I've been recycling for years: in the early 1970s several teachers in Wheatland, WY started a newspaper recycling service. We picked up papers left on the curbside one Saturday a month and pitched in to rent a trailer to haul the collected papers to Denver, CO. Reflecting on those efforts now, I see how large of a commitment we made to the community, but we were idealistic and didn't know enough to really consider the obstacles we would encounter. We just did it!
My current community has collected newspapers, magazines, white paper, milk bottles, cardboard, and aluminum at designated collection locations. Fast forward to 2009 when my town started curbside recycling to encourage more people to recycle and to increase the lifespan of the landfill.
The basket (pictured above) is holding a month's worth of papers, junk mail, and unwanted catalogs. (I recycle my magazines at the public library and at the hospital.) I have containers in my garage for corrugated cardboard, aluminum and tin cans, #1 and #2 plastics, and all glass. Each week, the city picks up different items; thus, collecting items once a month.
It is amazing just how much curbside recycling has changed the quantity of my garbage. The town council is raising garbage pick-up rates, but those who recycle will not see their rates increase.
Do you recycle? I recommend it!