BY: RACHEL WUMKES
The saying has been ingrained into our heads since elementary school: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s the only way to preserve our Earth and protect Mother Nature from the demise of a garbage-filled planet.
So why doesn’t everybody do it? Well, often it seems when a task appears too difficult or time consuming, people tend to take the easy way out. Eat the soup – toss the empty can in the trash. Out of sight and out of mind, right?
Wrong! Eventually, the garbage within our landfills is going to catch up to us. The sheer amount of waste we produce each day is astronomical. Just thinking of my family alone… Yikes! Thus, I choose to recycle everything I possibly can. And, not to sound too preachy, but you should too.
The abundance of unnecessary garbage threatens our nation’s future. In the United States alone, approximately 22 million tons of household recyclables go to landfills, become litter, and pollute our waters.
Twenty. Two. Million. Tons.
And just think… it could have all been recycled.
Let’s break it down. Make it as simple as possible so everyone participates in this important initiative.
Step One: Get organized.
I bought this handy-dandy bin years ago. It makes sorting my recyclables and storing them until pick up day easy as pie. I throw my plastics on top, aluminum in the middle, and glass items on the bottom. I toss papers into a nearby plastic bag and break down cardboard boxes, making them easy to set out for pickup.
Step Two: Find out your curbside pickup day.
This is literally the simplest way to get rid of your recyclables. Separate your items into clear or white plastic bags (I use saved grocery sacks) and set out on the curb. Not sure what day they pick up in your neighborhood? Easy. Here’s how you can find this information.
- Go to cityofclearlake.com
- Click on Departments
- Hover your mouse over Utility Billing Department
- Click on Garbage Collection
Or, if you’re like me, just be aware of your surroundings. When your responsible neighbors set out their recyclables, follow suit and set yours out as well.
Step Three: Take your items to the Recycling Drop-Off Center
In addition to the curbside pickup for recyclables, Clear Lake offers a centralized location to discard your items located at the City’s Public Works facility – 1419 2nd Ave South.
The site has multiple large blue containers, as shown in the photo above, labeled with the product they accept. Getting the items into said containers seems to be a bit of a tricky aspect for some people, as I’ve gone to the drop site on multiple occasions to find the ground around the containers completely littered with trash.
So, here’s a photo, a tutorial if you will, of how to properly dispose of a cardboard item. I mean, look at the excitement on my face.
Recycling is so fun!
To learn more about the many ways you can help preserve our planet, join in the Earth Day festivities in Clear Lake. Gather up some friends or co-workers and sign up for the trash bash, check out the Green Expo at the Surf Ballroom on April 23rd, or participate in the 5k/10k run! You can find all the scheduled activities here: www.earthdayclearlake.org
Together, we can make a difference!