In a few short days I will be moving back to school in an apartment with 3 other friends who are already fairly earth conscious. My question is, what do you all do for recycling? I'm talking nuts and bolts. How are your bins set up? How do you compost? How do you separate things that are partially recyclable?
I've been talking with the dean of my cluster about setting up a compost for the dorms, so I am fairly sure compost will be readily available, but what do you think about the rest of the nitty gritty?
If you can, check with the trash hauler that serves the school. They may have program already in place or in the works. They can sell the recyclables and haul less trash, costing the school less. There is also likely to be a campus facilities management person in charge of managing waste streams who may be able to help, and give suggestions to. If they have deaf ears, the information you get from the hauler could be presented to the school board, and with support from the student body. A pilot program in your cluster is a great idea.
Our local hauler had three bins: paper, glass, metal. They recently went to a single (large) trash can that is commingled recyclables that is processed at a nearby plant. This is paired with pretty basic customer education increased recyclable volume like 20% over the three bin method. The lesson learned is that it is easier for the customer to use the commingled can, increasing useage.
i have a big full size trash can that we fill up with aluminum cans. One of my pals saves all his red bull cans 32 about every 2 weeks for me. When i go to pick them up bring all our milk jugs and outher plastic that i have saved up to him since we live out in the middle of nowere and they dont bother to offer recyclables. About two months i take in the cans when i need to fill up and all the money goes to my gas. Its kind of a saveing waste and turning it in to somthing that i need.
Every so frequently... we talk about compost... But it never materializes. Past experience is that someone will say "hey, compost" and then overload it with something bad (too much of anything = bad) and then it goes anaerobic and stinks....
I saw a maintenance guy at my apartment dumpster throw away at least 6 fluorescent tubes... That made me a bit angry...
Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.
we have a basket for mixed recycleables, a bucket for aluminum cans, and a bucket for compost, the tin and plastic gets picked up weekly, the aluminum we take in once or twice a year for cash, the compost goes to the chickens, altho we have a bit more space and a number of chickens, apparently at least around here you are alowed to have one chicken at a house on a city lot and they go thru compost alot faster then nature.
The biggest thing you can do to reduce your trash of course is to not buy trash, don't bring home non-reusable shoping bags, buy grains, suger, liquid soaps, beer in bulk or reusable containers, buy larger boxes or bags of food and store the extra in glass jars or heavy plastic containers, it will save you money, trips to the store, and packageing.
About 20 years ago my brother noticed a young man about 15 would come in after school and get the aluminum cans from where he worked.
There was a special blue barrel that said "Son's aluminum cans only please" on the side.
3 shifts of 40 people filled it up pretty quick and "Son" would show up and snag a full bag of cans and walk off down the road.
Turns out he had started by getting the folks in his trailer park to save him cans and he took them to the recycler once a week and he was saving for a truck.
He expanded when he got his own barrels and was making more money.
Then he hit the shops and industries around his home for their breakroom cans.
He got little bins for the trailer park folks and they would set them out on Sat.
Then he got his truck, 1967 3/4 ton Chevy that was ugly.
He expanded his route to 2 other industrial districts and 7 more trailer parks.
Son (his real name is Lawrence..hated it) got his best friend to help and soon had another truck.
At 18 he got his first disposal contract with one of the large industries in town.
expanded to metals and then to trash pickup.
He sold his business 6 years ago for 8 million dollars to some waste managment consortium that promptly cut services, raised prices and sold off the assets and went out of business. Some money moving strategy that I'm sure made or saved them a bucket of money.
Saw Son the other day mowing the grass at one of his apartment complexes where recycling is mandatory. He gathers up the aluminum and drives em down to the scrap yard (which he now owns) in his, now very nice, Hot Rod 67 Chevy pickup.