One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “Where can I recycle _______?” From common yogurt containers to hard to recycle Brita filters, it’s a constant battle to figure out how to reduce your waste. Recycling locations often change what they take due to market supply and demand, making it hard to keep up with where to take all of your recyclables. But did you know that there is a recycling search engine with a home base in the DFW area?
Earth911.com created a rigorous recycling database with more than 1,800 recycling locations across the DFW Metroplex and several thousand more across the country. Type in any of more than 350 products to find the closest place to recycle your waste. As of early February 2016, the Earth 911 database has serviced more than 319,700 recycling searches this year!
With all of these searches, I was curious to find out, what have Dallas residents been searching for in the last three years? The top five recycling searches from Dallas zip codes are:
• 5 — Cell phones — which can be recycled at most electronic stores and Target.
• 4 — CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs) — most Home Depot stores accept CFLs and, of course, our friends at RecycleRevolution.com do as well.
• 3 — Car batteries — Firestone and Sam’s Club accept car batteries.
• 2 — Christmas trees — The City of Dallas collects trees after the holidays at Home Depot stores in town.
• 1 — The number one item that Dallas residents conduct a recycling search on is something that can go in our blue curbside bins … cardboard! Cardboard can be tossed inside our blue bins unless it’s wet or soiled with anything (pizza grease). Make sure to recycle what you can by tearing off non-recyclable portions.
Next time you have a question on where to recycle everyday items such as auto parts, organic food waste, plastic bags, CDs, carpet, mattresses or more, utilize the recycling search on Earth911.com or download their iRecycle app. In the next few weeks, the app is getting a facelift; look forward to an easier approach to finding the best location for your waste.
Earth 911 is more than just a database search. The Earth 911 website hosts curated engaging content on a variety of categories, from home and garden to events and entertainment, to encourage readers to live a sustainable life. Together with their parent company, Quest Resource Management Group, Earth 911 has moved into a new green office space showcasing the sustainable lifestyle in their every day office life. I stopped into the headquarters located in The Colony to see just how green their building is.
The building boasts plenty of creative green designs such as furniture made from cardboard, desks crafted from truck trailer flooring and recycled tiles, reclaimed wood furniture, shredded denim as insulation fluff, 90 percent post consumer material carpet, a partition wall made from reclaimed milk container packaging, and my favorite, huge sliding doors created from repurposed school bleachers. A large conference room catches your eye as you walk in, with a table base structured from huge rubber tires, a garage door and other repurposed materials donated from clients. The interior of the building was spacious and bright with overhead skylights providing much of the light, saving on electricity, and low flow water fixtures are used throughout.
As Earth 911 and Quest Resource Management Group pursue two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications, they may have to rethink the commute for their 114 total employees. Located in The Colony, the public transportation is limited, so adding a bike rack and incentives for employees to carpool can make their footprint even smaller. Since these two businesses are surrounded by big warehouses not known for their sustainability efforts, I hope their sustainable initiatives influence their neighbors and beyond to make small changes for the environment.
As seen in the Katy Trail Weekly.