May 23, 2022
Three Words: Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose
The warm weather we’ve been waiting for is here, and if you’re anything like us, your schedule is packed with camping trips, yard work, and outdoor concerts to take advantage of each sunny day. So, what about those days when the sun stays tucked behind the clouds?
Those cloudy days are perfect for getting the dreaded spring cleaning chores out of the way. Take this time to dig into the closets stuffed with old clothes and the kitchen cupboards overflowing with reusable containers you haven’t even opened yet!
Don’t make it hard on yourself! You and the family will be ready to hit the road for your summer adventures with these spring cleaning tips:
- Make a Priority List – If you’ve put off re-organizing the garage, or the pile of outgrown kid’s clothes is growing as quickly as they are, create a simplified list to get organized! It’s easy to become overwhelmed at the thought of accomplishing everything at once, but your productivity will be boosted once you start to check those items off!
- Make it Into a Game – Even if you don’t have kids, making your mandatory spring cleaning fun, turns your mundane Saturday into a motivated (friendly!) competition.
- Turn up the Tunes – Transform your tasks into a dance party! How about a Rockland approved list of throwback jams to dance and sing along to while being productive at the same time? Spotify has a great “Clean Up” playlist if you’re looking for kid-friendly jams!
Spring cleaning is for YOU! But how about helping out Mother Nature while you’re at it? Diving into your Spring cleaning is the ideal time to focus on your environmental footprint.
Recycling helps our world go round – literally! Lean into alternative waste management instead of tossing unused items in the trash. Make a conscious choice to recycle, whenever you’re able, to contribute to the overall sustainability of our local community, and ultimately, our planet.
Create simple recycling habits to join our responsible disposal movement in Rockland County:
- Cut down on the amount of your household waste to divert excess, unnecessary waste in our landfills.
- Stop toxic fumes, like methane, from being released into the atmosphere to prevent pollution. Composting is an easy, environmentally-conscious alternative you can do right at home.
- Conserve natural resources, like water and minerals, that can be reused to create new products like aluminum cans, car bumpers, carpeting, egg cartons, glass containers, newspaper, paper towels, and even trash bags!
If you’re unsure whether an item is recyclable or not, download our Recycling Guide for a full breakdown of commonly recycled materials, like paper, cardboard, glass, metals, and the specific types of items that are a ‘no-go’.
By typing an item into our interactive “What Goes Where?” app, it will provide you with a simplified response on what you can and can’t recycle. The guide can also be downloaded to your phone for even easier access!
For a free home recycling bin, contact your local municipality. Identify your local pick-up schedule, or drop your items off at our Rockland Green facilities! Remember, blue bins are for paper and cardboard, while green bins are for plastic, metal, glass, and cartons.
Alternative Disposal Options
Donating and repurposing are alternative, responsible waste disposal options available so you can do your part to maintain our environment.
As a starting point, get a sense of which unused items are acceptable for donation. Encouraged and commonly donated items include:
- Gently used clothing and shoes
- Gently used linens, bedding, and towels
- Children’s toys
- Books and entertainment (board games, video games, DVDs, etc)
Drop-off your donations
- Marine Toys For Tots – A commonly known organization for donating toys. In order to donate, toys need to be new or in mint condition.
- Tender Steps of NY – Supports children and their families in Rockland County. They accept donations and volunteers!
- Rockland County Yelp List – Features well-known locations, like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, as well as some smaller options that might be overlooked and in greater need of donations.
- Thrift stores accept toys, clothing, board games, etc.
- Churches in the community have family support programs and provide opportunities to give back.
- Libraries often accept book donations and take part in local food and clothing drives.
- Community pages/Facebook Marketplace are the best“word of mouth!” Consider posting unused toys on social media or community forums – this way people can see that you have items you would like to offer to those in need.
If you’d instead rather have donations picked up at your home or business, check out Pick Up Please, which will come right to you! The service is free and often available within 24 hours of scheduling, and the service can provide you with a tax deduction receipt if you so choose.
Giving Old Items New Purpose
Reusing and repurposing are also surefire ways to help out the environment while also creating fun ways to keep the kids entertained on those yucky days!
For our active Pinterest users, you’re likely already familiar with DIY projects, where you take something old or ready for the garbage and turn it into something brand new. If not, we’re here to educate!
- Toilet paper or paper towel holders
- Magazines or newspaper
- Plastic bags
- Old tires
- Cardboard boxes
- Food containers
Some items might lend themselves more easily to arts and crafts projects with the kids, while others can provide practical solutions to household problems that you might not have even thought of! Start your journey of repurposing with a few easy, quick recommendations!
Start Your Sustainability Spring
Whether you stick to donating your old items, or you decide to get crafty this spring and transform them into new treasures, we think you’ll find that after some time, you might even look forward to rainy days this season!
While it may not totally beat diving into the cool water at the pool or order a soft serve on an afternoon off of work, knowing you’re getting organized while properly disposing of your recyclables and waste is great!
To expand your knowledge on waste prevention, recovery, and the responsible disposal movement in Rockland County, Rockland Green is the resource for you. Contact us with any questions you may have.