You probably already know that recycling is good for the environment because it means sending less waste to landfills. But did you also know that recycling benefits our climate and our economy, too?
Recycling is a climate solution that reduces emissions from your everyday life, but it can be confusing. Where can you take recyclables if your area doesn’t offer curbside pickup? What items can you put in your blue bin--and do you need to wash them first? And what about hard-to-recycle items, like e-waste, styrofoam, and textiles?
Why Should You Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle?
Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it is often less energy-intensive than producing new items. Our state can achieve significant energy savings by increasing the amount we recycle. For example, one ton of recycled plastic saves approximately 5,800 kWh of energy--that’s enough to power the average American home for about six and a half months.
Georgia is home to many industries that recycle materials, such as paper, plastic, and batteries for electric vehicles. When you recycle, you are supporting these industries, which is great for the local economy as well as the environment.
A Toolkit to Help You Recycle More and Waste Less
Drawdown Georgia’s “How to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” Toolkit explains the benefits of recycling and reducing waste at home, answers common questions about how to make sure the materials you place in your recycling actually get recycled, and offers creative ways to reduce and reuse more at home, too.
Some common questions and ideas addressed by the new toolkit include:
How Do You Recycle in Georgia?
Different recycling processors have different rules for recycling, so the short answer to this question is: check with your local municipality to make sure you are following their specific guidelines around recyclables. However, there are some best practices around recycling that will be true for most recycling processors.
The toolkit shares useful tips to ensure you are recycling right and also demystifies common sources of confusion around how to recycle in Georgia.
What Can You Recycle in Georgia? What About Hard to Recycle Materials?
Different recycling processors have different rules for recycling, so the short answer to this question is: check with your local municipality to make sure you are recycling everything you can. And it’s important to avoid putting items in the bin that can contaminate other recyclables.
In this section of the toolkit, we also take a closer look at organizations that accept hard-to-recycle items--everything from Christmas lights to styrofoam to carpeting.
How Can You Reuse More to Reduce Waste?
Before you recycle an item, it’s often best to look for ways that you can get more use out of it first. Reusing things can help us consume less and waste less--which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions are produced, too.
This toolkit shares inspiration to help you reuse things more often at home, and explores ways that reusing can benefit your community as well as the environment.
How Can You Make a Local Impact on Recycling?
If you are motivated to magnify your impact, taking action to increase recycling on a larger scale is a great way to get involved in scaling climate solutions in Georgia. Maybe you see bags and bags of paper waste going into the trash at work, or you live in a town or a multifamily building that doesn’t offer recycling services: all of these scenarios represent opportunities to make a local impact.
If you’re ready to get more involved, our recycling toolkit shares great ideas on how you can increase recycling in your community, your job, and more.
What Are Good Resources to Learn More About Recycling in Georgia?
Whether you are interested in finding out more about the environmental benefits of recycling, finding local resources for recycling events and drop-offs in your community, or getting involved with a recycling advocacy group in Georgia, our toolkit shares helpful resources you can use to keep learning and exploring.
Ready to Recycle More and Reduce Waste?
Recycling can be a satisfying and impactful way to help reduce GHG emissions on an individual level. Drawdown Georgia’s “How to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” Toolkit is a great resource if you are curious about the benefits of a plant-based diet or looking for a guide to help you get started.
If you would like to find out more about climate solutions that are particularly effective in Georgia, check out the complete library of Drawdown Georgia toolkits and join the growing number of Georgians working on climate solutions together.