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Opt to Act - Simple Action #6: Local recycling and compost

Join REI in making the fight for life outdoors part of your life with The Opt to Act Plan - 52 weeks of simple actions to reduce your impact, get active, and leave the world better than you found it. Full details can be found here.

Action #6: Get familiar with your local recycling and composting options and guidelines.

Each local government in the United States sets its own rules for what's recyclable and compostable, so take a moment look up the instructions for your neighborhood. Your municipality or county website should include information about what to recycle and where, plus pickup times. Some communities even offer composting pickup services and printable instruction manuals, which you can pin up above the bins in your house. If you're still puzzling over what to do with those especially confusing items (like batteries or old electrical cords), Earth911 provides an online recycling search tool where you can type in the name of a waste item and the website will tell you where to put it, depending on your location. The EPA also has a guide for how to recycle common items.

We’d love to see and hear your ideas, your pictures, your successes and your challenges as you add this habit to your day-to-day life. Share below!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
2 Replies

I spend part of my time in a city and have challenged myself to pick up one bottle/can a day.  Even though I don't use single serve myself, I figure I can counteract at least one litterbug.  

Extra points for those bottles that have a 5 cent deposit!  It doesn't seem that a penny is worth it for most people these days, but would you pick up a nickel?  $15-20 per year.  Better than the interest you most likely earn in the bank these days.

@taskmaster That's great advice!

As a dad with small kids I find that once we picked up a piece of litter and talked about why it was important to put it in the correct place my kids never miss a chance to point out litter. It's a great way to stay accountable and also know I am having an impact, no matter how small. Thanks for sharing!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.