Home Making

“To recycle, or . . . Yeah. Recycle.” Part I

I’ve always been a fan of re-using things and recycling.

So when I got married and we moved into a tiny third floor apartment I set up a recycle center in my kitchen. The Dillon’s down the street from us had a single-stream recycle bin so every other week I’d take the recyclables there and deposit them. Because it was single-stream I suppose there was no need to sort them, but I never can resist a good sort. Organizing things makes me really happy. Why else would I work at a library for 3 years? Oh, the endless hours of shelf-reading! Oh, the checking out of 20+ children’s books every day! Oh, the sneakily reading while shelving! Oh, the getting in trouble for reading on the job. . .


Oh, the recycling.


Here’s Stage One of the recycle center at our apartment. Complete with cards above, detailing what belongs in each bin.

This was, well, not inefficient, but not attractive. So we upgraded to this (and upgraded the carpet out of our kitchen!)


Only two bins, and self-explanatory as to what goes where if only one will look. Though in my experience looking can, apparently, be somewhat difficult for husbands and guests.

Upon moving we weren’t sure where we would be able to recycle, since our new house was further away from the aforementioned Dillon’s. I was going to sign up  (and pay) for the recycle service that comes with the trash when Mrs. Underhill saved me.

Mrs. Underhill is our lovely, and only, next door neighbor. She’s lived there since something like 1942. Nineteen forty-two. I can’t even imagine that. It boggles my mind. And she’s still outside almost every day tending her beautiful yard full of flowers and grapes and lovely things.

That aside, this kind lady asked what we were doing for recycling (see, she even recycles!) and let us know about a recycling center about 6 blocks from our house. Jackpot! Free recycling? I’ll take it!

Thing is, this recycle center is the complete opposite of single-stream. They have different bins for everything. Office paper, newspaper, magazines, junk mail. They all have a different slot. Don’t believe me? Check out their website: http://www.recyclewichita.org/ .

Fortunately for me, I already [mostly] sorted. All that was needed was to stream line a bit. This is what I came up with.



I even added fancy printed signs for those who have trouble looking down




. . . It’s still not fool-proof.

One of these days I’ll find a system where everything gets in the right spot the first time.


Tune in next time as I attempt to make my recycle center more appealing to the eye. Who says you can’t be functional and pretty?


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