Upcycle, Recycle, Donate

in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford, VA

By Siena Schaller, Junior Reporter for Macaroni Kid Fredericksburg April 21, 2022

Every Spring marks the beginning of “Spring Cleaning,” when you essentially go through your house and throw away the things you don’t need or want anymore. However, how much of what you get rid of do you recycle? 

Right now, it is very important that we are recycling. It reduces the amount of trash being sent to dumpsters and landfills, helps the environment, and reduces pollution. Because recycling conserves natural resources, protects ecosystems, and increases biodiversity, it makes our way of living more sustainable. The items we recycle are able to continuously be used, decreasing the need for the production of other items. This decreases greenhouse gas emissions, the need for raw materials, and energy production. In the long run, recycling will allow us to keep our practices going for longer, making it a very sustainable option. 

Did you know Germany has the highest rate of recycling in the world? This is because they have SIX different color-coded bins for recycling, rather than just the two in America. Black is for general waste, yellow is for plastic, blue is for paper/cardboard, white is for clear glass, brown is for colored glass, and green is for green glass. You may be thinking, that’s crazy, I could never keep up with that if I lived in Germany. But, you would have to! Germany’s strict recycling method is actually the law! You could be fined for placing the wrong item in the wrong bin. However, the United States does not have an advanced system like Germany, so we have to take matters into our own hands! 

Here are a few simple ways you can start recycling and start living more sustainably: 

  • Use reusable bags instead of plastic bags while shopping
  • Donate old items instead of throwing them out (clothes, books, electronics, etc.) You can find a local list of places to donate and what items they accept here.
  • Upcycle items you no longer want
  • Buy recycled products
  • Pick up trash in your community. Check our Event Calendar for clean-up events.
  • Make sure you know how to properly recycle your items.

Sources: German RecyclingUS Recycling