How to Recycle Your Water Bottles | Waiakea

Here at Waiakea, we strongly believe in laulima, meaning "many hands working together in cooperation and harmony." When it comes to a closed-loop recycling system, the practice of lualima is vital. Below, we dig into some of the easy steps you can take to help us recycle!

An easy first step is to recycle your water bottles, giving the materials a new life. There are a variety of programs offered across the country, including state-enforced CRV programs or privately organized recycling programs and drop-off centers. At Waiakea, we're committed to sustainability through our 100% RPET bottles, which wouldn't be possible without you starting the recycling process at home. With that said, recycling is much more important than you may think, but it can also be time consuming and confusing. Here is some information to make your recycling efforts easier and get you recycling more!

WHERE CAN YOU RECYCLE?

Some cities have public recycling programs and provide bins to every residence for curbside recycling. Unfortunately, some cities don't, making it more difficult to recycle your used packaging. Having a State Beverage Container Deposit Law, or CRV, in your state will drastically impact your recycling rate and motivate your community to recycle more. These laws implement an incentive for the community to recycle their waste–you end up getting paid to recycle. Surprisingly, only 11 states have a deposit law in place:

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Hawaii
  4. Iowa
  5. Maine
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Michigan
  8. New York
  9. Oregon
  10. Vermont
  11. Guam

If you're not sure if you live in a city with any type of recycling program–whether its CRV, curbside recycling, or private programs–you can look up a local recycling center on Earth 911.

Aside from the availability of recycling, education is lacking in some communities. Many still have questions they need answered in order to recycle properly and more efficiently. Here's our attempt to clear things up for you and get you recycling!

PREPARING THE BOTTLES FOR RECYCLING

KEEP CAPS ON

Leave the caps on the bottle! Since they are made out of similar material, it will end up in the same destination and most recycling centers will accept water bottles with the cap in place.

CRUSH YOUR WATER BOTTLES TO SAVE SPACE

Save yourself some trips to the recycling center and crush your water bottles! That way, you can store more in one trip in the same amount of space.

NO NEED TO RINSE

Don't worry about rinsing out water bottles! Contrary to bottles of sugary drinks, water bottles can be placed directly in the recycling bin. Try to store them together, separate from other packaging–it'll streamline your process when you need to load them up to be recycled.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECYCLE BOTTLES?

Bottles don't take a long time to recycle. They're lightweight and easy to toss in a bin. Just fill up a container and take it to a local recycling center once it's full.

A woman at a yoga studio recycles a water bottle.

PET VS HDPE

Recycling bottles correctly is fairly easy, but there are a couple of limitations you should be aware of. Plastic packing is typically made of either PET or HDPE–most clear water bottles are made of PET and some denser, less flexible jugs are made of HDPE.

WHY CAN'T I RECYCLE SOME BOTTLES?

Some cities may place restrictions on particular types of water bottles–this is usually outlined in each state's respective CRV laws. Each recycling center has its own rules about the materials being collected and what they will and won't recycle. To save time and make the most of your efforts, it's best to understand your city's rules and regulations to avoid sending out the wrong types of bottles. For example, contrary to popular belief, compostable bottles are actually not recyclable and most times end up in a landfill. Since most people think they are recyclable, they throw them in their curbside bin, polluting the recycling stream. If you end up turning in a type of packaging, like compostable bottles, that your city does not recycle, it will end up en route to a landfill, along with all the other packaging in that lot.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE

Recycling is super easy when you're properly educated on its do's and don'ts. Save yourself some time and increase your productivity by learning what your local recycling center will accept and figure out what you'll do for the items that don't. Recycle your water bottles as often as you can because you're giving them a new life (like a new Waiakea bottle) and keeping them out of landfills!

As time goes by, individual or community efforts to recycle will inspire others to join and keep the environment clean and safe. Join us in the practice of malama i ka'aina, to respect and care for the land. You can learn more about Waiakea's sustainability here.

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