Recycling standards can sometimes be difficult to sort out. Most cities curbside pickup services are limited to recyclables like paper and plastic, but did you know that there are many other items that can be recycled as well? Local recycling and reuse centers can help you determine where and how to recycle a wide variety of household wastes, so be sure to ask them where you can recycle the following items.
Recycling electronics is one of the best ways to give your old equipment a second life. Many electronics contain heavy metals that can harm the environment if disposed of in landfills, but these same compounds can often be reclaimed and reused for future gadgets. E-waste recycling is free of charge in many communities, or may be available for a small fee. Regardless of whether it is free or for a fee, recycling your old computers, phones, TVs and other electronics is the responsible thing to do.
Although modern lightbulbs often have a longer lifespan and thus result in fewer bulbs needing to be thrown away each year, lightbulbs eventually reach the end of their lifespan and should be recycled. Both the metal and glass elements are valuable recyclable materials, but the compounds and/or gases contained in some types of bulbs must also be disposed of appropriately through recycling services. Lightbulbs are best recycled when they are intact, so store spent bulbs with care to ensure they can be properly recycled. Sometimes, the same hardware store you purchased your lightbulbs from may be willing to collect them again at the end of the bulb’s life.
Whether they’re large car batteries, cell phone batteries or just regular AA batteries, all kinds of batteries should be recycled to prevent groundwater contamination or environmental damage. Additionally, many elements in batteries can be reclaimed for other applications, helping to conserve our earth’s resources. Keep in mind that some states might not even allow you to dispose of batteries in the trash; in this respect, battery recycling is not only the right thing to do — in some places, it’s the law.
Used motor oil is an excellent candidate for recycling, because it can be easily cleaned, re-refined and reused. Both synthetic and natural motor oils can be recycled. Many auto parts stores or mechanics collect oil for recycling.
A little bit of care in recycling goes a long way. Though recycling can seem like a chore at times, it’s the right thing to do. With a little extra effort, we can all do our part to take care of our planet.