Make recycling convenient

Richland is taking the bold step to start curbside recycling. OK, you need to be aware how to spell recycle: it's c-o-n-v-e-n-i-e-n-t.

The reason most Americans DO overstuff the landfill is they DON’T mind overstuffing the trash can. It’s easy. Everything goes in, the twist tie comes up and the whole bag gets tossed. It is in a word, convenient.

If you’re going to start sorting -- another way to spell recycle -- make it as easy as possible:

1. Put the boxes for your recyclables right next to the car. Clear a spot. Allocate the space. Make it easy to access it.

2. Buy MORE trash containers. WHAT? Yeah, instead of just the one in the house, set a spot to sort in the utility room. When you go out to the garage in the morning, take one container with you. You don’t have to take all of them at once. If it’s all sorted, take one, dump it in the recycle bin right by the car. Leave the house container. Pick it up on the way in at night.

3. Change the location of the big, oversized trash can you are using now. Move it to where it is NOT so conveinent or tempting to toss everything.

4) While getting more containers for the utility room, buy a new trash can for the house too. HUH? Yeah, a smaller one. Or, tape a piece of cardboard over half of the opening of the one you’re using now. Restrict the flow into that “catch all can.” Just make it so a whole cardboard box, an aluminum can, a plastic jug, whatever, will have a harder time fitting in. It’s sort of a reminder that if it’s too much to go to waste, recycle it!

The more convenient it is the better chance you’ve got to follow through on the routine until recycling is as second nature as throwing it away has become.

-- Ron Buckland is the Herald’s post press department maintenance coordinator and has worked at the paper since 1976.