5 Tips to Protect Your Outdoor Recycling Bins

Recycling has quickly turned into a contentious issue for neighbourhoods, municipalities, and regions. It is more important today than ever before to correctly and effectively recycle many of our materials. Otherwise, it will end up in landfills or in the water, and we don’t want either to happen.

But you can’t recycle the right way if you don’t have bins that are in tip-top shape.

It’s time you start paying attention to the conditions of the blue bin.

Here are five tips to keep your recycling bins in great shape:

1. Don’t Toss Your Waste in the Blue Bins

It might not need to be repeated, but it is important to say it anyway: don’t toss your waste in the blue recycling bins. Many households are busy, but people still need to be reminded that the blue bins are only for recyclable materials and nothing else.

Of course, we still need to be told from time to time what goes in the blue bins and what doesn’t.

Here is a basic rundown of what you should toss into the recycling bins:

  • Plastic
  • Metal cans
  • Glass bottles
  • Household paper
  • Aerosol cans

Most people have these items to recycle. If it doesn’t meet this list, then it is garbage.

2. See Dirt? Wipe it Down and Keep it Clean

Oftentimes, whether it is because of nature’s elements or you accidentally put last week’s pizza box which still had leftover Hawaiian slices in the recycling bin, the blue bin gets dirty. This is dangerous because not only does it damage your bin, but it can attract unwanted pests.

Ultimately, if you see dirt, no matter how minuscule, you want to wipe it down and keep it clean.

Grab a hose, grab a Lysol wipe, grab an all-purpose cleaner. Whatever cleaning product you use, use it.

3. Wash Your Recyclables First

A new report found that municipalities are having a difficult time properly recycling recyclables because of the stuff found inside the products. For instance, a can of tomato sauce will be hard to recycle because there might be some tomato sauce left behind. Ditto for a glass jar of alfredo or a can of chickpeas.

Here is what you can do to ensure your stuff can be recycled: wash it out.

After you have used them, it would be a good idea to put them in the kitchen sink, pour some liquid, and wash the items in hot water. And that’s all you need to do.

It might seem tedious, but it is important if your aim is to recycle more.

4. How to Fight Those Windy Days

You leave your blue recycling bin on the curb for the municipality to come and pick up. Unfortunately, by the time you return home from work, you see your recyclables scattered on the street from the heavy wind. Those windy days can harm your recycling efforts.

So, what’s the solution?

Here are a few ideas that cities recommend:

  • Place heavier items on top of the lighter items.
  • Wait until the morning to put your recycling bins out for collection.
  • Refrain from overfilling your recycling bins (see below).
  • Bundle your newspapers and cardboard separately.
  • Put a brick on top of the can until the city arrives.

These simple tricks can do a lot to combat those windy days.

5. Get a Second Bin if it Overfills

Are you noticing that you’re overfilling your recycling bins at least twice per month?

If so, then perhaps it is time to purchase a second bin, which can be done by visiting your local government and request another blue bin. If you’re an avid recycler, then maybe you should buy a large size rather than a smaller one. But it is entirely up to you. By doing this, you can avoid those windy days or leaving your cans in the garage.

Recycling has become one of the most important issues for municipalities in recent years.

Whether it is growing ocean pollution or our accumulation of trash, we are being encouraged now more than ever before to recycle more. It’s something that needs to be done. Are you up for it? Well, you will be if you keep your recycling bins in great shape, which can be achieved by following these tips.

Kelly Young is a writer born and raised in Toronto. Proud of her simple and cozy life, a perfect evening for Kelly would be to snuggle up in bed with her cat and a well-written historic memoir.