April 16, 2018

How To Start A Hefty® EnergyBag™ Program Routine In Your Home

Earlier this month, I shared details on the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program. At the same time, I started using them in my own home. Since then, I learned a few things about teaching the whole family what goes in the orange bags.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hefty®. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.

 

 

Want to start using Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags in your home? Here are my tips for getting started:

Buy the bags

Seems obvious, but you have to know where to buy these special orange bags in Omaha. Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available at all Omaha Hy-Vee grocery stores. I shared a list of the locations here.

Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available at area Hy-Vee stores.

I recommend calling customer service before your visit to make sure your closest Hy-Vee has the orange bags in stock.

Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available in packs of 20. I estimate my family of four fills almost two bags a week.

Keep the Hefty® EnergyBag™ Non-Recycled Plastics list visible

A lot of plastics can be placed in the orange Hefty® bags. To remember what you can put in the bags, think of this: “If you don’t bin it, bag it.”

– Potato chip bags and other snack bags
– Candy wrappers
– Granola bar and energy bar wrappers
– Plastic and foam cups, plates and bowls
– Shredded cheese packages
– Salad bags
– Plastic pet food bags
– Frozen fruit & vegetable bags
– Pudding cups
– Stand-up pouches
– Squeezable baby food pouches
– Foam to-go boxes
– Packing peanuts
– Plastic utensils
– Plastic straws and stirrers
– Cake mix liners and other dry powder mix liners
– Plastic toothpaste tubes
– Condiment packets
– All other non-recycled plastic bags

There was a list inside the Hefty® EnergyBag™ pack I purchased, so I taped it on the wall near our recycling bin so everyone can refer to it.

If you have a family command center, wall calendar, or some other space in your home where you keep important family information and dates handy, I recommend adding this list to reference.

Remind everyone regularly

My family was used to throwing a lot of plastics away, so it wasn’t easy to change that habit. Straws, wrappers, salad bags always went in the trash because we knew they couldn’t be recycled. Now these items can go in the orange bags.

I put the non-recyclable plastic items like a frozen veggie bag or straws in the orange Hefty® bag.

What works best for my family is gentle and frequent reminders of what can be put in the bag. I’m pretty specific about it, too, suggesting what should be placed in the Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags and what should be thrown away or put in the sink.

Put the full bags out with the recycling

The full orange bags are picked up along with your regularly scheduled recycling pick-ups.

The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program was easy to integrate into our weekly trash day routine, because it is picked up along with our recyclables. You can put the full Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags into your recycling bin; it will then be picked up as part of normal service and schedule. If you’re wondering what happens to those plastics next, read this post.

Stay in the know

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April 9, 2018

What To Do In Omaha With Non-Recyclable Plastics

With Earth Day this month, reducing our waste is high on my mind. We finally started recycling our glass this year, but I know there’s more my household can do. Last year, I told you all about the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program. It’s time to revisit it since they’re now even more convenient to purchase and begin using.

Hefty Energy Bag

Since the program started in 2016, it’s grown, and now it’s at Hy-Vee stores near me. So, stay tuned for me sharing our experience trying the program later this month!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hefty®. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.

Let’s dive into the program.

What is the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program

You’re probably already familiar with Hefty’s® strong, dependable waste bags, but Hefty’s® is also a leader in slider bags, foam plates, and plastic cups. The cool thing about the >Hefty® EnergyBag™ program, is that it offers a solution for the plastics around your house that typically can’t be recycled mechanically.

Consumers can buy the orange Hefty® EnergyBags™, fill them with plastics, and then have that bag picked up curbside. The plastics are then sorted and converted into energy to produce cement.

This isn’t a recycling program, so keep on gathering your recyclables. This is a solution for collecting plastics that cannot be recycled.

How the Hefty® EnergyBag™ Program works

The Hefty® EnergyBag™ is picked up along with your regular recyclables and trash. The non-recyclable plastics you wouldn’t place in your regular recycling bin can typically go into the Hefty® EnergyBag™.

– You collect your non-recycled plastics in the bright orange bag.

– Once you fill a bag, you place it curbside with your other recyclables and trash for pick up as part of normal service and schedule.

– The non-recyclable plastics are then taken to a local materials recovery facilities and sorted.

– The non-recyclable plastics then sent to a local energy recovery facility, where plastics are converted into valuable energy resources.

What can be collected in a Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bag

A lot! This is what I’m thrilled about. As a family with young kids, we have more than our fair share of plastic wrappers and waste that previously we just threw away.

