Next time you’re at your school’s basketball game, or any sporting event – take note of the garbage can locations as compared to the recycling bins. Typically, I am happy when I see a recycling container anywhere – however, you may find that that just having the bins may not be enough to encourage recycling of those plastic pop bottles.
At the end of a recent basketball tournament I attended I was shocked to find a garbage can half filled with plastic bottles while a mere 10 feet away sat a distinctive plastics recycling bin. Why? Consider your actions – at the end of a game you may be busy talking to people and simply want to dispose of your garbage instead of carrying around and because you’re busy chatting, you don’t want to look around for a place to throw them. So unfortunately what I witnessed is an all too common case of well-intentioned folks tossing their garbage in the first bin they see – in most cases, the trash can.
What simple step could we make to encourage recycling in this situation?
Move the recycling bin next to the trash instead of the crucial 10 steps away.
We did just that, and moved the plastic bottle recycling bin next to the trash at the beginning of the next round of basketball games. Instead of a trash bin half full of plastic bottles, we found that only a quarter of it was full with the popcorn boxes and a couple bottles while a majority of bottles went to recycling!
Take a moment to to note where the recycling bins are in relation to the trash cans. If they are not side-by-side, take a moment to move them, or ask your custodial staff if they can help you with this change. Consider your actions when disposing of waste. Do you typically walk to the far side of the gym? Then perhaps this is not the best location for a bin. Do you have to stop and read the instructions on the side of bin? Make sure they’re clearly marked so people can more easily sort their wast. These are simple steps that have long been noted on lists of recycling best practices, but it is crucial (as I recently witnessed) that we don’t forget about it!
Find similar recycling best practices here.