Monday, April 20, 2009

keepin' it green

We're pretty lucky here in Scottsdale. Oh, not for all the obvious reasons those of you in The Motherland are thinking right about now, like the lack of measurable snowfall. (No, wait...that would be nonexistent snowfall). Not even for our limitless cache of trendy shopping and great weather and eternal sunshine and...
...ok, you know I'm kidding about all of that if you've read much of this blog, at all. No, it's not the lack of snowfall, or trendy shops, or hip dining, or great weather. We're lucky because the City of Scottsdale recycling program takes just about everything I can think to throw in the bin, including number 5 plastics, a.k.a, polypropylene, a.k.a., the dreaded bottle cap.

But that isn't the case in all areas and with all recyclers, as I've discovered, and if a local program doesn't accept bottle caps, they also won't accept the plastic bottle to which the cap is attached in your recycle bin. So, all those water bottles, milk jugs, and laundry detergent containers pitched into recycle bins with their caps on simply end up in a landfill - exactly the place we're trying not to dispose of them.
The obvious answer is to separate bottles from caps and toss the caps in the trash. But, again, if it can be recycled, why shouldn't it be? And that was the question I was asking myself when I came across Aveda's cap recycling program.
The program was actually started for Aveda employees, but met with such success Aveda developed a limited time promotion in 2008, giving customers an opportunity to bring in at least 25 caps in exchange for free samples. The Recycle Caps with Aveda program now collects bottle caps through Aveda stores, salons and schools.

Per the Aveda website:

What type of caps do we collect? The program accepts caps that are rigid polypropylene plastic, sometimes noted with a 5 in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. This includes caps that twist on with a threaded neck such as caps on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter.

Excluded from collection are pharmaceutical lids and non rigid lids such as yogurt lids, tub lids (margarine, cottage cheese), and screw on lids that are not rigid. If you can bend or break the lid with your bare hands, then it does not meet the rigid plastic definition. Please do not include any metal lids or plastic pumps or sprayers. Unfortunately, too much of the wrong types of materials can contaminate the recycling process. We appreciate your efforts in keeping it clean!
You can read more about it here. In the meantime, check with your local recycling program to determine whether they accept number 5 plastic bottle caps and, if not, find the closest Aveda store or salon near you and take them your caps. They're happy to have them, will turn them into something usable, and will remove a whole lot of otherwise useless trash from our landfills, rivers, lakes and beaches.

With love from The Valley of the Sun.

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