It is important to keep in mind that the market value for certain recyclable materials fluctuates. Not all materials will have recyclable value, which is often true for certain plastic types. However, there might be local businesses and organizations that want to support recycling, or may be interested in using certain recyclable items. For instance, grocery stores and big box stores have a lot of recyclable shipping materials (i.e. cardboard boxes, paper packaging, or certain plastic containers). For these businesses, recycling not only reduces their waste, but can also support green “corporate social responsibility” programs.
Alternatively, you might have local organizations, like a thrift store, metal scrap business, or bio-diesel producer, which would be interested in recyclable materials to use for their business. Some of the more lucrative recyclable materials include metals (i.e. steel, aluminum), most PET plastics like soda bottles, and newspaper. Research and contact these local organizations directly before dropping off materials. This saves times and prevents recyclable materials from going to landfills if they cannot handle your specific recyclable materials.
Another means for change is to address recycling, or lack thereof, with your city council and fellow residents. This will require a lot of work and local buy-in. You might find there are more people who want to recycle if they realize others do too. One way to emphasize your recycling needs could be to attend a city council meeting, or contact a county commissioner, and address recycling logistics as a localized service. These logistics could determine if a recycling program is feasible, or another creative route needs to be taken. A petition in support of recycling efforts can also support your recycling mission.