Refuse and Recycling Blog

Do You Know What You’re Throwing into Your Waste Container?

Posted on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

We are experts at producing waste, which in turn causes a variety of environmental problems. For example, the food we throw away is responsible for the majority of methane emissions. Methane is one of the worst greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

The United States, as a whole, sends more than 250 million tons of waste to landfills each year, and another 90 million tons to recycling and composting plants. These staggering numbers account for both household and commercial waste. Businesses are beginning to take major steps to help reduce this amount, but most individuals have yet to catch on and take action.

Steps to Reduce Household Waste 

The ultimate goal should be zero waste for companies and individuals alike, however this may not be completely feasible. We can however, take basic steps to begin to reduce our waste. The most important step is to examine what you’re throwing away—you’ll soon realize just how much waste you are throwing out that you could be instead recycling, composting, or repurposing. 

Most experts suggest that up to fifty percent of the waste we send to landfills each year is only there because we're too lazy to take the extra steps necessary to sort and recycle it. Performing a simple waste audit can help people to realize the extent of their waste (per household) and show how easy it can be to help reduce it.

Performing a Waste Audit 

The first step to reducing household waste is to perform what is known as a waste audit. Basically, this means saving up all of your trash for a week, then sorting it out into different piles based on the type of waste.

Of course, you're going to want to wear gloves and do this in an area that you don't mind getting a little dirty, as sorting your waste can get a bit messy (especially the stuff from earlier in the week).

Once you're set up and ready to go, separate the waste into the following piles—

  • Paper/Cardboard
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Food and food packaging
  • Unsanitary waste (diapers, bathroom items, tissues, etc.)
  • Yard waste
  • Electronics and other potentially hazardous waste

Recyclable vs. Non-recyclable 

After sorting your waste into piles, you'll then want to weigh each one to get a better idea of what portion of your trash each one makes up and how much total waste you're producing on a weekly basis.

Now it's time to think about recycling, as nearly all of the piles can be either recycled or disposed of in ways other than by sending them to a landfill, (although unsanitary items such as bathroom waste should always be thrown away). In addition, items like electronics, batteries and the like should never be thrown away, and instead disposed of in the manner recommended by your local waste management company.

Regardless of where you live, your community most likely offers recycling for paper, cardboard, some plastics, and yard waste at the very least, the odds that these recyclable items make up quite a large percentage of your weekly trash. Consequently, by sorting out these items before they get thrown away, you’ll see an immediate and huge reduction in your trash.

As far as food waste goes, there are a few things you can do. One idea is to start a compost pile for some food items, such as eggshells, coffee grounds, spoiled fruit and vegetables, etc. Still, the easiest way to reduce food waste is to simply buy less food. A huge portion of our food waste comes directly from buying more food than we actually need and can consume, then throwing the extra food out when it spoils.

Generally, we all need to do our part in reducing waste to help protect the environment. The easiest way to start is the simple act of examining the waste we throw out. We should take the extra time and effort to—

  • Collect our waste
  • Sort and weigh it (quantifying the amount of waste we are actually throwing out)
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle

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Tags: waste management, container rentals, zero waste, waste management in Connecticut

Going Green: Tips for Saving Money on Your Energy Bill

Posted on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

The importance of saving money is one thing we can all agree on, but unfortunately most of us are unaware that it's possible to combine saving money with helping to protect the environment. 

There are actually a number of different ways that you can not only help to save money on your energy bills, but also reduce your impact on the environment at the same time. 

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Tags: waste management, John's refuse, going green, be green, zero waste

The Importance of Being a Zero Waste Company

Posted on Thu, Mar 06, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Environmentally conscious; eco-friendly; going green—no matter what you call it, the practice of trying to limit our impact on the planet is one of the most important concepts for the future of humanity. While there are many different ways that individuals and businesses in Connecticut can help reduce pollution and shrink their carbon footprint, the goal of achieving zero waste is by far one of the easiest and most effective methods around.

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Tags: waste reduction, going green, recycling, zero waste

What it Takes to Become a Zero Waste Business

Posted on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 @ 11:30 AM

By now it's more than apparent that our current manufacturing and business practices are having an adverse impact on the planet.

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Tags: waste reduction, zero waste, waste management in Connecticut

The Importance of Packing a Zero Waste Lunch

Posted on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

When you pack your lunch for work or school each day, you are probably more focused on the food inside of it instead of how it impacts our environment. After all, by the time lunch rolls around, your stomach is grumbling.

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Tags: waste reduction, recycle in connecticut, waste management company, recycling, zero waste

Your Daily Checklist to Becoming a Zero Waste Company

Posted on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Being a zero waste company is a lofty, but admirable goal. This is not something that will happen overnight. However, it is possible with dedication and determination. Follow this daily checklist and you will be well on your way to meeting your zero waste goals!

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Tags: refuse and recycling in CT, waste removal company in Connecticut, zero waste

The 5 R's to a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Posted on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

Living a zero waste lifestyle--is it possible?

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Tags: waste management, reuse, recycle, repair, zero waste

How to Improve Your Business Recycling Strategies

Posted on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 @ 08:51 AM

So you’ve heard that ‘green’ is the way to go to improve your business’s consumer appeal, but you’re not sure how to get there. Or, maybe your company already recycles some items but you’re sure there’s more to do. Starting or improving an existing recycling program will make your organization ‘greener,’ and let you (and your customers), feel good about reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Here are some great ideas to help improve your business’s recycling efforts!

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Tags: commercial recycling, community involvement, John's refuse, recycling strategies, electronic waste, business recycling, going green, zero waste

What is Zero Waste?

Posted on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Zero waste provides a philosophy for the way communities think about refuse and recycling. Through a cycle that attempts to imitate nature's circular method of destruction and replenishment, waste management in Connecticut aims to reduce the amount of waste by finding ways to reuse as much material as possible from a product. This not only helps to increase production, but it reduces the costs of items since each time a product is purchased it doesn't depend entirely on new materials.

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Tags: recycling in Connecticut, refuse and recycling, zero waste, waste management in Connecticut, Guilford CT trash removal