I’ll admit it, we’re probably a little bit more nutty about recycling than most. Detroit doesn’t have city recycling, so we have to bring it in to a center ourselves. And at our particular center, when we drop off our goods, we have to sort them into the appropriate bins. The first few times we brought our recycling in, we had put all our recyclables into the same bag and then had to sort the bags at the center. This meant we were running all over the place when we would suddenly find a aluminum can in the midst of all our 1s and 2s plastic.
So we decided to switch our method and sort at home as we set aside our recyclables. This doesn’t really take up any more of our time, but it does take up a good deal more space to keep a separate bag for each material. In fact we have a whole wall of our small apartment devoted to our recyclable bags. Also, Michigan has deposits on beer and pop containers (both bottles and cans) so we keep those separate from our general recyclables, because they will get returned to a different location to collect the deposit money.
Recently my mom came to visit. Between the regular trash, the compost, all the different bags for the recycling, and the deposit recyclables, I think she had our system all figured out by the time she left, 2 weeks later.
All this to say, we’re a bit jealous of cities that have single source recycling. But you make time (and space) for what is important to you, and keeping our waste out of landfills (or in the case of Detroit, the incinerator) is important to us.