Spring has sprung. Warm weather has returned, flowers are blooming, and it is time to celebrate the Earth and its beauty. Environmental protection is important all year around, but April 22nd, 2021, marks the 51st Earth Day Celebration. People worldwide join together volunteering to clean up public spaces, educate, and advocate for a better environment.
EARTHDAY.ORG says, “The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth™, which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. It is up to each of us to Restore Our Earth, not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness.” One way to support the movement is to recycle.
EARTHDAY.ORG has an “End Plastic Pollution” which “draws attention to the harmful effects of plastic in our environment— harming marine and human health, littering beaches and landscapes, clogging waste streams and landfills—and empowers people to make a difference.”
The ins and outs of recycling plastic can be confusing, but your family can learn together and commit to creating change in your corner of the world. Whether you are new to recycling or a pro, you can use the below information to be more efficient doing your part to Restore Our Earth.
Not all plastics are recyclable, and what is and is not acceptable can vary from city to city. Alex Schenker from “My Winston-Salem” put together a simple guide to recycling in Winston- Salem.
List of Things You CAN Recycle Via Curbside Pickup
- Glass Bottles & Jars – green, brown and clear only (no caps)
- Corrugated Cardboard – flattened and no larger than 3×3 feet (larger cardboard boxes may be taken to collection sites located throughout the city—see below)
- Junk mail
- Office Paper such as envelopes, notebook paper, office paper
- Chipboard (usually brown or gray on the inside) such as cereal boxes, paper towel cores, facial tissue boxes, etc. Please remove any foil or plastic liners.
- Newspaper, magazines, catalogs, phone books
- Plastic bottles and jugs #1 through #7, but only if the neck is smaller than the base of the package
- Aluminum and Steel food and beverage cans, glass food and beverage jars/bottles, aerosol cans.
- Cardboard Milk & Juice Cartons—but no bottle caps
List of Items You Should NOT Recycle In Your Curbside Bin
- Antifreeze containers
- Books—that includes binders and spiral notebooks
- Ceramic containers or deli containers
- Glass—dishes, drinking glasses, window glass, mirrors, etc.
- Light Bulbs
- Mirrors or Window Glass
- Motor Oil Containers
- Paint Cans
- Plastic bags, newspaper bags, wrap, toys, clamshells, containers, food trays, cups, etc.
- Pots or Pans
- Pyrex or Housewares containers or items (glass or ceramic)
- Wide-Mouth Plastic Containers
- Boxes with food—pizza boxes or any cardboard boxes that are contaminated with food or grease residue.
What to do with your non-recyclables:
- If in good condition, consider donating to a local organization like Good Will, The Rescue Mission, or Habitat for Humanity
- If possible, reuse items like plastic bags or see if you can return them to the store (if in good condition). Better yet, say no to store bags and bring your own reusable totes.
Take chemical and other hazardous waste, as well as electronic waste, such as computers and televisions to the 3RC EnviroStation at 1401 S Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
- Get creative, clean out wide-mouth plastic containers and turn them into bird feeders, or let your kids design their own glowing jug night light (more ideas to get the whole family involved can be found at https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/diy-plastic-bottles-recycling/ & https://www.boredpanda.com/pizza-box-diy-ideas/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic)