Going Green in Gwinnett just got easier!

Just a few of the recyclable materials covered by the new ordinance.

In 2010, Gwinnett County implemented a new solid waste pick-up plan. This means going green just got easier for all of us Gwinnett residents who want to take part in recycling. Before, our solid waste items had to be sorted curbside. However, with this new plan, the county lets us throw all recyclable items in one large bin, and the sorting occurs at the recycling plant. The county’s website calls the design, “single stream recycling.” The county intends to limit the hassle we face in sorting our own recycling. By providing a way to recycle our items at one source, Gwinnett gives us an easy way to participate in recycling while helping eliminate solid waste in landfills. No doubt, we’ve all skipped recycling items if it meant extensive sorting before the trash company picked them up. Now, we can put everything in one bin!

The following items can be thrown in together:

Aluminum: beverage containers, baking tins, food containers

Cardboard: boxes (must be broken down), pizza boxes

Glass: bottles and jars

Junk Mail: discarded mail, greeting cards, envelopes

Kraft Paper: paper grocery bags, paper shopping bags, paper lunch bags

Magazines: magazines, shopping catalogs

Mixed Paper: calendars, school papers, carbonless forms – paper

Newspaper: newspapers and inserts

Other Paper: computer paper, old phone directories, paperback books

Paperboard: cereal boxer, tissue boxes, paper towel cores, tissue paper cores, soda and beer cartons, shoe boxes

Plastic: Soda and water bottles, milk jugs, juice bottles, butter and yogurt tubs, detergent and household cleaner containers, shampoo, and cooking oil bottles, only squeezable bottles, syrup, ketchup, and medicine bottles, straws, and some yogurt containers, disposable plates and cups, aspirin bottles, CD cases, three and five-gallon water bottles, certain food containers

(This list is courtesy of  Recyclable Materials page. Please check out this webpage for more specific details on what can and cannot go into the curbside recycling bins.)

Now, there are items you might want to recycle that don’t fall under any of the previous categories. For that, Gwinnett’s website has an online recycling directory where you can select the item you want to recycle, and they provide you with specific recycling information. On the webpage, there is a drop box labeled select category. Search around for the item you wish to dispose of, select your item, and then a list of places will appear that can dispose of your item. This new system is so convenient!

Gwinnett also provides a way for citizens to get even more involved with recycling. Every year, they celebrate America Recycles Day. For 2011, the date has not been announced, but last year, they celebrated at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville on November 20. According to their website, they shredded 15 tons of paper and 22,000 pounds of electronics.  This means Gwinnett Residents

  • Saved 255 trees
  • conserved 5,700 gallons of oil
  • opened 45 cubic feet of landfill space
  • saved 60,000 kilowatts of energy
  • saved 105,000 gallons of water
  • avoided 900 pounds of air pollution

    America Recycles Day

The festivities at the event included games, mascots, and educational exhibits. They even had a recycling bin decorating contest. First, second, and third place all received prizes from the sponsors of the event. If this sounds like something you and your family would like to participate in this year, check out America Recycles Day page for updates on this year’s event.  I am so proud of Gwinnett County for stepping up to the plate and doing its part to help preserve our environment, especially since officials have made it so easy on residents! If you have more questions,visit Gwinnett’s Solid Waste Disposal page and use the tabs in the left column to navigate the site.

(All photos courtesy of www.gwinnettcounty.com)

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