A big part of dumpster diving is using materials, eating food, and doing other things with “trash” that may have been otherwise thrown out wastefully. According to an EPA estimate in 2012, Americans create roughly 251 million tons of garbage each year. As a result of increasing wealth and populations we are not only buying more items but there are increasingly more people creating waste on the planet. Factor in changing lifestyles where more and more of us are eating fast food, which generates a large amount of non-biodegradable waste, and we start to see the importance of recycling. As a dumpster diver, you can help push the line!
How Can I Recycle?
All recycling starts with your choice to think about the impact of your decisions and how it will affect the environment. The three main ways to recycle are to reduce the amount of waste, re-use items instead of throw them away, and recycle waste items instead of just throwing them in the trash. Repurposing or reusing containers and products is a much better alternative to letting them be put to waste in a landfill. Not only will you be helping the environment but you will also save money by not making additional purchases. Always think about how you could reuse something before you throw it away – or even something that is already thrown away.
Dumpster Diving & Recycling
As dumpster divers, every time we take something from a dumpster and use it, we are recycling and reducing the waste that would have otherwise been taken to a landfill. You can even take recycling even further and make sure that while you are dumpster diving that no recyclables are in the wrong dumpsters. If any of you can take them out and put them in a proper recycling bin or bring them to the proper recycling facilities, you can earn some cash while also doing your part to save the environment!
Many different things can be recycled so keep an eye out for:
- Aluminum Cans
- Aluminum Foil & Bakeware
- Steel Cans & Tin Cans (Soup Cans, Veggie Cans, Coffee Cans, Etc.)
- Corrugated Cardboard
- Office Paper
- Paper Cardboard Dairy & Juice Cartons
- Unsolicited Direct Mail
- Phone Books
- Clear (Flint) Glass
- Brown (Amber) Glass
- Green (Emerald) Glass
- Not all glass can be recycled. Some glass objects that can’t be recycled include: ceramics, mirrors, window glass, crystal, light bulbs, heat resistant glass, contaminated glass (stones, dirt, etc.)
- Make sure it’s clean before recycling
- Most plastics can be recycled
Like with dumpster diving, it’s important to do research and always keep your information up to date in regards to what can and cannot be recycled.