Recycling Know No’s Heads Back to School 

~ Submitted by Liz Antanavica, Refuse & Recycling Administrator – Town of Bedford

Parents everywhere are rejoicing that the kids are nearly back to school while simultaneously dreading the spending spree lead up to the first day.

Let’s rethink how we prepare for the new year.

Use these reduce, reuse, recycle tips to tread a little lighter on the planet while saving some money, too. 

Take Stock of What’s on Hand

Take a look at what you already have from last year. Chances are you still have some pens, pencils, or even a backpack that’s in good shape.

Did you know that backpacks, because of the materials used, are both water & energy intensive to make new and difficult to recycle at the end of life?

Read more about the complicated life of backpacks here https://www.goingzerowaste.com/blog/sustainable-and-ecofriendly-backpacks/ 

Donate What No Longer Fits

Bay State Textiles Bin at Bedford High and Lane School Photo Credit: Liz Antanavica

Out with the old, in with the new, but don’t throw those old clothes and shoes in the trash! Unwanted textiles in any condition – worn/torn is fine – can be recycled into carpet padding or industrial wiping rags.

Better quality goods can be donated and worn again.

Schedule a curbside pick-up at www.CMRKne.com or use the white Bay State Textiles Bin at Bedford High and Lane School.

(Please remember, no clothing or textiles in the recycling cart!)

Learn more about Bedford’s textile recovery programs here: https://www.bedfordma.gov/trash-and-recycling/pages/textile-recycling

Buy Better

Recycling relies on companies willing to take your discarded packaging and turn it into something new.

Image, Liz Antanavica (c) 2022 all rights reserved

Support the circular economy that makes recycling possible by purchasing new items with post-consumer recycled content (as close to 100% PCR as possible!). After all, if no one is willing to remanufacture our discarded items, we’re not recycling, we’re just collecting.

Look for the PCR content on the label in the big box store or try this Zero Waste School Supply Kit from Wisdom Supply Co https://www.wisdomsupplyco.com/collections/zero-waste-school-supply-kits/products/school-supply-kit

Are you a teacher?

Shop The Great Exchange Devens for reduced-price items recovered from end of year clean outs (JGMS students donated 3 big boxes of unused school supplies after locker clean-out to TGE in June 2022!) https://tgedevens.com/index.php/inventory/

Choose Reusable

When you choose a high-quality reusable item, you never have to worry about sorting it into the correct waste stream and wondering if it will actually be recycled. There is no “away” when it comes to our trash and even recycling takes more transportation and resources to turn recycled goods into new things.

Recycling is important, but Reuse is even better. I

f every student in Bedford Public School committed to using a reusable water bottle instead of single-use, we could save the resources required to produce, ship, and then recycle nearly half a million water bottles every school year! 

Deal with all that Packaging

Inevitably, you’ll probably buy some new things during the back-to-school season.

Kids grow, pencils break; it happens. Shipping boxes & packing paper belong in the recycling bin.

Styrofoam https://recyclesmartma.org/results-materials/#!rc-page=296253 , odd-shaped molded plastic https://recyclesmartma.org/results-materials/#!rc-page=346984 and clothing hangers https://recyclesmartma.org/results-materials/#!rc-page=346984 belong in the trash. 

Remember to check Recycle Smart MA with your recycling questions. 

A Nod to Compostable

Bedford Public Schools will be composting in the kitchens and cafeterias this year. That means your student will have the opportunity to turn food waste from uneaten lunch and napkins back into soil. Help make this process easier by packing lunch and snacks in reusable containers or compostable paper bags instead of single-use plastic bags.  

Have more Questions?

Contact Liz Antanavica, Bedford’s Recycling Administrator at (781)275-7605 x4261


Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

Share your enthusiasm for this article!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x