In early August I proudly posted a photo of our brand new blue recycling container. We’re lucky enough to be in Chicago’s 47th ward pilot program. Our awesome alderman, Gene Schulter, apparently convinced the city powers-that-be that at baseline our ward had the highest recycling rate in the city, 30%. The pilot program has certainly been a great success in our household. Before the blue container, we routinely had two full black garbage containers (regular, unsorted garbage) every two weeks. And though I tried, we never really recycled. Now we’re down to about one small grocery-sized plastic bag of garbage PER WEEK. I put the other black can by someone else’s garage because we just don’t need it. An old laundry basket on the floor of the pantry holds all junk mail and catalogs (which constitute about 80% of our garbage), all rinsed food containers, flattened delivery boxes, just about everything we no longer want to keep. The great thing about using a laundry basket is that it holds a lot but does not require a bag since everything going into it is dry. I need to empty that large laundry basket about every other day. We are AMAZED how much of what we thought was garbage is actually recyclable.