How to Collect Waste

How to Collect Waste

Thank you all who came to the Garden and Home Show or a Recycle Workshop.

We had good questions and answers shared regarding recycling hard to recycle items.  Thank you for sharing!

To answer those who wonder how things should be collected, this is for you!

The short answer is to make easy and accessible for recycling to happen in all areas of your home. 

Here we go…

In the Kitchen

First I suggest you review what’s accepted on the TerraCycle website as they have great pictures for those who are more visual.  Keep those things collected in 1 bag.

Small items such as candy wrappers are best if put into a larger resealable bag.

Here’s how I have it in my home as a suggestion.  It works well with my 3 boys, and hubby.

LABLES ARE ESSENTIAL.  It works well if you have a brief description on the receptacle.  And this system works well if you talk to all in the household.

A receptacle for:

1. Normal Recycle items accepted at the Transfer Station or through Waste Management.  Remember, no lids, caps, foil, aluminum pans (except very thick ones), plastic laundry baskets, planter pots, buckets, plastic bags, seran wrap or Styrofoam, clam shell plastic containers, Kleenex, pizza boxes.

2.  Plastics / Foil  :   Have 1 receptacle with 2 plastic bags to accept these types of items.   Some examples of plastics are:  bread bags, food bags from cheese, zip locks, sandwich bags, newspaper bags, plastic bags.

Any item that has food must be rinsed.  If meat related, please wash soap/water.  Remember:  ANOTHER HUMAN HAND WILL TOUCH THESE THINGS AGAIN.

4.  TerraCycle Items:  review accepted items on TerraCycle’s website and collect them.  It would be fantastic for those who would like to sort all the energy bar wrappers in one larger bag, and like wise for each item.  However being realistic on time, for those who do not have that convenience, it would be just as great if all the items were in one bag for TerraCycle.  Sorting will be done after it is picked up.  It will be added to the large collection for more efficient mailing, and save energy for handling less mail by sending bulk quantities

3.  Garbage:  These things with multi-layers such as cocoa packets, or tea packets that have a paper/foil/plastic lining.  Things are not recyclable since they cannot be separated conveniently, or they get jammed in the bales or recycling machines at the facilities.  However, if you wish to send these things to TerraCycle using their Zero Waste boxes please do so.  It is an extra expense but has good environmental effect.  Please note, there is no garbage collection. Only recycles.

5.  Compost:  Reuse a plastic container with lid (optional) to collect food scraps by the sink.  Or under it as you prefer.  As summer weather approaches, hotter weather means food scraps will start to smell faster as they get ready to decompose.  Remember napkins, teabags, strings, food on paper plates that are non-coated with plastic…(if you can rip it easily, it can be composted), pizza boxes, wax paper such as from butter, cupcake paper liners.  All these things can go to compost.  Since this is a collection for a commercial facility, they can also handle meat, fish, seafood, shells, bones, too!  Note compostable plastic bio lids and straws from Taco Bell or other restaurants are for commercial composting processes.  It will take years pending on how hot the compost pile can become, and must be maintained for aeration for maximum anaerobic processing.

So collect these near your kitchen, and empty them into a 5 gallon bucket.  Use napkins or newspaper to cover the newly added scraps to help reduce smells.  Cover with lid securely and keep outside or in garage at your discretion.


ZipLoc Bags & Seran Wrap
ZipLoc Bags & Seran Wrap


Save your hard to recycle items General Sign_005

Styrofoam, plastics, tarps, planter pots, foil….

All these things should have minimal food on them.  If it was holding raw meat, please wash it to prevent smells, attracting flies, rodents, and mold.

For Styrofoam, a little staining is ok.

Tarps should have minimal dirt on them, and no slugs, or organic matter.  The grommets on the tarp are accepted with the entire tarp.  There is no need to remove them.


Terracycle Items:   Have a receptacle available for personal care items, diaper packaging, wipe packaging, toothbrushes & paste with their seal and cap, floss container, hand soap, shampoo bottles, and caps, hairspray pumps, caps.  (Even my boys toss candy wrappers and juice pouches near this location!)

