Kitchen Diversion

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Below are some common materials found in kitchens that are discarded to the landfill. There are plenty more we just don’t have listed. If you have others, feel free to share with us. Apply as many tips as you would like to your lifestyle.

Tracking: Below are some suggested ways to track. How you track your discard diversion is mostly up to you. If you want to just generally look at your trash can after waste diversion and estimate how full it is, that works too. For example, after waste diversion practices, my trash can be half full than a normal week. Same could be applied to your recycling bin!

Disposal Kitchenware

Tip: Use washable kitchenware

Tracking: Estimate how many non-reusable items you used before diversion practices per day

Plastic Water Bottles

Tip: Stop routinely buying plastic water bottles and use a reusable bottle

 Tracking: Estimate how many water bottles you purchased or used per day or week and estimate how many times you filled your reusable water bottle

If you need to buy plastic bottles, at least recycle them instead of disposing

 Tracking: Estimate how many bottles you would trash before new diversion practice per day/week and try to count or estimate how many you now divert to recycling

Recycled materials and food/drink packaging

Tip: Reuse plastics like whip cream containers for new containers for holding leftovers
Tip: Recycle the acceptable materials you would typically trash. Here is a link of all the specifics the Dubuque Area can recycle. https://www.cityofdubuque.org/DocumentCenter/View/29874/2017-Curbside-Collection-Brochure

Tracking: Estimate how many new items you previously landfilled per week/day and estimate how many recyclable items you are now diverting from the landfill.

Egg Cartons

Tip: Storing egg cartons and give them to a local egg producer
Tip: Recycle this material

Tracking: Count how many egg cartons you go through in a week or month

Food Scraps

Tip: Increase number of times you purchase perishables or go to the grocery store to minimize food spoilage

Tracking: Count how more often you purchase perishables or go to the grocery store per week, estimate how much food is prevented from getting thrown out and going to the landfill

Tip: Sign up for Dubuque’s food scrap collection program or start your own backyard or worm composting

Tracking: Keep track of how many gallons per week are diverted as compostables

Tip: Go through cupboards and donate food you will not likely use to food pantry

Tracking: record how much food you divert to help feed food insecure people and how often you do this

Tip: If you throw away leftovers a lot, try to eat them before making another fresh meal.

Tracking: Estimate how much food you would throw away before this new diversion tip. Next, estimate how much leftover food you still throw away.

 Tip: Try to disregard “sell by, best use by dates” or at least learn when it is appropriate to disregard. Often food is still okay to eat after this date.

Tracking: monitor how often you evaluate a date and continue to eat/drink the item when you would have rather disposed it.

 Paper Towels and Napkins

Tip: Use reusable cloths and towels for both paper towels and napkins

Tracking: If eliminating paper towels or napkins completely is too difficult, count how many times you choose reusable cloths over disposable items per week, or track your purchasing changes in paper towels and napkins

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