Everyone in Ashburn should be trying to do their part with recycling because how we treat our earth today will be our legacy to pass on to future generations. I know the excuses for not participating in recycling are all on the tips of many of your tongues. Some of them probably sound like: I don’t know what is recyclable; I don’t have the time; I don’t know where to take it; It isn’t a big deal if I don’t recycle this item, I’ll do it next time; etc, etc.
For those of you who don’t know what is recyclable or where to take things, there is a great site called www.earth911.org. All you have to do is type in what it is you would like to recycle and your zip code and up pops a list of local places for you to take the items. There is also a place called the Loudoun County Landfill and if you ever have questions about what you can recycle you can call them at 703-771-5500, or log onto http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=749 where it will answer all of your questions about recycling in Loudoun County.
For the excuse of time, let’s just say that your basic weekly recycling requires VERY little effort. Just throw all of your paper, plastic, glass and cans into the appropriate containers and set them out at the curb each week. It doesn’t take any more time to put recycling bins out at the curb than your trash tote. If you begin to really pay attention to what is recyclable you will end up with more recyclables to be picked up than trash. We have trash pickup two times a week in my neighborhood and it takes us about two weeks to fill an entire large trash can, where as my three recycling bins are usually overflowing by the weekly pick up day. As for the hazardous waste items, yes that requires a little more effort on your part but well worth it when considering the safety of our environment and drinking water supply. The easiest thing to do is begin collecting all of your hazardous waste items in a large plastic bin with a lid and once the bin is full, check on line at the Loudoun Co. website to find out the dates and locations of various community collections and then TAKE the bin to that collection site. How often would that have to occur, maybe once a year? Not really a massive time commitment.
Now as for the “It’s no big deal if I don’t recycle it this time” excuse, let’s just take a look at some numbers:
Did you know that in the Rain Forest, 100 acres of trees PER MINUTE are being cut down? Please use both sides of your paper before recycling.
Motor oil can be cleaned and reused over and over again which can help us reduce our need for foreign oil, and keep our water supplies clean and contaminate free. Your one bottle of motor oil that you threw away because you didn’t feel like recycling it just contaminated 2,000,000 gallons of water!
Mount Rumpkie at the Rumpkie Landfill in Ohio is over 1,000 feet tall and is the highest geographic landmark in the state. That one box you didn’t bother to recycle just may make a big difference in your own local town topography!
Check out your own carbon footprint and get more tips for living green at: www.conservation.org/ecofootprint.
Maria White is a professional organizer with ENUFF WITH THE STUFF in the Ashburn, VA area.