Compost:  Have a receptacle for compost:  Kleenex, toilet paper, cotton swabs, hair.  For q-tips: take off the cotton ends, drop them “stick” paper into a cup/container of water.  Soon it will unravel a little bit, and you can help it become smaller.  Cut it up into pieces if needed.  Smaller and less compact will help decomposing process.

Not accepted:    baby wipes that are non-flushable, diapers, feminine napkins, tampon plastic, floss

Regular Recycling Items:  Recycle paper cups, paper, cans.

Plastic items:  Dry Cleaning bags, femine napkin wraping & its tape, flexible plastic such as outer wrapping .

Remember you are making disposing waste easy by providing EASY ACCESS.  If the garbage was there, they would toss in the garbage.  But since a system is in place it’s showing organization.  It is directing the person to toss that certain item here…now they know.


Well, I wish I had a laundry room, but for now I have a plastic bag collecting lint.

Laundry caps, triggers, pumps and be tossed in for recycling.  Simply use the same bag for collecting TerraCycle items.  Caps can go in a small bag.

Tip:  When getting close to last of the laundry liquid soap, put water in it to rinse, and add that to the next cycle as the extra water the machine already is running.

You may also save this container have it on hand filled with soapy water for when the power is out.

In the garage

This is where all the Main Waste is collected, ready for proper disposal.

Simply toss from a main room and bring to this run of bins.  This is your Recycle Station!

From largest to smallest containers….

  1. Regular Recyclables
  2. TerraCycle Items (within this bag you can have smaller bags that collect similar items.  Energy bar wrappers in 1 bag, juice pouches, prescription bottles & caps in 1 bag are examples.)
  3. Plastics (have soft/hard in separate bags)
  4. Compost
  5. Foil
  6. Styrofoam
  7. Garbage  (this should be next to nothing!)
  8. Extra things like scrap metals, printers….are not too common, but if you have a question on an item, please feel free to ask.  Contact.

Remember we didn’t talk much about clothing or shoes…these things can be recycled to a 2nd hand store and labled “textile” if holes, or unworthy of 2nd use.  There is another market out there for using holey socks into insulation for backpacks or upholstery, for example.  See for their Grinder shoe.

TIPS: Recycling is mostly about re-using what we already have.

Try to avoid using a new bag.  Instead change out to another bag saved from disposing.  It can be rinsed out and left out to dry the outside, then inside-out to dry the inside….or just line the receptacle immediately with foresight that it’s not going to be there long enough to mold or create mildew.


Tape Rolls and Dispensers
Tape Rolls and Dispensers
Cleaning Waste: Pumps, Triggers, Packaging
Cleaning Waste: Pumps, Triggers, Packaging
Recycling Mattresses & Box Springs
Mick Zachman, Recycle disassembles a box spring mattress for recycling.
#6 Rigid Cups
#6 Rigid Cups
Plastic Packaging
Plastic Packaging
Writing Instruments
Writing Instruments
Energy Bar Wrappers
Energy Bar Wrappers
GoGo, Fuit Smoothy Juice Pouches & Straws
GoGo, Fuit Smoothy Juice Pouches & Straws

20140917_114413 20140917_114146

Recycle Foil & Pans
Aluminum Foil and Pans
Plastic, metals, re-usable
Cell Phones: Any kind
Diaper/Wipe Plastic Packaging
Recycle Toner Cartridges
Toner Cartridges -any make
Bottles, Caps, Tubes, packaging
Bottles, Caps, Tubes, packaging
It's not garbage anymore

Bread, Dry Cleaning, Bulk Wrap, Napkin, Potato bags, etc
Most trash is recyclable
For a greener earth.

We can do this!

We are still looking into where carpet can be recycled, and costs associated with this.

Thank you!  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Please do sign up!  This does not obligate you to any thing, but merely get’s you prepared to receive a pick-up when you notify as “on call” or as a routine monthly pick-up schedule.  This also let’s us know you’re saving up to be a fabulous recycler.

TO SIGN UP, click here.