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Six Ways to Make Recycling Easier

It's not that hard to be "Green"

 As I sit down to write this article, I can’t help but think of a bunch of my friends that do not recycle at all. They have a laundry list of reasons why: “It’s so hard to do,” or “Who cares?” and “I pay enough taxes in Holmdel”…the list goes on and on!

Why recycle you ask? We need to recycle for many environmental reasons, as well as monetary reasons. The future of your children and grandchildren are depending on it.

Recycling is mandated by the state of New Jersey, and Holmdel in turn receives financial grants based on the percentage collected. Did you know that? The less we recycle, the less we receive back in grants.

It is important to make recycling fun and get your whole family involved in reducing landfill waste, every little bit counts.

My family has always recycled newspapers, bottles/cans; it was the junk mail that was more challenging. Today, we keep a plastic bin in my garage right near our kitchen door entrance so all the “junk mail” goes in the bin before we even walk in the house. 

We recycle flyers, paper towel tubes, envelopes, pasta/cereal/oatmeal boxes, coupons, phone books, receipts, magazines, cards, tons of school papers, soap/toothpaste boxes and even newspapers. It took awhile to instill, but now its second nature. Today our weekly trash bin is barely half full and we have tons of recyclables.

I called Future Sanitation of Farmingdale to confirm if they would accept our mixed bin and they said yes, since it all gets mixed up anyway. However, they DO NOT handle tall garbage pails, since they need to be manually picked up.

If you do decide to use a laundry basket, put a heavy weight on it, to secure your junk mail from blowing away.  I encourage you to start recycling and make a difference. It’s not difficult. Remember to make it easy on your family and start with the basics. Recycling is just one more step you need to include in your daily routine and it will be part of your life forever!

 Six Easy Recycling Tips:

1.  ONE bin for Newspaper/Junk Mail: Did you know you can mix newspapers and junk mail all together (envelopes, school papers, phone books, magazines, receipts, paper towel holders, pasta/cereal/oatmeal boxes, coupons, soap boxes…etc)? Use an old laundry basket or a plastic bin and place it in a convenient location for easy access (office, family room, garage…etc).   If you choose not to mix, bundle your newspapers one foot high for easy lifting.  Use your school flyers to print on the clean side and cut them into note size scrap pieces to jot down notes. 

2Keep trash and bottle/can bin close together in kitchen: use a trash bin with two compartments, for trash and cans/bottles, if possible.  Holmdel only recycles #1 and #2 bottle shaped plastics (remove caps please!)  Did you know that some of the plastic containers that lettuce and fruits come in are recyclable, as well as deodorant containers and shampoo bottles? Turn the product over to look for a small triangle with the #1 or #2 on it. Don’t forget to add aluminum foil and trays to your can collection as well.

3. Recycle Computers/ Electronic Equipment: E- waste is highly toxic! Computers, cases, CPU’s, keyboards, mice, monitors, scanners, printers, cables, laptops, peripherals, televisions, radios, cameras, telephones, copiers, fax machines, VCR’s, DVD players and stereo components are now accepted at the Holmdel Public Works facility (14 Crawford Corner Rd. Mon-Fri 8:00am- 2:30pm). Place items in the NEW bright green shed. Microwaves and air conditioners (window units) will also be accepted. Cell phones may be recycled in a marked container at Town Hall, Village or Indian Hill schools. For hazardous waste material, contact the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls 732-922-2234.

4. Recycle Plastic bags and use re-usable Eco-friendly bags:  recycle plastic bags at your local supermarket entrances (or at Town Hall, and get the Holmdel Recycles tote bag as a reward!) In landfills, plastic bags sit for roughly 1,000 years before decomposing and release toxic chemicals into the soil during decomposition. To avoid this all together, use reusable bags when grocery and clothing shopping or ask for paper bags that can be recycled.

5.  Recycle Corrugated Cardboard: does not have to be cut into small sections and tied! Just flatten all cardboard boxes and stack in one another and place neatly near curb.  No food contaminated cardboard or waxed cardboard are accepted.

6. Batteries: household batteries; AAs, AAAs, Cs, Ds and 9-Vs are not thought to pose a threat to landfills since they have little or no toxic content. Re-chargeable and button batteries used in watches, hearing aids, candles, toys, calculators…etc. can be placed in a marked container at the lobby of Town Hall or call 1-877-2-Recycle or www.call@recycle.org to find out closest public drop-off point.

Holmdel recycling information can be found on the town’s website www.holmdeltownship-nj.com

johncooper March 22, 2011 at 08:49 AM
I recycled my old cell with a company called http://www.sellcell.com which I'd recommend to anyone as it's a comparison cell phone recycling site I was able to get the best cash for my cell and recycle!
Dana Battaglia March 22, 2011 at 01:36 PM
My house hold recycles. What drives me crazy, is that the recycling pick up truck is so sloppy. Every other week my neighbor hood is littered with all of our recyclables. Paper flying around, milk cartons, water bottles, , aluminum cans all rolling around in the street. I have called the town, I have had a conversation with the driver. To no avail! At the bus stop just today, the truck driver dropped a box of loose paper. He picked up a few pieces and left the rest to fly away. The paper was caught in the trees and is now dispersed around those neighbors houses.....It is very frustrating.
Karin Swan March 22, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Great article, Dina! You have transformed the lower schools and now you are educating the whole community. Your crusade is extending the life of our landfills and saving the planet. Your advice over the years has helped me develop green habits. My children have picked up on it and we are all more environmentally responsible. Keep the articles and ideas coming!
Dina Hamwi March 23, 2011 at 02:13 PM
John, thanks so much for this website! I will pass this info on to our "Cell" collector at Village/ Indian Hill schools & hopefully they can collect more cash - $$!
Dina Hamwi March 23, 2011 at 02:21 PM
I can feel your frustration Dana! I know you spoke to the Driver, but you might have to call the company directly & voice your concerns if it continues. I can understand a few small pieces flying away, but a box of loose paper is just not acceptable. I'm sure it can be tough on the truck driver, but he should slow down a bit & take his time loading the back of his truck. Hopefully your neighbors are chipping in & helping you pick up the litter. Keep up your good work in recycling!
Dina Hamwi March 23, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Thanks for your kind words. It's been a wonderful experience over the years informing & inspiring enthusiasm amongst our students, staff & parents regarding recycling & other "Green" initiatives. I am proud to say, that the "Go-Green" PLG/PSA groups that I have spearheaded have a real presence in our schools today & I am thrilled. The groups continue to grow each year with wonderful parents, such as yourself, who care to make a "green" difference in our world. Keep GREEN!
Brian McFarland October 22, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Kudos to you Dina! Your advice has also helped my family develop good recycling habits. It's amazing how much can be recycled. I am writing this comment a long time after the article appeared in Patch, so I hope you see this. And I hope others read about your recycling and are as inspired as we are. Keep up the great work!!
Ella February 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
We have paper recycling bins in every class room at our school and i encourage other schools to get some because recycling is important!

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