Why Does It Matter?

You don’t have to be “Trashy” to have fun and that goes for your summertime parties, too.  Parties can create a lot of waste if you’re not careful.  Soda bottles and cans, salsa and pickle jars, ketchup and mustard bottles—it can all really add up.  But, don’t worry!  We’ve got you covered with some great ideas for de-trashing your summertime parties.

What Should You Do?

· Step One – Plan your Menu.  Your menu will not only set the mood for the party, but it will also determine what kinds of service-ware you will need as well as the type of recycling bins you should have.tableware or packaged items, look for a high post-consumer recycled content and then take them home to recycle them if recycling receptacles are not available at your picnic site.

· Step Two – Precycle.  Precycling is the process of making purchases based on what you will be able to recycle when the party is over.  Plan to purchase items packaged in aluminum and steel cans, plastic food containers (no Styrofoam), glass jars and bottles or cardboard boxes.  These can all be recycled in Hendricks County.  Better yet, purchase bulk items that you can place in a bag you bring from home—no packaging.

· Step Three – Offer Recycling.  Set up recycling bins right next to all trash cans and mark them clearly.  You want your guests to have fun, so don’t make them hunt down the right place for recyclables.  Recycling bins can be a simple box, a trash can marked with the recycling symbol or a fancy recycling bin.

· Step Four – Give, Donate & Compost.  Send any leftover food home with your guests, or, you may be able to donate extras to a local shelter.  And, compost what you can.

· Step Five – Recycle.  Put the recyclables in your curbside recycling receptacle or take them to the recycling center as soon as possible.  Nobody wants uninvited guests (like insects) in the bin.  Be sure to follow all of your recycling service provider’s instructions—contact them if you have questions.

Dig Deeper.

· Impress your guests with some compostable service-ware (look in the Organic or Natural Food Section of the grocery store)

· Send your guests home with personalized, reusable cups, mugs or water bottles

· Cover picnic tables with quilts, sheets or burlap for a laid back, country feel

Serve salads in bread bowls, fruit salad in melon rinds

Next Edition…

You’ve heard that change is the only constant in life.  Well, that old adage certainly applies to recycling.  Next month we will let you know about local recycling  programs that now accept plastic film (think newspaper & dry cleaning bags, the wrap around toilet paper & diapers, etc.).  We’ll also fill you in on recycling options for aseptic cartons.  Stay tuned for more!

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