Here’s what can be put in a Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bag:

– Potato chip bags and other snack bags
– Candy wrappers
– Granola bar and energy bar wrappers
– Plastic and foam cups, plates and bowls
– Shredded cheese packages
– Salad bags
– Plastic pet food bags
– Frozen fruit & vegetable bags
– Pudding cups
– Stand-up pouches
– Squeezable baby food pouches
– Foam to-go boxes
– Packing peanuts
– Plastic utensils
– Plastic straws and stirrers
– Cake mix liners and other dry powder mix liners
– Plastic toothpaste tubes
– Condiment packets
– All other non-recycled plastic bags

Why use a Hefty® EnergyBag™?

– The big thing for me is that this program reduces landfill waste – by the tons. I’ve been throwing all of this stuff away.

– It also creates more local energy resources and less fossil energy dependence.

– It converts non-recycled plastics into alternative energy, which can be used to power businesses, cars and homes.

– It makes things super easy for you. The non-recycled plastics are collected at curbside along with your normal hauler pick up.

– It improves the quality of other recycling streams/channels.

Where can you find these bags?

That was a big question on my blog last year. The program began just in Omaha, and now it’s grown to Louisville, Ralston, Papillion and La Vista, Neb. In May, it should start in Bellevue. Currently, the bags can be purchased locally at participating Hy-Vee stores:

– 5150 Center St.

– 14591 Stony Brook Blvd.

– 8809 W. Center Road

– 7910 Cass St.

– 9707 Q St.

– 747 N. 132nd St.

– 17810 Welch Plaza

– 1000 S. 178th St.

– 11650 S. 73rd St.

– 10808 Fort St.

– 3410 N. 156th St.

Stay in the know

Subscribe to the FREE twice a month(ish) e-newsletter sharing what’s new in Omaha, giveaways, family travel ideas, and more! Subscribe here.

May 23, 2017

Omaha Recycling News: Hefty Energy Bag Program

Omaha and Bellevue residents are now able to recycle more plastic than before thanks to the Hefty® Energy Bag program. The new slogan to know when it comes to Omaha recycling, and it’s “If you don’t bin it, bag it.”

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Hefty® Energy Bag program. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.

The Hefty® Energy Bag program was the Sustainable Sponsor were at the big Elmwood Park Earth Day Omaha celebration this year. Did you see them?

This recycling program could not make it easier for us to reduce the amount of waste going into local landfills. Thanks to all the program sponsors for initiating this in the metro area! This post is sponsored by the Hefty® Energy Bag Program.

What Goes In A Hefty® Energy Bag

Take a look at the list below to see what can be recycled through the program. I see a lot of things my family tosses in the trash: Frozen vegetable bags, packing peanuts, plastic straws.

Omaha recycling guide by Hefty Energy Bags

As of April 2017, the Hefty® Energy Bag program has collected more than 10,000 bags in the Omaha metro area, diverting more than 5 tons of plastic previously destined for landfills.

How The Hefty® Energy Bag Program Works

This program fits in seamlessly with your usual recycling routine; you just need to buy the Hefty® Energy Bag to recycle the plastics that you used to throw away.

Here’s how the Hefty® Energy Bag Program works:

– Place things like candy wrappers, plastic cutlery and juice pouches in the orange Hefty® Energy Bag. Make sure they’re clean and free of food residue.

– Place orange Energy Bag in your regular recycle bin or cart and put it out with your regular curbside recycling pickup.

– Local haulers pick up the bags during participants’ regular recycling collection and take it to a First Star Recycling facility.

– First Star Recycling sorts the Hefty® Energy Bags before sending them to Systech Environmental Corporation.

– Systech converts the bags and their contents into energy used to produce cement.

 

Get started

For those in the Omaha area who would like to purchase Hefty® Energy Bags and participate in the innovative recycling program, click here.

I had a good question from a Facebook follower, Jessica S.: “Are these bags available locally?” At this time, the bags are not in stores.

However, customers of Papillion Sanitation can get them through the company. According to their websiteEach roll comes with 20 bags and each roll is $10.00.  We will even deliver them to you on your trash day.  If you need some of these energy bags, please call our customer service at 402-346-7800 and your customer service representative will help you. Thanks for the tip, Tabitha!

The Hefty® Energy Bag Program is a collaborative effort between The Dow Chemical Company, Reynolds Consumer Products, Recyclebank, First Star Recycling, ConAgra Foods, and Systech Environmental Corporation. To learn more, visit www.HeftyEnergyBag.com and follow @Hefty and @DowPackaging on Twitter for updates.