Waste Segregation: How to Properly Throw Trash Away – Part 1

We’ve learned this in school but are we truly practicing proper waste segregation?

According to the World Bank, the world generates 2.01 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, with at least 33 percent of that—extremely conservatively—not managed in an environmentally safe manner. 

Waste segregation is the sorting and separation of waste types to facilitate recycling and correct disposal. When waste is sorted correctly, it can bring prosperity, keep us healthy, and help reduce what goes into the landfills.

Recyclables: Plastics, glass, and cans.

We start with the basics: The Recyclables. As we go about our day, our habits and behaviors come into play with what we consume and where it goes.  

While not everyone of us can make our own baon in the morning, throwing trash away in the correct bin can help re-direct items that should not go unnecessarily in the landfills. But which trash goes to which bin?

We start with the big three – Plastics, Glass, and Cans.

This bin collects all our plastic bottles. Whether it’s a juice or soda bottle, soda can, or glass coffee or tea bottles – this bin is for the items that can be hauled in recycling centers and recycled.

Here are 3 main reasons on why recycling should be top of our list in waste segregation:

  1. We save our natural resources from being mined and harvested for one-use items. Aluminum cans be recycled into new aluminum cans, rain gutters, or even window frames. Steel cans can become new steel cans, recycled bikes, or even steel beams. And plastic bottles can become new plastic containers or even end up converted into your shirts, carpets, shoes, jackets, bags, and even jeans!
  2. We reduce the pollution and carbon footprint we create when extracting, mining. processing, and shipping. The amount of fuel and energy used in these processes, toll and taxes, can increase the costs of our favorite beverage or food item.
  3. We reduce landfill waste for items that need to be disposed of properly, in order to protect the environment from contaminants, minimize air pollution from the release of chemicals in the atmosphere, prevent disease transmission. and keep cities and communities clean.  

Less than 1 minute

It takes less than a minute to ensure that we properly segregate our waste in the right bin. When in doubt, read the bin labels and take a minute to process which goes where.

Squeaky clean recyclables are not necessary. When throwing away your recyclables in the bin, no need to thoroughly wash them. A short rinse of the bottle, can, or plastic bottle, to remove any residuals or excess (i.e. coffee, soda, juice, etc.), will get the job done. This is just to ensure that no liquid waste will contaminate the others.  

Re-setting our country’s waste problem is a Herculean task for any individual or household. When we practice being mindful about how we properly dispose of our trash, it becomes second nature and a daily habit.  

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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