For Cardboard and Paper recycling: first of all, do read your local recycling rules and regulations.
When recycling boxes, open them up so they're flat. Here's a tip from a friend who has 2 young kitties and a litter box that is scooped a few times a day: instead of wasting 'new' plastic bags or using those huge plastic grocery bags to collect the droppings, save and reuse the waxed liners from cereal boxes, cake mixes and cookie sleeves. Save the bags in which chips and crackers are sold and reuse these; even the smaller vegetable and fruit bags that you've brought home with your fresh produce are better than their big sisters or new bags. This idea also works for doggy potty break pickup outdoors.
If for some reason you can't open out the boxes to "flat", then step on them to squish as flat as possible.
Recycling cans: rinse! rinse! rinse! then, open BOTH ends, (don't open all the way so that you can 'fold' the lids back into the can; place on the floor and flatten with your feet - a real space saver.
The only advice I have for those dang plastic multiplying water bottles is don't buy them!!! Purchase sturdy, reusable water bottles; keep several on hand for each member of your family.
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©2015 Cat Brennan