In America the average person produces 4.3 pounds of waste every…single…day. That adds up to about 90,000 pounds at the end of their lifetime. The U.S. makes up about 5% of the world’s population but produces about 30% of the world’s waste. The U.S. recycling rate is 28.5% while only 12.5% of Coloradans recycle.

How did we, a state so proud of its love for outdoor living and progressive thinking, fall so far behind? What can we do to protect the future of our planet for our children and our childrens’ children?

Here are 10 tips to follow for effective recycling efforts;

1. Rinse out aluminum cans, steel cans and glass or plastic bottles before recycling. This helps to keep bugs at bay.

2. Crush all aluminum and steel cans to help save space and hasten the recycling process.

3. Remove any non-recyclable plastic, peanuts, and other packaging materials before tossing boxes.

4. Do your best to break down boxes and toss them in the bin before the renowned Colorado afternoon thunderstorms strike. You may still recycle wet cardboard, but the added water weight makes it heavier for the dedicated trash collectors to carry.

5. Do not bother with removing labels from glass, as they will be burned off during the recycling process.

6. Avoid breaking glass bottles and containers. They become un-recyclable when they are shattered into pieces.

7. Remove the plastic tops on all plastic bottles.

8. Be sure to only recycle plastics with the numbers 1-7 on them.

9. Remove all inner liners and food from boxes before recycling.

10. Simplify the recycling process by placing the following into a paper bag before discarding: catalogs, magazines, telephone books, direct mail, brochures, pamphlets, booklets, scrap paper, cereal boxes and cracker boxes.

Just remember, every little bit counts!

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