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Save Your #5's For a Good Cause

#5 recyclables are often characterized as "jar like" with a mouth about the size of the body, or as I like to explain it, your sour cream tub, spreadable butter container or yogurt cups. Those are most often #5's, at least as far as what Kevin and I eat.

After reading that New York City didn't accept #5 recyclables in recycle bins I was horrified and searched for an alternative. I found one! The Park Slope Co-Op collects #5 recyclables and sends them to Recyline, which then turns them into great products like toothbrush's, cups, forks etc. (I've blogged about them here many times, search the 'products I love' category and you should find more information).

So Kevin and I began check all of our plastics for #5's, we would joyously proclaim "I got one!" and then we'd clean and tuck it away for the day we would load up a sack like Santa and bring our #5's to Park Slope to be given new life as a razor, plate or colander.

Well the weekend finally came when we had enough to bring, so Kevin and I excitedly drove to Park Slope, #5's in toe. What did we learn, well first off we are by far not the only ones doing this, we saw tons of people headed to the Co-Op with bags 10 times the size of ours balancing on "granny carts" towards the drop off. What else we learned was how much yogurt people eat!

The drop off program consists of Co-Op volunteers literally going through each piece individually and telling you what's clean enough and what needs work, they see things you'd never see, it's a bit discouraging at first, all your hard work cleaning out at home ends up leading to time spent on site with seventh generation spritzed paper towels, scrubbing out every last bit of food, dust and dirt. After cooling off from the heat and realizing we were in this for the long hall, I looked around and was pleasantly calm and happy, seeing all those individuals, couples and families doing their part, for not other reason than the good of the planet. I mean these containers could easily be thrown out with the rest of you garbage. It was really how life should be and I can't wait to go back with round 2, hopefully more will pass the first inspection though!

Also, check out this NY Times article about this Park Slope Co-Op and what Recycline Does!

(Image Preserve:, Image Yogurt Cups:


Lesley said...

Great story, well told, inspirational.

Lakelandmom said...

Great information to know! Now I'm going to search for #5 recycling in MY area (FL). Thanks!

MTSK said...

I love your blog, very informative, very well structured and well written!
Bring it on!
My blog talks about sustainable design and lifestyle and i think you should be interested!

nice to meet u