Can You Still Recycle When Traveling in an RV?


The three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle – were introduced in the 1970s as part of a campaign to educate people on being environmentally conscious. Since then, major efforts to improve recycling and reuse of materials have been implemented in the U.S. With the increase of millions of tons of materials being recycled each year in the nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s clear that Americans are making an effort to recycle as much as possible. 

So how do you recycle when you’re camping in your RV for extended periods of time? What if you’re a full-time RVer? Here are a few simple ways you can make recycling easy on yourself AND how you can limit your need to recycle in the first place!

Designate a spot in your rig for recyclable items 

First step to making recycling easy while traveling is to choose a spot and container to hold recyclables. It could be a bin or small waste basket placed under the sink or in a storage closet. Whatever you choose, find a container that fits your space and can hold at least a few recyclable items.

Find recycling centers near you

At a sticks-and-bricks home in a town with a recycling program, all you need to do to recycle is simply throw recyclables into a bucket or bin that’s placed on the side of the road once a week or so. But what do you do when you’re traveling? Luckily, there are a number of recycling centers across the country where you can make drop offs. A simple Google search can help you find those centers. Don’t forget that certain big box stores, such as Walmart, can also be spots where you can recycle plastic containers and bags. 

Buy in bulk

Pretty much everything we buy comes in packaging or a container, which can increase the number of recyclables you need to dispose of in your RV. To help keep the amount of containers low, you can start buying certain items, such as cereals, granola, chocolate, oatmeal, and other grains from bulk suppliers. 

Use (and reuse) your own containers

When buying in bulk, ask the supplier if you can use containers you already own rather than plastic bags. Doing so is especially helpful in cutting down on unnecessary packaging and waste. Plus, you’ll know that your containers already fit in the space you have and you won’t be tempted to over buy! 

The easiest way to start using your own containers is to use a refillable water bottle. You’ll avoid buying plastic bottled water and won’t have to store and recycle the empties. Another tip is to shop with reusable bags rather than using the plastic bags available at some store checkouts. 

With a little planning, you can keep up your recycling habit and adjust it to suit the RV lifestyle. Do you recycle when you’re on the road? If so, what’s helped you make a part of your RV routine? Let us know in the comments or contact us today! 

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