Taking “Sorting” To the Next Level
March 15, 2012
Portlandia fans may have noticed a nod to recycling with their clip, “Sanitation Twins.” Like most episodes, they take a regular situation – recycling sorting – to the highest level. Ahh, Portlandia, where coffee shops have four recycling bins for their cups, including rose bins for straws with lipstick.
Satire aside, anyone who has implemented a recycling program knows the importance of strong signage. Unclear and confusing signage leads to items not being recycled to their highest and best use. Through shared understanding and the ability to sort correctly- we make things easier, cheaper and more efficient for the folks helping us reuse and recycle our waste.
According to Recycle Across America, standardized labeling policies and efficient sorting mechanisms benefit our communities by stimulating:
- better capture rates
- cleaner materials, which lead to higher recycling rates and lower costs for recycling facilities
- decreased solid-waste related expenses from better capture rates
- growing recycling even when expansion isn’t possible
- better understanding of sorting importance
- reduced burdens on haulers and ultimately the community
Labeling containers at your house and workplace is a great way to help this movement. Encouraging local businesses and your town to be consistent is also a critical step. To get you started we’ve listed a few resources for printing out yourself. Consider it an adult arts and craft project.
- The folks at Recycle Across America have a spectrum of posters.
- Go to Harvest Power for organics collection posters.
- Seattle Public Utilities has an inventory of recycling posters, including food waste.
- Check out these labels — free – from Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Environmental Trust.
Do you have any favorite recycling or organics recycling posters?
If so- send them over to our Facebook page. Who knows, it may become the next standardized recycling poster.
By Erin Munning