Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bicycling my recycling

Well, it's that time of the month (no, not THAT - it's time for monthly recycling)! In College Station, you have curbside recycling. In Bryan, unfortunately, we do not. We do, however, have a great facility in the Bryan Walmart SuperCenter parking lot, the Bryan Drive-In Recycling Center, that is open to both cities. Bryan Drive-in Recycling is open every day of the week and takes #1 and #2 plastics, glass, aluminum and steel cans, newspapers, magazines, tires, cell phones and batteries. Not bad!

The reason this is a monthly event for us, though, is that Bryan residents who visit the recycling center each month and bring along their current BTU (Bryan Texas Utilities) bill can have their bill stamped. After one year of stamps, you get a month of free trash. A month of free trash isn't THAT much (just over $21) but for something we would do anyway, that $21 would pay for almost two weeks of veggies and eggs from the farmers market. I'll take it! (Oh, and did anyone else notice that trash went up this month - last month it was only $14! Maybe the cost of the new landfill is catching up with us....)

There is a second option in the area for recycling. TAMU has community recycling Monday-Friday from 4:00-5:00 PM. I know that's not a large time window, but they'll take things that the cities won't take - like shoe boxes, cereal boxes etc. So we save these things up separately, and once every few months, hit TAMU's recycling facility.

Dave and I have worked really hard at recycling (as well as composting) and since we stepped up our efforts, we have reduced our garbage collection to only one kitchen-size trash bag a month! It has taken some effort, but in a neighborhood when many of the houses load up two full size trash cans each week, it's something we're proud of.

Even better, something I've noticed since we started the local eating experiment is that we actually have less recycling! Pre-experiment, I was super picky about not buying anything that was contained in materials that couldn't be recycled (that meant checking the bottom of plastic bottles at the grocery, before I even bought them, and moving on to another product if it wasn't a #1 or #2). But since we are buying so much at the farmers market now, we are actually using less. This has been really encouraging with the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) focusing first on reducing consumption!

So, only one kitchen size trash bag each month, and my bike (see photo above) contains all our recycling! Pshew! It wasn't easy at first, but it seems like we are getting the hang of it.

Now to get over to the recycling center (which on a bike is itself an adventure)....the attendants get a good laugh out of me pulling up on my bike, but hey, It's gets the job done and I get GREAT gas mileage!

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!


Jenny said...

That bike with the basket reminds me of the wicked witch of the west. Ha ha.

Heather said...

Come here, my pretty....(accompanied by evil laugh)

Heather said...

I updated the post. Trash used to be $14, not $10.