Curbside Recycling

My mom says I’m sensitive. My dad says I’m a tree-hugger. But I just say I’m passionate. Some of the things I’m passionate about are my family, my friends (and I’ll passionately fight for anything doing them unjustly wrong,) fitness, food, and animals.

Note the last one – animals. I’ve always loved animals and have been involved in local humane societies for as lone as I’ve lived here. I was also a vegetarian for a couple years (and now just eat meat very rarely.) As sensitive/tree-hugging/passionate I am about animals, I’ve never been too concerned about the environment.

Now, I’m fairly uneducated about the environment, but my take on global warming is that record highs were mostly years and years ago, and the winters here in Illinois are still bitterly cold. I know this probably sounds ignorant to some of you, but at the end of the day, it’s just not where one of my passions has fallen.

Despite my lack of passion for the environment, I know I should do more to help it out. At the very least, we should recycle.


Hence, in the past few months, Shane and I have made some changes in order to help our household be more environmentally friendly.

We now use eco-friendly light bulbs:


We bought an HE washer and dryer:


We hide our paper towel roll holder in the cabinet so it’s not as accessible to just grab a paper towel:


our paper towel consumption has plummeted because we use more cloth towels instead!

And we also recycle:


However, the thing with the town of Normal is there’s no curbside recycling program. This means each week, one of us has to pack up all of our recycling, separate it, and drive it over to one of the recycling hubs in town.

I know this might sound trite, but this is a pain. We do it, but it’s one of those chores we let build up because no one wants to take it over. I think there would be WAY more Normal residents recycling if the town offered a curbside recycling program.


Lunch was eaten on the go today. Over lunch I had to run to the dealership, so I packed up leftovers of the warm quinoa and grapefruit salad (the last of it! tear!)


So dang delicious.

Off to the dealership!


Do you recycle? Does your city offer curbside recycling?

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  1. We are recycling Nazi’s! And yes we do have a weekly pick up of recycling from our house, I cannot imagine not having it either! If you don’t make things convenient for people they most likely won’t go out their way do it.
    Great idea with the paper towel, that is one area I fall short in for sure, I love using my paper towel!

  2. Don’t me started about recycling! Growing up, my dad would open the trash can and if he saw something that was recyclable in there, he’d make us get it out and we’d be in trouble.
    Needless to say, I’ve always recycled. But we don’t have curbside either. Have to drive it to the dump. It’s just a chore that I’ve gotten used to.

  3. The only thing that we have curbside pickup in my town is for paper, which we do adamently. A former town that I used to live in had a transfer station that we had to bring our recycling to. It was frustrating! My husband didn’t like doing it either.

  4. Great idea about the paper towels; we are so guilty of over-using them. We have curb pick up for recycling…easy right? Nevertheless, for years I have been grabbing cans out of the garbage to recycle and have sadly given up complaining about them:-( I hope my hubby reads this post and my comment.

  5. My town has only recycled in recent years. I used to take mine to a recycling hub. The interesting thing was that people would actually take BOOKS to the recycling center. I would pick through them and take the ones I wanted. It was kind of cool and I miss that.

  6. There’s a huge recycling initiative in our county so curbside recycling is a staple. You have to rent your own recycle can but it’s well worth it. But if we didn’t have curbside, I can see us not doing it as diligently. Making it convenient for the general masses is the only way to get people to really adopt something.

  7. I know that recycling programs are expensive, but I still think it’s really strange when communities don’t offer pick up! Chicago is notoriously bad about it, too. Only last year did my building start offering the service and I never did it before then. I’m still sort of awful about remembering to do it, but I’ve gotten better!

    • I know…and Bloomington does, but Normal doesn’t (it’s like one city – barely any lines of distinction) It irks me!

  8. Argh! That just frustrates me. Curbside recycling can actually SAVE a city money if they do it right.
    “A well-run curbside recycling program can cost anywhere from $50 to more than $150 per ton…trash collection and disposal programs, on the other hand, cost anywhere from $70 to more than $200 per ton. This demonstrates that, while there’s still room for improvements, recycling can be cost-effective.”

    I think you need to start a letter-writing campaign to your city council. Or go to a meeting and speak during public comment! (Seriously. I work in government. It would be AWESOME if more people showed up with well-thought-out concerns.)

  9. I also live in Normal, as you know, but because there is No pick-up for recyclables, our family does not recycle. I know that we should, but it is SO inconvenient to take the recycling to the grocery stores. Until there is a pick-up option from our homes, my family probably wont start recycling! :*(

  10. Awww, you’re too cute!! I hide my paper towel too!!! I used to use A LOT of paper towel *bow my head in shame* but now I only use clothes to dry my hands 😉


  11. The hiding of the paper towels is a great idea. I’m going to steal that from you.

  12. We are crazy about recycling! I’d say we put out 2 times the recycling than the traditional garbage each week, which is also thanks to our obsession with composting. Luckily we have curbside pick-up, but we always overfill the bin and have to add extra boxes to hold it all.

    Good job getting on the recycling wagon- maybe you should write your local law makers…

  13. My city has curb side recycling once a week and garbage pick-up twice a week. I feel spoiled.
    BUT- when I lived in Ottawa, we had curb side compost pick up. It was GREAT. I kind of wish my new city (Montreal) would switch out one of the garbage pickups to compost pick up. I really liked having the “green box” pick up and they out all that food waste to good use!

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