So, when you are building an innovative recycling company, that uses technology to stem the tide of recyclable materials going to our landfills and oceans, you get a lot of questions about garbage.
And, as you can imagine, we think about garbage all day long here at MeCycle. We love getting out early on recycling day to snoop the blue bins in our neighborhood (sorry if you see us staring) and we can't help but count bags when we wander out on trash day.
We see a lot of garbage and what saddens and excites us is that so much of the trash, doesn't have to go to landfill. I have three busy teens, a wife and a constant parade of other people's teenagers (in a good way) in my house. I also have the MeCycle team, working here until life gets back to normal. And we put out about 1-2 bags of garbage a week. Not the big black bag but the white kitchen bag. With four simple steps.
Step 1 - Try to Avoid Packaging Where You Can
Man is this one tricky. Everything seems so overpackaged these days it's exhausting. And we are certainly not even close to perfect on this step but we do make an effort. You'll have the most success in the fruit and vegetable section but you can win in the bakery with paper over plastic and even in the tea aisle.
Step 2 - Return Bottles and Cans
In many states, you can return your bottles and cans. MeCycle is clearly a super fan of this and that is why we are making it easy for you to do it from home with our app and personalized bin. Most people don't know that when you return, your bottles and cans do not go to landfill. Ever. When you recycle them, there is an up to 40% chance that they hit the landfill. 137 billion packages a year. No joke. It's 450 per person, every single year. Returns are magic.
Step 3 - Recycle, What Can Actually Be Recycled
No plastic bags, no straws, no dirty iced latte cups, nothing with food in it and certainly no crazy things like string lights, umbrellas or packaging peanuts. People, if you can't imagine it taking a trip in a garbage truck, mixed with all your neighbors stuff, then running down an industrial line to be sorted out properly (see what I mean about those string lights?), don't put it in there. You will ruin it for everyone.
Step 4 - Compost, And We Recommend Speed Composting if Space Constrained
You'v heard about it, maybe your city supports it but if you can compost, do it. It can be as simple as a composting bin in the back yard (just mix in lots of grass clippings) or as organized as getting a weekly pick up from a service or your city. We live in a town where you have to drop it off (which we never remembered to do) so we switched to a speed composting machine (ours is called a FoodCycler, there are lots of different brands). It's the size of a bread maker but man, does it work and our plants are so happy.
So there you have it. These four simple steps and you will be amazed to see your garbage shrink. Bonus points? Less stink, under the sink.