Be Green – and Safe – At Your Backyard Barbeque
Summer has arrived, the grills are fired up and the backyard barbecues and pool parties are in full swing. These summertime activities can pose challenges to your trash disposal and recycling efforts, so Waste Management of New Jersey has some advice on reducing waste, improving recycling and safely disposing of barbecue coals and ashes.
Here are some simple steps for greener get-togethers this summer:
- Reduce the use of disposable plates, cups and utensils at outdoor parties. Switch to colorful, reusable plastic plates, stemware and glasses that are safe around the pool and backyard. If you’re using disposable drink cups, write guests’ names on the cups and encourage them to use one cup for the afternoon. Kids can decorate and personalize their own cups with colorful markers.
- Provide reusable containers to help guests take leftovers home with them.
- Keep a separate container just for recyclables in a convenient place, such as the kitchen, laundry room or backyard. Make sure a separate container for trash is easily accessible for kids enjoying ice cream treats, art projects or water balloon fights.
- Provide a convenient receptacle where your guests can place their plastic, glass or aluminum beverage containers.
- Make sure recyclable bottles, cans or containers touched by sticky hands or filled with food are rinsed before placing them in your recycling cart or bin.
A safety reminder: coals or ashes fresh from the barbecue should never be put directly into your collection container. Just as those coals helped to get the fire started in your barbecue, they can also start a fire in your trash container or, once emptied into the back of a collection truck, ignite the surrounding materials. They should instead be cooled for several days and then placed in a metal container with a tight lid for proper disposal. To speed up the cooling process, you may carefully place coals in a metal container full of water to “drown” them like you would a campfire. Never place them in plastic, paper or wood containers.
Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America. For more information, visit www.wm.com