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Don’t be down in the dumps - Make recycling work for you

Are any recyclables falling through the cracks at your house? Could be, because more than half of the garbage going into King County’s landfill is actually recyclable! To make sure you keep as much out of the garbage as possible, follow these tips for making recycling more convenient:

Learn the ropes. The first step is to learn exactly what you can and can’t put in your recycling and compostable containers. It’s all on the city’s Solid Waste & Recycling website, at www.auburnwa.gov/solidwaste.

Beef up your bins. Place recycling bins where paper and other recyclables are generated, to help your family remember to recycle. How about a little recycling container in the home office or garage? And the kitchen for sure, next to the garbage can. Kids love to make and decorate “Recycle!” signs for your bins.

Make it a family affair. Speaking of kids, they are usually big fans of recycling, so make sure they know what goes where. Also explain to them how it works: Recycling doesn’t really succeed unless the collected items are made into something else. For example, your old plastic pop bottles might become a park bench made of plastic lumber. Watch a recycle sort center in action

Go clean and easy. Your recyclables don’t have to be as clean and pure as the driven snow, but try to lightly rinse or clean off most food residues. For something gunky like a peanut butter container, a quick whoosh with a spatula or brush should do the trick. You could also soak a container to clean it before recycling, or toss it in the dishwasher if you have extra room in your load.

Give old food new life. Did you know all your food scraps and food-soiled paper like pizza boxes and napkins can go in your curbside compostables cart? It gets made into a high-quality compost product sold in area stores. Compostable bags, available at many supermarkets, make it easy to collect food scraps in your kitchen.

For more tips, visit www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore. And thanks for recycling – it’s easy to do, and makes our city a greener place.

Information provided by the King County Solid Waste Division and the City of Auburn Solid Waste & Recycling Division.