Where we live, we pay for private trash pickup. They have never offered recycling options, so we would take our papers to our church for their paper drive and take the cans to a recycling spot where we got back a few cents. I admit that we've gone through times when we've been lax about it, so when I found a door hanger for a new company offering recycling pickup, I called them right away.
A couple weeks ago I signed up for the service (there's a subscription cost, but a few months ago we switched trash companies for a better deal, so I'm back to paying close to the same amount). They delivered a bin, and I talked with the kids about the list the recycling company sent with the things we could put in the recycling bin. We had a bin that we had used for papers before, so I moved that into the kitchen and we started filling it.
I knew that we were throwing out things that could be recycled, but until we started recycling in earnest, I didn't realize how much! We now fill the recycling bin and our trash bin is only half-full.
My biggest concern was the amount of water I was using to rinse plastics that held food. I laughed (kinda) when I thought that the water we were saving with our new toilet flushers was now being used by washing our recyclables. This weekend, I had the chance to talk with one of the managers of the company and found out that rinsing was fine, but washing wasn't necessary.
The kids are great about sorting the recyclables and also taking them out to the larger bin. We all feel good about keeping more out of the landfill!