza box?

Pizza Toscana in box

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The short answer is yes and no. If there are grease spots or food residue on the lid and base, then the answer is no. If the food residue and grease is only on the bottom, then toss that part and recycle the rest.

While grease from food doesn’t tend to contaminate the recycling process when it comes to metals, glass and plastic, food does present serious problems by way of contaminating paper recycling. The slurry that is created when recycling paper and cardboard is formed through mixing the recycled objects with water.

And water just doesn’t mix with oil and grease from food, which rises to the top of the slurry mixture. When this occurs, which it inevitably does when food grease is introduced into the process, then the various paper and cardboard fibers cannot properly be separated during the pulping process. The entire batch is contaminated and cannot ever be recycled. The grease and oil on the pizza box makes difficulties in the binding of the fibers, adding contaminates – when the water is eventually squeezed back out of the pulp, the oil created holes and spots that render the paper quality severally poor or unusable.

Other paper products like napkins; paper towels and paper plates also should not be thrown in with the recycling. And if you do dispose of the “clean” sections of your pizza boxes, remember to remove any stickers or coupons, whose adhesives also contaminate the recycling mix.

In the meantime take time to separate your trash and recycle. It will cut down on your garbage saving you money and helping the planet at the same time.


(Photo credits: www.recyclereminders.com)


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If you are living a prudent life recycling is one of the first steps in going green! Why is recycling important, you may ask. Recycling is reusing materials in original or changed forms rather than discarding them as wastes. In reusing material or changing material into new materials rather than throwing it away, the environment as well as we benefit from it.

Recycling will often save you money by decreasing the amount of material going into the landfill. In our town we pay for our trash pick up but the recycling is free. By recycling we lessen the amount of trash, which in turn slows the growth of the landfill and preserves the land.

English: Recycling Português: Reciclagem

Recycling will save you money!

Recycling conserves the world’s resources by using recycled materials instead of trees, metal ores, minerals, oil and other raw materials harvested from the earth.

Recycling saves energy by reducing the need to process new material, which usually requires more energy than the recycling process. Recycling aluminum saves 92% of the energy required to make the material from scratch.

International Recycling Symbol 32px|alt=W3C|li...

Recycling Saves Energy.

Recycling prevents pollution. Decomposing waste often release noxious gases and chemicals as it decomposes at landfill sites. These gases and chemicals create air pollution. Air pollution is exactly what it sounds like, polluted air. When the chemicals leach into the groundwater this creates water pollution and our water is contaminated.

Recycling creates jobs and saves money. Recycling in the U.S. is a $236 billion a year industry. More than 56,000 recycling and reuse enterprises employ 1.1 million workers nationwide. (National Recycling Coalition)

If we created more recycling opportunities we would create more jobs and no one would have to loose their jobs either.

By simply following the recycle mantra of “reduce, reuse and recycle,” you can help forward the fight against environmental destruction.

Please Recycle Label

Please Recycle!

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