Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink Resolutions!
RESOLUTION 1: REDUCE the amount of food you throw away.
Throwing away uneaten food not only wastes your money – shopping for and storing food only to eventually throw it away also wastes your time and energy. What’s more, food is also the largest single source of landfill waste in the U.S. – over 28 percent of what we throw away could be composted instead, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Follow these steps to make a big impact on reducing food waste in 2020!
- Create a meal plan each week. You’ll buy less and use more. If you’re new to meal planning, start by setting aside a few minutes once or twice a week to plan your meals and grocery lists a few days in advance. Check out meal planning resources online, or research an app to help streamline the process and keep you on track. Consider taking a cooking class if you’re new to cooking or want to freshen up your cooking skills. Hint: taking a family cooking class is a great way to get kids interested and excited in cooking too. Click here for more tips.
- Freeze it. Think about the food items you end up throwing away. Would freezing them help you keep them long enough to use?
- Reconsider sell by dates. Canned food is often safe to eat well past the sell by date.
- Donate it: If you’re not going to use it, consider if someone else can. Click here to download a list of Ontario County food pantries.
- Compost it: Did you know that the Town of Canandaigua Transfer Station accepts food waste for composting? By composting your scraps, leftovers, and other unsalvageable perishables, we make a huge difference in the amount of food that our Town sends to the landfill. Learn more here.
RESOLUTION 2: REUSE a water bottle instead of using single-use bottles.
How many times did you buy a single-use plastic water bottle in 2019? What can you do to avoid buying any in 2020?
A single-use plastic water bottle can take over 450 years to decompose in a landfill! At that rate, the more we can reuse the same drinking containers, the better. Additionally, using tap water instead of buying bottled water can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
- Use what you have. If you already have a reusable bottle, use it rather than buying a new one.
- Use glasses or cups that you already own at home or the office.
- Decline bottled or sparkling water at restaurants and opt for tap water instead.
- Bring your (empty) reusable bottle to the airport. Airports with water refill stations make this easy, but you can also use a water fountain.
- Already using your reusable water bottle all the time? Consider other reusable items to replace single-use plastic sandwich bags, straws, and cutlery.
- No choice? Recycle it! The Town of Canandaigua Transfer Station will gladly accept your plastic water bottles for recycling. Learn more here.
RESOLUTION 3: RECYCLE plastic films this year.
Plastic bags and films are very commonplace but can take just a little extra knowledge to identify and separate properly. Read on to become a plastic bag and films recycling expert!
What are plastic bags and films?
Plastic bags are the thin, single-use bags provided to shoppers by stores and restaurants. In March, New York’s plastic bag ban will go into effect, likely reducing the number of these bags that you will encounter. However, the Transfer Station will continue to accept these bags.
Plastic films are very thin plastics that are often stretchy or flexible that are used for packaging foods and other goods.
How to recycle plastic bags and films:
Many plastic bags and films are recyclable, with a few exceptions. In general, if it’s stretchy, it’s recyclable – these include plastic single-use shopping or takeout bags, produce and bread bags, zip-type food storage bags, bubble wrap and shipping pillows, dry cleaning bags, and newspaper bags. Bags and films marked with #2 HDPE and #4 LDPE symbols or with the How2Recycle plastic icon are also accepted.
You can recycle these bags and films by separating them from your other recycling, making sure they are clean and dry, removing any contents (including receipts), and bringing them to local retailers or the Transfer Station to place in the yellow tote.
If the plastic film is not stretchy or it makes a loud crinkling noise, do not include it. Examples include bags used for salad mix, chips, frozen foods, and pet food.
Learn more about which plastic films are acceptable here.
RESOLUTION 4: RETHINK the items you use and discard every day:
There are hundreds of ways to rethink what we buy – and what we throw away. Below are a few of our favorite habits to start in the new year.
- When you order takeout, ask the restaurant not to include plastic cutlery.
- Consider a spend-free month. Avoid any non-essential purchases for a month. This is a great challenge for the whole family to learn about saving and how to identify purchases that you really need versus impulse buys. Your wallet will thank you too!
- Repair it. Find one thing each month that you’re considering replacing. Can you (or someone else) fix that broken appliance or shelf, refurbish an old piece of furniture, or alter that once-loved shirt?
- Upcycle it. The internet is full of creative ways to repurpose used items. One of our favorites is reusing glass jars from spaghetti sauce, pickles, jellies, etc. to store pantry items, leftovers, crafts and hardware, or for jar salads, serving drinks, making salad dressing – the list goes on!
Not sure about an item? Contact us. The Town of Canandaigua is committed to reducing the amount of trash that ends up in a landfill, so we are here to help. Check out our website for new content and updates in the coming weeks to make recycling and composting even easier for you. If you’re not sure how to dispose of something, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRANSFER FACILITY HOURS
Wednesday - 4:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday - 8:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday - 8:00am - 12:00pm
5440 Route 5 & 20 West
Canandaigua, NY 14424
Contact us at (585) 394-3300
Please note: Town residents may drop off yard waste during transfer facility hours only. You must have your residency sticker on your vehicle for these services