As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we would like to express our appreciation to our Rumpke team for helping the families and communities we service to have an enjoyable and memorable holiday experience. To our drivers collecting extra waste and recycling at the curb, to our landfill and recycling teams managing holiday surges of materials, and to our maintenance technicians hustling all hours of the day to keep our trucks ready for the next pickup, we thank you for your dedication.
For many of us, we may enjoy a nice meal or get some holiday shopping done. Whatever your plans may be, consider the amount of holiday-related waste that can accumulate.
Oftentimes, ready-made Thanksgiving products can be overly packaged: plastic packaged meat, canned vegetables and disposable containers for desserts. Leftovers might be stored in plastic baggies and throw-away bowls, and food scraps are tossed into garbage cans.
After Thanksgiving, Black Friday inspires a flurry of shopping to score the limited-time sales before the winter holidays. As we coordinate our holiday week, we can make more eco-friendly choices as consumers and show thanks to the world by conserving it for future generations.
In the Grocery Aisle
As you shop for your Thanksgiving dinner, make a shopping list. Staying organized will help you avoid multiple trips and potentially overbuying. While at the store, try to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and consider products with less packaging. If you do buy packaged items, consider if it’s recyclable or not--recyclable items include:
- Plastic (Bottles, tubs, jugs, and cups)
- Glass bottles and jars
- Cans (Steel, tin and aluminum)
- Paper, cartons or cardboard
At check out, use your reusable bags or opt for paper, which can be placed in your recycling cart or bin.
In Your Home
There are five easy ways to throw a more sustainable celebration at home:
1) Use dinnerware instead of paper plates.
2) Pull out cloth napkins and washable silverware.
3) Encourage guests to enjoy water, tea or lemonade in glasses versus soda or juice from a container.
4) Separate leftovers into reusable containers.
5) Recycle or compost items whenever possible.
What to Leave Out of Your Recycling
Unfortunately, not all your holiday items can be recycled, even if you think that material is accepted. We call this phenomenon “wish-cycling”. But there’s no need to wish or hope that you recycle right—we have a few notable examples to guide you. A few common items that you may think are recyclable (but aren’t) include:
Pots and pans—although they’re metal, they cannot be recycled in a curbside recycling program. Consider taking them to a scrap recycler
Aluminum pie tins, foil and roasting pans—although they’re made of aluminum, these items are heavily food contaminated and cannot be accepted
Paper plates—they also have a lot of food residue
Plastic utensils—much like straws, they’re too small and could be made of various kinds of non-recyclable plastic
Styrofoam—curbside programs typically cannot take this material. We suggest that you contact your local solid waste district for alternative drop-off locations
For more information on how you can make your recycling count, check our list of acceptable items for recycling.
Help Us Give Thanks
For over 90 years, Rumpke’s mission has been to keep your neighborhood clean. We strive to expand recycling and continually innovate the recycling process for a greener future.
This Thanksgiving, we can do our part to use a little less, reuse what we have, recycle more and join our effort to divert waste from landfills and protect our environment.
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Author: Leah Dietle, East Area Communications Assistant