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Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Valdeane Odachi!!!

Valdeane Odachi (#4860) has received a certificate of achievement in Cleaning Up for earning a Beginner Level Recycling Merit Badge!

“In our home, I have established several receptacles to make recycling easy. I have three stacking bins to separate HI-5 glass, plastic, and aluminum cans. I have a special newspaper bin for the daily paper (we often use these to build fires, though) and a separate trash can (next to our kitchen trash can) that we use for miscellaneous recyclables that we can take to our transfer station for recycling. I also have an old one-gallon bottle that we use to store old batteries. We also have a small cardboard box lined with a plastic bag to hold the ink cartridges that I take to Office Max for recycling.

At our local rubbish transfer station, we can recycle the following: glass and “mixed bin” recycling where the following are accepted: newspaper, copy paper, corrugated cardboard, plastic shopping bags, aluminum, tin, non-HI-5 glass, boxboard and plastics numbered 1, 2 and 5. (I didn’t know about every single thing until I had to earn/apply for this badge!) I wasn’t aware of the shopping bag recycling!

HI-5 (5-cent redemption) glass and plastic can be redeemed at approved stations. Most of these are located approximately 20 miles from us.

Vehicle oil can be recycled approximately 20 miles from us at the Toyota dealership. (I didn’t know this either!)

Cooking oil can be disposed of (no more than 1 gallon) with regular household trash if disposed of fully absorbed by newspaper or other material. If more than that, several companies offer disposal locally. (I will be inquiring via phone of their services, though I looked up the info online.)

Our family has been recycling for a while now, but this activity made me more aware of the areas that I need improvement in and what areas are working well. Also, this badge helped me learn about more resources available in my area!

Redeeming the 5-cent refund for cans and bottles always poses a problem, as it takes so long to build up an adequate amount to redeem. We would hate to take trips just to redeem a few cans! But keeping the cans and bottles around creates such a mess.

Batteries face a similar problem, but they take up much less real estate in the house since it’s just one gallon bottle. At least we have a designated spot that everyone in the family knows about and uses.

Overall, I believe we’ve made (and continue to make) strides toward recycling. I actually hope to decrease the amount of plastic waste we BRING IN to our home… that will mean less to take out!”

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Valdene, congratulations on such comprehensive changes to your recycling efforts!! Wow, you did an amazing job of research and solution finding for your family. It is a challenge to figure out how to recycle all of the things that enter our homes and keep them out of the landfill. I hope others read this and benefit from all of your great ideas!

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