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March 15, 2019

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Jennifer

I like to recycle but was surprised when I moved to Florida and found they don't have convenient recycling programs. So disappointed.

Rita

Hi Jennifer,

My daughter lived in Miami Beach for five years and I remember the recycling was lacking, especially for the row of townhouses she lived in for some reason. She finally was able to get the city to come and pick up the recycling.

Look on the website of the local government and read about their recycling program. It may list places where you can take items that you can't recycle at the curbside. Some local governments have cut back their curbside program in light of the Chinese government reducing to almost nothing the recycled materials it's willing to take from other counties.

Rita

Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

I love your idea of using canning jars instead of plastic containers to store food. I have stopped using plastic water bottles and filter my water using a Brita. Then I put it into a reusable bottle. California charges for grocery bags so most of us bring a reusable shopping bag to the market. I always do. Some coffee shops will fill up your container if it has measuring indicators on it so they know how many ounces it holds. I used cloth diapers when my kids were little and a diaper service. I hated the idea of putting plastic on their butts and in landfills. Now I use the diapers to dust with and then wash them out. They're the best dust cloths.

Rita

Hi Rebecca,

I've used canning jars for decades for storing food in my kitchen. It works so great because you never have that problem of trying to find a lid that works.

Good job using reusable water and coffee containers. You really have to think about it before you go out to remember all these things.

I used cloth diapers for my kids, too, because that's what most people were going back then.

Yes, it's awful to put all that plastic in the landfills plus the human waste that might leak into the groundwater.

Rita

Tom Sightings

Great advice. There was an article in the NY Times over the wknd pointing out how we're overwhelmed by recycling, and so we're burning it for energy or sending it to landfills. So as you point out, we're down to reduce and reuse, since recycling doesn't seem to work that well anymore.

Rita

Hi Tom,

Recycling was working fine when China was taking the plastic recycled. However, China was overwhelmed with plastic -- they were using a large part of it to remake things, but the less usable kinds of plastic and contaminated plastic were polluting the environment there.

The United States was sending its plastic to other countries such as Indonesia, but it's becoming overwhelmed, too.

The problem is there's so much plastic that isn't recyclable -- usually film plastic and the plastic that consumer goods come in -- that's an even bigger problem.

A solution is that the recycled plastic needs to be made into consumer goods here. It's time for lawmakers to take action.

Rita

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