We’re Doing Recycling All Wrong, Here’s How to Make It Better

February 22, 2021 By Francisco Solís

Ever since recycling became mainstream, it’s had its fair share of opponents who say it’s a total waste of time. But we’ve also had our elected leaders and even celebrities say that recycling is key to a sustainable future. So who do we believe? 

Recently, questions have been raised about waste that’s put out for recycling still ending up in landfill sites. It is also known that an increasing amount of recyclable waste from major cities is being shipped to other countries – often those with fewer resources – to dispose of since it might be cheaper to transport it than to actually recycle it.

For recycling to work, it must be a collective effort and we must keep advocating for it. The more, the better.  

Here are some solutions to push ourselves (and others) to keep up the good work:

  • If you haven’t begun recycling, do it. You can start with small actions, such as repurposing bottles and separating the trash.
  • Purchase wisely. Choose products packaged or made of post-consumer recycled materials, like paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, etc. Also, buy in bulk, since this reduces packaging waste.
  • Buy recycled products. Not consuming these products defeats the purpose of recycling. Also, it is very discouraging for manufacturers making an effort.
  • Take special care of your tech waste. Computers, cell phones, chargers, and rechargeable batteries. Look for recycling companies and retailers specialized in disposing of this kind of waste. There are places willing to receive and recycle your equipment.
  • Take your recycling up a notch. If your curbside recycling service doesn’t accept a particular item (like glass or cardboard), take that item to another drop-off facility. It’s just a matter of doing a little research to find something in your area.

On a social level we can:

  • Push for new landfills that pipe the methane gas they produce to local green power plants that can supply homes with eco-energy.
  • Be involved in your community. Join efforts with your neighbors and local businesses to ensure that current recycling programs are delivered effectively, tracing waste down the chain to its destination.
  • Ask for transparency and push for research and better handling of waste within your community.

Isn’t your social media flooded with DIY videos?


From junk to journal, full process. Which colour should I do next? #papermaking #journal #handmade #recycle #diy #fyp

♬ original sound – abbycates

I know this might seem ridiculous, but it might be fun to create some crafts using something you might otherwise throw away. This keeps your creativity flowing, reduces stress, and it can become an amazing way to interact with friends and family.