How to Recycle without Curbside Pick-up

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How to Recycle without Curbside Pick-Up |

It may not be as easy, but you really can recycle without curbside pick-up! 

A few days ago, I wrote about how I believe Christians should care for Creation by recycling. Really, it all boils down to stewardship. Are we being good stewards of this world God gave us–or are we not?

But I realize that my family has it pretty easy.

As I showed you in the video clip, we simply collect our recyclables in a small trash can that stays in our kitchen pantry, transfer the contents of that trash can to a larger one in the garage once it is full and we then walk all of a few yards to the big recycling trash can that the city picks up every other week.


I know that’s not an option for many of you. And I get that. I really do.

When we first moved back to the U.S. after our semester living in Vancouver, BC, Canada, we desperately wanted to continue recycling. But our town did not offer a recycling service at the time!

We were frustrated, to say the least!

We called around and discovered that our town wasn’t quite as anti-recycling as we had thought: They did recycle at the local dump; residents just had to sort and bring in the recycling themselves.

And so our little recycling system was born.

Recycle! Even without curbside pickup!

At the time, we were still living in a two-bedroom townhouse. Space for recyclables was very limited.

We had enough room in our closet pantry for a full-sized trash can. It’s actually the same trash can we still use for our recycling in our garage!

We placed all of our recyclables in that pantry trash can.

When it was all of the way full, I brought out paper bags, and I sorted everything right in my kitchen floor.

I used individual bags for plastics, glass, metal, paper and cardboard.

I liked sorting at home instead of at the actual dump because it made it such a quick drop-off since I would arrive with everything already ready to go!

The dump was just a few minutes from our house, and we visited there about once per week.

I will not lie. I was shouting with excitement when our town instituted the curbside pick-up! But still…I was happy to recycle this slightly-inconvenient way for three years.

So there you have it. You can recycle without curbside pick-up in 3 easy steps:

1. Determine a location in your home to store recyclables. (A second trash can will suffice!)

2. Sort the recyclables yourself.

3. Take your sorted recyclables to your nearest recycling center.

If you are unsure of the location of your nearest recycling center, this link can help you out. Simply type in your zip code, and it will pull up recycling centers in your area!

Does your town have curbside pick-up for recycling? Do you recycle? Why or why not?

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To find out more about Green Your Life, click here. <—this is my personal affiliate link!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting my site! 

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  1. Donna Crawford says

    Our little town had to quit curbside pickup of recyclables for financial reasons. But they still have the recycle center where you can drop off. And they do the sorting and provide the jumbo bags! We keep a small bin in the house and a large can in the garage and drop off usually once a week.

  2. says

    I love your enthusiasm, but our nearest recycling center is 30 miles away in a direction we never travel. There’s just no way we can regularly take recyclables. I’m a new follower; do you have posts about composting or reusing things people without recycling throw away?

    • says

      Haha, Amie–I don’t blame you! Our recycling center was so close that it wasn’t an inconvenience. I do not know that I would have gone to the trouble if it had been as far away as yours! I do not have any on composting yet, but that may come this spring. Hubby just made me a compost pile in the corner of our back yard! Thanks for reading! :)

  3. says

    My (small) hometown doesn’t offer curbside pickup of any type – trash, recycling etc. it is all private service. My parents trash companies always offered it, but I recently moved and my new (even smaller) town also does not offer curbside pickup and recently closed the town landfill (which did have recycling) in the past year as well. We have a dumpster at my building but no recycling. I guess I will need to look into whether the town still has a recycling center or if an adjacent town will let me bring my recyclables to their’s… Hmmm…
    lauren recently posted..7 Quick, Quick TakesMy Profile

    • says

      And thanks for your motivation to do a little research I learned that curbside IS available now (and the town even has a waste reduction plan in effect). I am thinking that even though my building has a dumpster they would still allow me to put out my recyclables curbside? I guess I will be calling town hall on Monday!
      lauren recently posted..7 Quick, Quick TakesMy Profile


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