I never realized how lucky I was to live in DC with curbside recycling. All I need to do is separate and carry my recyclables a few feet and poof it magically disappear.
According to a 2009 EPA study approximately 9,000 community curbside recycling programs exist in United States, increase over reported 2002 figure of 8,875 That still leaves a lot of people without any means to recycle, so it's no wonder that we are still sending 131 millions tons of trash to landfills each year. (http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/index.htm).
While recently visiting my parents, I learned that they have to drive up to 7 miles to find the nearest recycling trailer! My parents already started composting their food waste (I did encourage adding in the coffee grounds), but we needed to work on the metal, glass, and plastic waste.
First up, those annoying plastic bags!
I have to hand it to my mom, she is doing good by taking her excess plastic bags (the ones she didn't line the garbage cans with) back to the store to be recycled. I explained that even if those bags were being recycled (and I'm not convinced they are), wouldn't it be better to simply reuse the bags you already have? So on her weekly trip to the grocery store, we gathered up her extra bags to reuse at the checkout. Success! The trick, of course, will be to make sure she remembers to take the bags or better yet get her enough reusable bags to keep in her car.
Baby steps my friends, baby steps!
Next up: Reducing!