Teaching My Family Sustainability

Three Possible Ways To Recycle Number Five Plastic (Polypropylene)

As an environmentally conscious citizen, you may be troubled by the lack of comprehensive recycling services in cities throughout the country. Although some cities do accept recyclable plastic with numbers one through seven, many more do not. The most frequently recycled plastics are #1, PETE plastic, and #2, HDPE plastic. Yet many food containers, such as yogurt and cottage cheese containers, are labeled #5, meaning that they're made of polypropylene. Some people try to reduce and reuse these types of plastic because of the more limited recycling options, but before you choose that route, try these three recycling options.

1. Check your municipal recycling system and resources.

If your city is environmentally conscious, it may have a growing recycling program. Check for recent developments and make sure you keep up to date with which types of plastic are accepted. If the municipal system doesn't accept polypropylene yet but plans to within a few months, you may want to save yours up in anticipation of the date. Another option if you don't have enough storage room is to send your stash to a friend whose city does accept polypropylene.

2. Find a mail-in program.

Nationwide mail-in recycling projects have been set up for many odd items that won't fit in with municipal recycling programs. Programs exist for everything from prosthetic limbs to packing peanuts, and the only cost associated with the recycling opportunity is generally the shipping charge. One such program is geared toward recycling number five plastic, and it's even easier than most because delivery options include both drop-off (at various locations across the country) and mail-in. If a drop-off location is situated in your area, you don't even have to pay for shipping.

3. Locate a nearby recycling plant.

Local private recycling companies may offer the type of recycling you're looking for. A search engine can help you find the right plant, and you can call the company to find out whether they accept drop-off donations of the type you're trying to recycle. This tip is useful for any type of plastic your city doesn't recycle, not just polypropylene.

With these three recycling methods up your sleeve, you don't have to despair of saving the planet. Try all three options for your polypropylene and see which one works best for you. Then get involved with asking your city to amp up the recycling program until you can put all types of plastic in your curbside bin.

For more information, contact Uribe Refuse Services Inc. or a similar company.