Recycling is a great way to preserve the environment and save energy, but even though more than 75% of waste is recyclable, only about 30% of it gets recycled. Most people know to recycle glass, paper, plastic and aluminum, but there are plenty of ways to expand your recycling habits beyond beverage bottles and scrap paper if you know what to recycle.
Here are six surprisingly recyclable items and how you can recycle them:
Batteries should never just be thrown in the trash. They contain hazardous chemicals that can leach into the environment if they’re left to break down in landfills. Call2Recycle is a national program that teams with retailers to make battery recycling convenient. You can find a site near you at ehso.com.
CDs and DVDs that you no longer need can either be donated, sold, or sent to electronics recycle centers that accept discs.
Packing Peanuts are often made of biodegradable vegetable starch. If you can disintegrate a peanut in water, feel free to toss them, but if they’re maid of plastic or Styrofoam, try to find waste management companies that will accept them.
Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs can usually be recycled through hazardous waste programs offered by local waste management companies. If you don’t have these waste management services in your area, you can place them in the garbage after sealing them in a thick plastic bag to prevent mercury leakage.
Phone Books can be recycled, but not when you throw them in with the rest of the paper. Many communities offer free phone book pickups in certain time windows. Find out if you can return your phone book through local waste management companies.
Kid’s Stuff like crayons and old sports trophies can also be recycled if you’re doing a thorough clean. Crayon wax takes ages to break down in landfills. Instead, mail your crayons to Crazy Crayons, which melts old crayons to make new ones. You can also send old trophies that don’t have sentimental meaning to Art Inc. or Awardex.com, both of which re-purpose the trophies for new award winners.
What unusual items have you found a way to recycle? Let us know in the comments!
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