FALSE. Recycling is a great way to keep material out of the landfill, however, there are lots of other ways to reduce the amount of waste going into your trash that are also good for the environment and your wallet.
A great way to make less trash in the first place is to look at the products you are purchasing. By selecting products with less packaging or products with no packaging at all, you can significantly reduce your waste. The U.S. EPA estimates that $1 out of every $10 dollars spent on products goes toward the costs of packaging. So, if you can purchase products will less packaging you can save yourself money and help the environment. For example, in stores that sell items in bulk or by the pound, bring in your own reusable containers to fill them up and eliminate packaging waste all together.
Purchasing reusable goods and more durable products is another great way to keep materials out of your trash. Not only will this reduce your waste, but will also likely save you money in the long run. For example, avoid spending money over and over again on disposable tableware, such as paper plates and plastic cups. Reusable tableware will last longer, creates less waste and will cost substantially less over time.
When spring cleaning or moving, donate unwanted furniture, clothing and other items to local charities instead of throwing them away. Old clothes and linens can be recycled by most charities. Many charities will even take clothes no longer wearable or in bad shape, and recycle them as textiles or other markets. Also, think about giving old books to nursing homes, hospitals, schools or other charities. Remember to check with individual charities prior to delivering items for recycling. Items that are no longer useful to you can be used again by others.
Don’t forget composting and grasscycling are two other ways to reduce your trash output. Here in Denver, as much as 57% of what residents put in the trash is organic waste. Backyard composting is a great way to reduce organic waste and save money by producing your own compost for your home garden, lawn or around the base of trees and plants. Don’t forget some food scraps and kitchen waste can also be composted. Grasscycling is the natural way to recycle grass clippings and provide your lawn with the valuable nutrients and water that it needs. By grasscycling there’s no need to pile bags of grass clippings out on your trash day.