We all know the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle – but how often do we follow through on them in our daily lives? Apparently, for us Ottawans, not often enough!
The City of Ottawa estimates that Ottawa residents generate approximately 330,000 tonnes of waste each year, most of it recyclable. This is equal to filling the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata 160 times each year with garbage!
The City of Ottawa also estimates that apartment dwellers are some of the worst offenders when it comes breaking the recycling rules. If you live in an Ottawa apartment, you have the opportunity to help stop at least a third of Ottawa’s residential waste from ending up in landfills. Follow these handy tips, and get recycling today!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK: WHAT CAN BE RECYCLED FROM YOUR OTTAWA APARTMENT
Recycling in Ottawa apartments and condos follows the same rules as single-family homes. While the size and colour of the bins may differ, the same materials are accepted. These include:
- Newspapers and inserts, flyers and junk mail
- Magazines, phone books, household paper, shredded paper and envelopes
- Cardboard egg cartons and paper tubes
- Flattened cardboard (e.g., cereal, cracker, tissue and shoe boxes)
- Milk and juice cartons
- Juice boxes
- Plastic containers with a recycling triangle on the bottom, including all bottles, pails, tubs and jugs
- Aluminum drink cans
- Tin food cans
- Glass jars and bottles (clear and coloured)
There are also lots of items that may seem recyclable, but cannot and should not be put into your apartment’s recycling bins. Items not to recycle include:
- Glass such as drinking glasses, window glass, light bulbs, and mirrors
- Aerosol cans
- Styrofoam containers and packaging
- All plastic bags
- Bakery and produce plastics such as strawberry, salad or dessert containers
- Waxed paper
- Cereal and cracker box liners, chip and cookie bags and canisters
For more information on Ottawa Green initiatives and programs visit GreenOttawa.ca.
SET UP A RECYCLING ZONE IN YOUR OTTAWA APARTMENT
Recycling doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. To make everyday recycling easy, designate a small area in your apartment to be your recycling hub. Ideally, this spot should in the room where you generate the most waste, most likely the kitchen of your Ottawa apartment.
You may find it most handy to make the recycling hub of your apartment right next to your kitchen garbage can. Better still, consider buying a divided container that lets you sort as you dispose (i.e. garbage, metals and plastic, paper). Short on space? Hang some sturdy shopping bags on the inside of a cupboard door.
DON’T FORGET THE OTHER TWO R’S
A great way to reduce what you throw out and to reuse old items is to take part in the Give Away Weekends organized by the City of Ottawa. Held twice each year, once in the spring and once in the fall, these weekends prove the old saying that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
Whether you live in an Ottawa apartment, condo, or house, you can take full advantage of Ottawa’s Give Away Weekends. Simply set your unwanted items out at the curb or in front of your Ottawa apartment building, place stickers or signs on the items with the word “FREE,” and then at the end of the day pick up any uncollected items and dispose accordingly.
Last, but certainly not least, be sure to check out Used Ottawa.com for more great Ottawa recycling programs for you and your Ottawa apartment full of stuff!
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