Recycling has been part of the daily routine for most families for over 15 years. If your family isn’t on board yet, the good news is that it’s never too late to start! You just need a recycling container or a convenient drop-off site and a little time to educate the family on what can and can’t be recycled. Making sure the recyclable items are clean and dry before they go in the container is important as well.
Most likely, your school-age children can recycle at school, too, so chances are good that the youngsters in our communities will grow up with the recycling habit. They learn that waste paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass aren’t always “garbage” but can be a resource for reuse.
There are so many reasons to recycle! We can preserve natural resources, save space at our local landfill and reduce energy usage and pollution in the “re-manufacturing” process. We also want to encourage the purchasing of recycled materials. Many school supplies – pencils, paper, folders and back packs, to name a few – are often made from recycled materials. Companies that sell items containing recycled content are proud to do so, and that information can be found on the packaging if we just take an extra moment to look.
Mary Gillaspey is the Education Specialist at Metro Waste Authority. Des Moines Water Works and Metro Waste Authority partner together for the Urban Environmental Partnership. The Partnership offers classroom programs and tours to the metro area.