I was thrilled to learn that Israel has a country wide publicly funded recycling program for paper and ALL types of plastic (including the horrid plastic shopping bags), as well as drop offs for batteries and cd's. While we lose the luxury of not needing to sort and having private bins in every building/household back in Illinois, here you can find paper and plastic drop off bins on every other corner. The blue bin is for the paper and the green decorative cage is for the plastic (don't worry, they fill up quickly!).
Unfortunately Israel does not recycle glass or aluminum/tin due to the amount of energy and water it takes for the process. And in this region water is a very precious resource. So in order to reduce the amount of glass we throw away we try to reuse our glass jars as much as possible by using them as storage for our dry-goods such as dry beans, quinoa, rice and even tea and spice blends.
Recycling is very much in sync with minimalism. It is important to be aware of our consumption and how it effects our environment and our society. We try to use the things that we already have instead of going out and buying more storage items. I find it refreshing to go out and participate in recycling as a community rather than only in private bins and it actually encourages me to make sure I am recycling every plastic and paper item I can along with my neighbors.
What recycling efforts do your communities offer? Do you have any unique and creative ways to reuse? I'd love to hear your ideas!! Please send them along!