Starting the new year with a mountain of trash and recycling? The wake of the holidays can leave us with new toys and about 25 per cent more garbage than usual. It’s not too late to take a moment and sort it out into recyclables and compostables before putting it to the curb.
Top tips to start the year off with cleaner habits:
• Get creative with leftover food. Soup and sandwiches are an excellent way to extend turkey dinners.
• All that wrapping paper and those greeting cards can go in the paper recycling. Be sure to remove all bows, foil, and electronics.
• Most styrofoam and other packaging are accepted at all recycling depots, but not curbside. Packing peanuts and other spongy styrofoam are not accepted, but could be kept for future art projects or packaging for mailing gifts.
• Bubble wrap is not accepted in our recycling system, but some local businesses accept it to use for mailing out their products. Check in with the stores you frequent to go that extra mile to divert waste from the landfill.
• Bring empty beverage containers to the Return-It Depot on Duncan Street to get the deposit back. Milk and milk substitute beverages do not get a deposit back, but can be recycled at curbside and depots.
• Broken Christmas lights can be brought to Augusta Recyclers or the Return-It Depot, while small appliances can be taken to the Town Centre Recycling Depot or Augusta.
• Take household batteries to Rona or any recycling depot for safe disposal.
• About half of our trash is compostable. If you aren’t able to compost at home, bring your turkey bones, soiled napkins and all other kitchen scraps to the Town Centre recycling depot. Freeze the more offending items if you are waiting until later to drop off.
The fresh slate of a new year can give you and your household a chance to start new habits with waste diversion. Set up a recycling collection area that helps pre-sort materials before recycling day. Keep your old ice cream tub as a kitchen catcher to collect compostables. Freeze them, if you have space, and then drop off in a neighbour’s composter, or at the Town Centre depot.
If you’re keen to keep this resource at home, LetsTalkTrash.ca has information on different backyard compost systems.