The Reluctant Recycler

There?s one in every household: that one person who just doesn?t seem to get recycling. Oh, they understand the concept, and probably even admit it?s a worthwhile endeavour, but come their turn to do the dishes, they end up grumbling about taking extra time to wash the garbage as well. Have you ever found unwashed soup cans and tetra packs skilfully stashed underneath actual garbage in the kitchen trash bin? Another classic guerrilla move, courtesy of your resident Reluctant Recycler!

A serious recycler might be tempted to show their disapproval in various creative ways, such as relocating unsorted items to between the culprit?s bed sheets, or smacking them over the nose with rolled up, unsorted newspapers. Waste Reduction Office does NOT endorse these methods of Reluctant Recycler Reprogramming! Instead, we suggest the following family-friendly alternatives:

· Make in-house recycling as convenient as possible. This may include rethinking your recycling setup; while you may think your eight-step process is logical and easy to follow, others in your household may not. Ask for input, and incorporate their suggestions.

· If possible, store recyclables in an out-of-the-way location until transporting them to the bin or depot. Some people may be agitated by seeing their ?trash? stacked in the kitchen, and having it in the basement, storage closet or shed will help: out of sight, out of mind!

· Discuss strategies to bring fewer recyclables into the house in the first place: learn how to be a ?green? shopper, avoiding unnecessary packaging wherever possible. You can?t grumble about what you don?t have!

· Try a different tack. Different people recycle for different reasons, and perhaps your ?RR? simply needs motivation of a different sort. Provide information on not only the environmental, but also the social and economic benefits of recycling on both local and global levels. You never know what might strike a chord, transforming a Reluctant Recycler into a Recycling Revolutionary!

The ?tips? page at is currently focussing on small, easy, everyday steps toward a less wasteful lifestyle. Check it out for weekly waste reduction tips on not only recycling, but also water and energy conservation, composting and much more. As always, feel free to contact Waste Reduction Office (1-888-689-6328) for all of your waste reduction solutions.