Most of us have heard those three R-words (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) often enough that they may have lost any real meaning. But on this Earth Day, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County feels it’s the perfect opportunity to reexamine what it really means to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. You might even feel inspired to add a fourth R: Rethink!
Reduce - Want to have a real, meaningful impact on the planet? Reduce your rubbish and buy in bulk:
- A family-size sack of chips creates way less waste than 50 individually-packaged snacks
- A gallon jug of water replaces eight disposable bottles of water
Choosing reusable goods can dramatically reduce your waste.
- Donate old towels to local animal shelters to warm and dry abandoned animals
- One refillable water bottle could replace a lifetime of discarded drink bottles
- Donate your old clothing and accessories, appliances, furniture, building materials and toys so someone else in need can give them a second life
- Take reusable bags to the grocery store instead of using plastic bags
Donations to thrift or reuse stores provide jobs and services to our neighbors in South Florida, as well as keeping resources out of our waste stream.
Recycle - Conserving natural resources can save businesses money and drive our economy. So, put the right thing in the right bin at home, work or where you play:
- Blue bin - Plastic containers less than five gallons, aluminum and steel cans, milk or juice cartons and glass bottles and jars
- Yellow bin - Cardboard, newspaper, magazines, office paper and junk mail
- Community cardboard containers - There are more than 300 containers throughout PBC to take oversized cardboard boxes. Find your nearest location at www.SWA.org/RecycleRight
- At public events or parks, use their Recycle containers to discard your recyclables
- Leave places better than you found them; if you see trash or recyclables on the ground, pick them up and put them in the correct container
Look on the side of any recycling container for what should be put inside. Wish recycling, or throwing trash in a recycle bin, may cause recyclable materials to be thrown in the landfill. When in doubt, throw it out.
If Palm Beach County residents need new or additional recycling bins - or if they want to start a recycling program where they work - call 866-NEW-BINS or visit www.SWA.org/RecycleRight.
Rethink! - We toss trash in cans all day long with hardly a second thought. But that is what the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County would ask of all Palm Beach Countians: a second thought. Take a moment as you drop debris in a dumpster to pause and ponder. Could this item have been reduced by smart shopping? Is it an item that could be donated for reuse? Can it be recycled?
- Stop plastic sacks. Plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled in the blue or yellow recycling bin, and can actually damage the Solid Waste Authority’s recycling center.
- Opt for aluminum. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, so if you have a choice between a beverage in a can or a glass or plastic bottle, go metal.
- Buy recycled. Purchasing items that contain recycled content supports the recycling industry.
As PBC residents do their part by Recycling Right, the SWA will continue to ours. Currently, the SWA:
Learn more. The Solid Waste Authority provides tours, education programs and dozens of informational resources. Visit www.SWA.org to book a visit or get details on recycling and waste reduction.