Reducing Your Trash Production
On average, U.S. adults produce 1,704 pounds of trash every year. I know I felt guily every time I tossed something plastic in the trash, knowing that item would probably outlive me and many future generations. Recycling through Waste Management is limited in Reno, as they only take hard plastic containers, glass, and paper. This leaves out smaller plastic components of bottles, cosmetic containers, even egg cartons can't be recycled.
To say I was thrilled to discover Down to Earth Composting would be an understatement. Scotty and I had mulled over the idea of composting for quite a while. We knew we wanted to reduce our food waste going into the trash, but we always fell short on the execution. Our backyard could certainly host the space needed for a composting bin, but we lacked the time to build and properly maintain a compost pile. Either regular composting or with worms, we just didn't have the time to get going and keep going.
With Down to Earth, we are finally easily able to repurpose our food scraps. They offer two plans, one for $14 a month where customers drop off their scraps at drop-off points, and one for $28 a month with a weekly pick-up from your home. Due to our initial time commitment issue, I knew weekly pickup would be the best option for us. Every Wednesday one of their "rot riders" comes by on a bike and replaces our full bucket with a new empty one for us to fill. Maybe I'm just weird, but it's honestly a thrill to be able to toss something in the green compost bucket instead of the trash.
Recycling with Urban Roots
As mentioned before, recycling is pretty limited in Reno. We didn't have much of an option besides tossing things that might be recycled into the bin. Thankfully last month, Urban Roots announced a partnership with Terracycle! Normally to recycle with Terracycle you have to pay for a box to be shipped to you and cover the shipment back. Through this partnership recycling items, you normally couldn't is free to Reno residents, and even provides funding for Urban Roots!
Examples of what can be recycled through this program are toothpaste tubes and caps, lipstick tubes, razors, and much more. Urban Roots also accepts egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, and paper towel rolls, glass jars, and plastic containers as craft supplies for their summer camps and education classes for children.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 69 million tons of waste can be removed annually from landfills through recycling, and nearly 25 million tons can be removed through composting. I am so thankful to live in a city where these options have been established for residents to help decrease their overall waste production! If you use either of these local services, please do let me know.