Don’t Cross the Streams with your own Recycling Station

Freshkills 1971

In our Freshkills Freshflix review of WALL-E, we learned that the average American throws out about 5 pounds of garbage a day. Much of that garbage could be recycled. New Yorkers recycle about 17% of our waste, less than half of possible material. At Freshkills Park, we know the importance of keeping stuff out of landfills. Make an organized and colorful home recycling station to put your waste in the right place. Research shows that clear, colorful signs lead to better recycling!


UpStream at Home

Learn how to make your own recycling station at home with items already in your home.  There’s no better time to start recycling better than right now. #WasteFreeWednesday

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper, plastic, glass, and/or cardboard recycled materials
  • Tape or glue
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Paper (think about using one side of a used sheet)
  • 3 bags or bins

What You’ll Do:

1. Find out what can be recycled in your area by visiting your local Department of Sanitation website. In New York City, we have three separate bins: landfill waste, paper and cardboard, and glass, metal, and plastic. Explore what can be recycled here.

2. Choose a couple of items for each bin. For example:

Paper and cardboard: cereal box, toilet paper role, scrap paper

Glass, metal, plastic: Plastic container, metal can, juice bottle

Trash: chips bag, plastic packaging

3. Use your recycled items to create an original sign for each station. Be creative!

4. Hang up your signs by each recycling bin. Explain the recycling system to your family and others that you live with.

5. Notice what kinds of things you put in each bin. Can you reduce or reuse anything?


Upcycle your Stream Time with STEAM!

Trash reduction begins at home. Throughout the week Freshkills will share resources that address this week’s reflection questions about reducing our waste.

Share your thoughts, reactions or questions to waste management and reduction.

If you do make a recycling station or any of the DIY projects we recommend, please tag us on social media using #FreshkillsUpstream



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