May 10th, 2018 12:00 PM by Jodie Ford
"DYK if you throw away an aluminum can, it can remain in the form of a can for 500 years or more? Did you also know that aluminum cans can actually be recycled and reused over + over again… with almost no limit?
Recycling gurus, such as Peppa Pig + Rocko (from Rocko’s Modern Life) teach kids about the importance of recycling. But as adults, sometimes it can be “easier” to just throw away a can instead of rinsing it out to properly recycle– am I right?
In 2019, Charleston + Berkeley counties will both open new multi-million dollar recycling facilities. Those facilities will bring an innovative approach to recycling coupled by state of the art equipment.
But what about the things we can do as individuals to champion renewable energy + environmental conservation in our community right now?
If you threw away recycled the guide your county mailed out to you earlier this year, don’t worry– we’re covering the recycling ground rules.
Recycling isn’t all about cans + newspapers. You can also recycle clothes, blankets, k-cups, electronics, cooking oil, food… even water. The key is knowing how to properly recycle each item.
Below is a short list of examples to keep in mind when recycling. For full lists on what can be recycled, be sure to check with your county’s recycling guide (more on that below).
Cooking Oil/Grease– We all love our Southern-fried cooking, but it’s very important that you do not dump cooking oil into the woods or water. Chemicals from the oil are harmful to the environment, run into waterways, + stick to pipes. Charleston County, Dorchester County, + Berkeley County all have convenience centers to properly dispose of oils.
Electronics– Charleston County, Dorchester County, + Berkeley County will accept items such as: computers, printers, gaming consoles, christmas lights, small appliances, and TV’s. These items cannot be disposed of in your recycling bin. Be sure to check with the convenience center nearest you prior to dropping off– each location accepts different things.
Clothing + Shoes– Before you throw those adorable shoes you only wore once– give them to someone in need. There are countless donation sites around the Lowcountry, including the always-accessible parking lot donation bins (many near churches + daycares). Local organizations such as Charleston Habitat for Humanity, Palmetto Goodwill, Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Dress for Success Charleston, + Children’s Cancer Society Thrift Store will also accept items in good condition– and will even provide a tax write off the receipt. Do good + get money back = win-win.
Food– DYK about 30% of your trash could actually be composted? Yard trimmings + food waste often end up in S.C.’s landfills, but adding them to a compost pile means they can naturally decompose (thanks, tiny microorganisms). If an outdoor compost pile is implausible for your current living situation, or the smell of the indoor bin has you feeling less than pro-compost, we have a company right here in Charleston who will do the dirty work for you. Smart Recycling U.S. will haul away your food scraps, assisting in the reduction of your waste bill.
Water– Collected rainwater can be used to water plants, wash cars, + help prevent rivers from runoff pollution. Through the end of May, Charleston residents can save $61 off the price of a rain barrel by purchasing here.
Paper/CardboardWhat you can recycle: Magazines, newspaper, office paper, junk mail, greeting cards, wrapping paper, books, soda boxes, shoe boxes, clean food boxes (such as cereal boxes), paper towel rolls, + egg cartons.What you cannot recycle: Pizza boxes + other dirty food containers.
MetalWhat you can recycle: Aluminum cans, caps + lids, empty aerosol spray cans, steel cans or tins.What you cannot recycle: Medical waste (i.e. syringes), propane tanks, aluminum foil or trays.
Plastic– The key to recycling plastic is to read the number on the bottom of the container. Numbers 1, 2, 4, + 5, are picked up by most curbside recycling programs.What you can recycle: Clean milk jugs, soda bottles, detergent bottles, (many) food containers, clean K-cups (with the filter and grounds removed), + empty motor oil containers.What you cannot recycle: Dirty food, detergent, or motor oil containers; sunglasses, iPhone cases, computer cases, meat trays; disposable plates, cups, or silverware; + medical equipment.
GlassWhat you can recycle: Clean, unbroken, jars + glass bottles with the lids removed.What you cannot recycle: Broken glass, windows, mirrors, household decor, ceramics, Pyrex dishes, crystal, + light bulbs.
Batteries/Bulbs– Certain batteries, such as car batteries, + fluorescent bulbs can be recycled. Household batteries (like the ones in your remote) can be recycled here
Paint– Charleston County residents can recycle paint at any of the county’s nine convenience centers.The Bees Ferry Convenience Center also re-sales paint at a cost of $10 per five-gallon bucket. If yourcounty does not have a paint recycling program, you can donate the paint or harden the paint using kitty litter(trust us, it works) before disposing of it in the regular trash.
For specific details on what can and cannot be recycled in your county-provided bin, and/or at your local convenience center, make sure you contact your local municipality or visit the links below.
Charleston County Recycling Guide Berkeley County Recycling Guide Dorchester County Recycling Guide
I know I am guilty of tossing the occasional sparkling water can into the into the trash every now + then. But, if we all work to be a little less trashy, + take small steps to recycle, we can have a major impact on the Lowcountry’s environment.
BTW– today is National Moscato Day. So drink up + recycle those wine bottles, y’all.
– Justine"Source: @chstoday #chstoday