OK, snark aside, today, "the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States" is a pretty big deal. That said, I've always lived in mid- to large-sized cities where curbside recycling is the norm (my current home, New York City, although super-green in many aspects, is eons behind
when it comes to recycling initiatives), so it's easy for me to take easy access to residential recycling programs for granted.
Every once in a while I do experience an "OMG, there's no recycling" wake-up call, like this summer when I spent a good amount of time on the Delaware shore in a community without any kind of recycling pick-up services. Long story short, I hauled all of my recyclables out and disposed of them at a drop-off location about five miles away. Recycling is ingrained in me ... it almost feels criminal to toss an empty two-liter bottle of Diet Coke in the trash.
So even if you're like me and programmed to recycle, today is still a great chance to become involved in a local recycling awareness event
or find a way to dispose
of all those weird items
(bowling trophies and bras, anyone?) that can't exactly be collected curbside. To mark the occasion, here's a look back at 25 posts from the past year relating to reducing, reusing, recycling, repurposing, composting, upcycling, freecycling, scavenging and more. This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to articles throughout MNN on the topics of waste and landfill-avoidance. So take a look-see. And yep, those are my recycling bins (well, not really mine ... I live in a six-unit apartment building) waiting at the curb for a.m. pickup. Not the prettiest sight but much better than the alternative.
Tolkien meets environmentally responsible trash disposal in "Lord of Recycling," a clever fake movie trailer based on Peter Jackson's "LOTR" series.
An Atlanta grad student rides out the turbulent economy by building structures out of plastic soda bottles and other types of trash ... in Guatemala.
Recycling company Knowaste plans to open five factories in the U.K. that will transform used diapers, incontinence and feminine hygiene products into green home building materials such as shingles and siding.
Using a repurposed trash bin, Berkeley-based artist Gregory Kloehn creates Oscar the Grouch's dream home: A comfortable, one-room dwelling complete with hardwood flooring and stainless steel appliances.
Celebrate Recycle Glass Month by, umm, recycling glass and sprucing up your home with a few eye-catching recycled glass products ranging from hydroponic herb gardens to stemless wine glasses.
After the successful run of a curbside compost collection pilot program, the city of Portland plans to unroll a once-a-week, city-wide food scrap pickup scheme and axe weekly trash pickups in the process.
Stumbled across the discarded and up-for-grabs bureau of your dreams but have no way to get it home? Treasure Wheels, a DIY dolly kit from Israel, makes urban scavenging a less cumbersome affair.
Just in time for International Coastal Cleanup Day, Method announces a new recycled plastic laundry detergent bottle that will be partially composed of plastic waste collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
A Manhattan apartment up for sale incorporates items salvaged from the New York City subway. Not included? Rodents, panhandlers and bewildered tourists.
The Barcelona City Council distributes Olipots, nifty little grease-holding containers, to households to make the recycling of used cooking oil more convenient.
Having undergone a few tweaks and secured a fabulous nonprofit collection partner, New York City finally launches its textile recycling program, re-fashioNYC.
If you're a New Yorker in the process of remodeling, uncluttering or moving, consider donating any cast-offs to Materials for the Arts.
The liquid-in-a-plastic-bag-inside-of-a-recyclable-cardboard box concept made popular with wine extends to liquid laundry detergent bottle design with Seventh Generation's new 4X Laundry Detergent.
Etsy and NBC Universal team up for the Art of Reuse, a upcycling design competition. Submissions will be voted on by the public ... and by Kathie Lee Gifford.
Hoping to inspire real life eco-action and give tired, old FarmVille a run for its money, TerraCycle launches Trash Tycoon, Facebook's first ever "social upcycling game."
Save a few bucks on Fatboy Jeans, the biggest, baddest organic cotton beanbag chair in town, when you recycle your old denim through Design Public's "Let Go and Get" promotion.
To raise recycling awareness, a flash mob infiltrates the food court of a Quebec shopping mall and waits for a good, green Samaritan to come along.
Little Big North, Jim Malone's rustic/modern log cabin near the Catskill Mountains, is filled with CounterEvolution benches, chairs and tables handcrafted from reclaimed bowling alley flooring.
An object with so many yucky connotations, a spent oil barrel, is treated to a useful and unexpected afterlife with the help of a repurpose-happy German design firm.
Alan Kimble Fahey, the hirsute ex-phone service technician behind a folksy, sprawling rural California compound known as Phonehenge West, is found guilty of violating building codes and may face jail time.
After downsizing, the Johnson family of Mill Valley, Calif., goes on a serious waste-curbing campaign. But has this family of four lost that distinct sense of home in the process?
From Grain Design, purveyor of recyclable shower curtains and electrical wiring jewelry, comes Spool, a modular home furnishing system consisting of spools upcycled from the L.A. apparel industry.
New York City's curbside freecyclers are outraged by the Department of Sanitation's decision to fine a Brooklyn resident for leaving a dresser outside of his home on a non-trash pickup day.
Sure, your neighbors may have prize-winning azaleas and manicured lawns but with Trash Cube you can sport the only crafted-in-Switzerland-from-manufacturing-waste garden/patio stool on the block.
Dwell, a publication perhaps best known for photographing ennui-stricken people milling listlessly about immaculate, eco-friendly homes, tackles recycling in its Feb. 2011 issue.