My favorite quote from the little puppet frog actually describes a major difficulty faced by today’s generations: as much as environmentalism is now at the forefront for many, it’s not always easy to act sustainably.
Many municipalities offer curbside recycling or companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? are available to pick up your disposables, but once the trash has left your house, where does it go? To recycling depots, or to the landfill? The likelihood of each of these outcomes depends on the community—where does yours rank?
Some cities like Portland, OR and Boulder, CO have numerous facilities for sorting and recycling, which makes sustainable waste management much easier for residents (and for us at 1-800-GOT-JUNK?). However, in areas where these facilities are not available or are located far out of town, the discarded items still need to go somewhere, and preferably not the landfill.
When there aren’t many recycling depots in town, one realization that many 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchises have come to is that donating gently used or unused items to local charities can have a significant impact on how much waste is diverted from the landfill (not to mention it helps people in need!).
Most cities have their own home-grown organizations, some of which may have thrift stores or provide low-income housing that could use donated household furnishings. Leftover construction materials in good condition can go to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or a similar organization. Furniture, clothing, books and sometimes electronics can go to charity thrift stores.
If you live in an area where recycling is tricky, consider giving your items a second life by donating them!
Here are some helpful links:
- To find recycling facilities in your area, check out www.earth911.com.
- To find charities in your area, check out www.givewell.org, www.charitynavigator.org or use a search engine to locate the organization that best suits your needs.
- Here’s a list of the top-ranked US cities for solid waste diversion (FYI: It’s from 2008 so it may look different now!) http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/categories/waste-management