Don’t have recycling near you? There are a few ways to deal with that problem so that you can reduce your waste and leave in a more sustainable way.
Americans overwhelmingly support recycling, around 94 percent with 74 percent saying it should be a priority. However, the national average recycling rate is only 34.7 percent.
We are pretty bad at recycling even when all the opportunities are available to use but some people don’t even have recycling available in their town.
This is a big problem around Oklahoma with many rural towns having little or no recycling options. This leaves people that want to recycle sending their recyclables to the landfill because they aren’t sure what else they can do.
What to Do When You Don’t Have Recycling Near You
Ask Your City to Start Recycling
Recycling is a benefit to everyone in a city. Sometimes it just takes a city knowing there is an interest for something to start happening.
If the city isn’t very receptive find out what is stopping them. Some of these concerns may be easily fixed or not even valid. Sometimes the issue is simply not thinking there is interest.
Additional Information: Getting Your City to Recycle
Look at Neighboring Cities
If your city doesn’t offer recycling, check to see if a city nearby does. If you often go shopping in larger cities nearby see what their options are.
It’s not the most convenient way to recycle and you want to make sure you aren’t making a lot of extra trips. If you can save up a lot of recyclables and take them when you will be in that city anyway.
Additional Information: Oklahoma Recycling Directory
Recycle What You Can
You may not have normal recycling in your city but check to see if any stores in your area offer recycling. Many grocery stores offer plastic bag recycling and sometimes other recycling as well.
Chain stores like Home Depot and Staples also have some recycling options. It may not help you recycle much but it will help reduce waste.
Additional Information: 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle
Create Less Waste
Recycling is great but not creating the waste to start with is even better and possible anywhere. Buy less stuff and when you do buy things look for items with minimal packaging.
When you do have waste see if there is a way you can reuse that item instead of disposing of it. This is the best option even if you do have recycling nearby.
Recycling uses a lot of energy and often isn’t very efficient. It’s still better than the landfill in most cases but it is the last of the three Rs for a reason.
Additional Information: Ways to Reuse Cardboard Boxes
Don’t lose hope for your city and keep trying. More and more places around the US are starting recycling programs or increasing the ones they already have.
Do the best you can while waiting for more options to become available. We need a lot of people doing there best, not a few people being perfect.
Looking for more help figuring out how to recycle? Visit the Green Living in Oklahoma Facebook group. It’s a great place to ask questions.