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Tips For Making Multi-Stream Recycling Programs More Effective

Waste management continues to advance and now homeowners and businesses can recycle pretty much anything that they would normally throw away. While these advances are great for the environment and the community, they have the unpleasant side effect of making it a little more difficult and inconvenient to follow program guidelines.

How many different types of plastic are there and do I have to separate them? Can I mix my office paper waste with yesterday’s newspaper? What types of scrap metal, like iron or aluminum, will the garbage collectors take? Does it matter what color these glass bottles are?

These are just some of the questions that frustrate many people when it comes to recyclables. There are easier ways to handle these questions when participating in a multi-stream waste program.

The Old Way: Sorting Waste On Garbage Day

The old way to handle multi-stream waste management was to go through and sort everything by hand, often the night before garbage collection day. This method is clearly inconvenient and doesn’t help people to participate in their local garbage collection program. For a business, hand sorting is highly impractical with a large volume of waste to sort. Some homeowners improved on this method by sorting their trash every day as they threw it away, but that doesn’t really solve the problem. Then, maybe their children threw away some garbage into the wrong recycling bins and now all of that careful sorting has to be done all over again.

The New Way: Using The Proper Bins For Recycling

The right recycling containers make all the difference. Bins for recycling are designed to take the guess work and tedium out of multi-stream programs. Recycling containers are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations for automatic sorting.

For example, the openings in the receptacles can be cut into the shape of the recyclable that it holds, like an aluminum can or plastic bottle. Other bins for recycling have multiple compartments and openings that are labeled for instant sorting. Clip on compartments and riders can be put on regular recycling containers to instantly catch different waste streams.

There are also many different sizes and shapes to help handle waste in any room of the home or office. Tall and skinny, short and squat, stackable and nesting, not having enough room is no longer an excuse.

Form And Function For Recycling Containers

Recycling bins today are being customized and personalized with new colors, printed slogans and text, as well as pictures and company logos. Customization can really make an impact on encouraging participation and pride in a successful waste program. Business can sponsor community programs and provide receptacles that bear the company’s colors and logo. Some organizations have even printed statistics on their receptacles telling people passing by just how many trees or barrels of oil they are saving every time they recycle.

Today’s options in waste containers have really helped to solve many of the problems that plagued early multi-stream programs by making them more convenient.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about Recycling containers, please visit