From Home Improvement to Community Improvement

A new survey about curbside recycling reveals that only one-third of Tampa residents actually use the service. That may or may not surprise you, depending on if you’re one of those people who use it. Perhaps you live in South Tampa or southwest Tampa, areas with the highest recycling rates, according to the Tampa Tribune. But those not participating may need some convincing on how simple it is to get started.

Why is a roofing company talking about recycling? Perhaps it’s because roof tear-offs account for millions of tons of landfill waste every year. There’s movement in the industry to increase recycling efforts involving used roofing materials. But even more important are the efforts we can make on an individual level to reduce, reuse and recycle items within our daily reach.

5 Ways to Start Recycling Today

1. Start with a spot.

Pick a place in your home that provides easy access and room to store a container for recyclables. The kitchen is ideal since it’s where most glass, plastic and aluminum items tend to collect.

2. Start with a routine stop.

Leftover plastic bags can be taken back to the grocery store during your weekly (or daily) stop there.

3. Start with the mail.

Place junk mail, flyers, and unwanted correspondence (that doesn’t include personal information) in your chosen recycling spot before setting it down on the closest flat surface. Newspapers and magazines can be collected around the house too.

4. Start with old technology.

Donate or recycle cell phones, PDAs, chargers, and batteries. Cell phone service providers are among the numerous drop-off locations, and recycling one million cell phones saves enough energy to power more than 185 US households with electricity for a year, according to the EPA.

5. Start with the family.

No, you’re not recycling the kids or your spouse. Sit down with them and plan a recycling strategy that involves everyone. Instruct your children to recycle that paper they bring home weekly in the form of assignments, reports and classroom activities.