using the black box

Like the little black dress, your black box is versatile must-have.  In a pinch, you can also use the black box as an extra blue box for recyclables other than paper.  The black box is super-useful because it can hold a lot of paper and boxes that would otherwise take up a lot of space in the garbage.

If you are just starting to recycle, paper and cardboard are the easiest things to start with.  

Here’s how it works at our place:

We keep the black box out of sight in the basement.  We used to tuck it into the back of our entranceway closet, which was super-convenient for quickly ditching junk mail before it starts reproducing in some dark corner…seriously!  Amid some repainting and reorganizing last summer, the black box got relegated to the basement.

I think the biggest challenge is actually getting the paper and cardboard to the black box…without having a cluttering little pile of recyclables on the counter or near the stairs to the basement. 

At my place, the kitchen is where we regularly generate the most garbage and recyclables. 

I saw the coolest thing at some friends’ house a while back:  a two-compartment kitchen garbage can.  I recently bought one.  We put garbage on one side and paper/cardboard and other recyclables on the other side.  This system works so much better than the pile system:  no clutter and a container to easily take a worthwhile bunch of newspapers, cardboard egg cartons and cereal boxes and the like to the basement.

You could also look into an under-the-sink pull-out systems with multiple compartments, although these usually cost much more.  Another idea in an extra waste basket or bucket dedicated to recyclables.

The trick is to figure out what makes things easiest for your household, with a focus on the spaces where you typically generate the most paper and cardboard waste.

Good luck, and please share new ideas


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