Things that should be recycled when they break
By Denise Nape The Shopper June 14, 2012 10:48AM
I was going to toss out an old copier that isn’t being used anymore and a friend said that you can’t just toss them out anymore. When I did a little research I found out that you shouldn’t just toss them out. Every year landfills are being filled with tons of electronics that could be possibly reused or at least disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Here is a list that Recyclebank has compiled of the top 5 things you should always recycle:
Electronics: Toxic materials including lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and brominated flame retardants go into landfills when computer equipment and televisions are thrown away.
Large office supply stores like Office Depot, Staples and Best Buy will recycle items for you. Best Buy does not charge for recycling. Check your local store for details.
Office Depot will sell you a box to fill with your small electronics and then you can drop it off in their store. Staples will take old devices in store to recycle at no charge. Some items can be recycled in exchange for a Staples gift card (i.e. newer item that is still working, less than 3 years old, etc.)
Rechargeable batteries and small electronic devices: Batteries contain heavy metals and other chemicals that need to be kept out of the waste stream. Recyclers can reclaim metals from them to make new batteries or steel. Call2recycle.org will give you active locations for donations of cell phones and rechargeable batteries.
Many Home Depots, Lowes, Targets, Sears and RadioShack locations accept donations. Alkaline batteries or single use batteries are more difficult to dispose of properly.
IKEA locations will recycle alkaline batteries and light bulbs for free. You can buy kits from Batteryrecycling.com or Earth911.com. I would suggest pooling your items with friends or family and then sending in one kit.
Compact Fluorescent light bulbs: These bulbs can release mercury which is a neurotoxin into the environment. IKEA will accept light bulbs to be recycled. Or you can go to Lamprecycle.com for a location near you for recycling.
Plastic grocery bags: These bags take a very long time to decompose since they are made with petroleum. They can be recycled into plastic lumber. Many retailers have bins at their stores where you can bring store bags, dry cleaning bags, food storage bags, and newspaper bags.
You can also look on Plasticbagrecycling.org to find locations near you.
Eyeglasses and medications: You can donate your used prescription glasses to the nonprofit OneSight at any LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Target Optical, or Sears Optical location.
Check out OneSight.com for more locations near you.
You can also donate unused, unexpired medications including antibiotics, pain relievers, and others by mailing them to the Health Equity Project. The glasses and medications will be distributed to people in need in developing countries.
Shopper’s tip: Paint, pesticides, propane gas tanks, and motor oil should always be disposed of properly, not in your trash can. Take them to your town’s household hazardous waste collection events or permanent collection center.
Go to Earth911.com or call (800) 253-2687 (or CLEANUP) to find collection sites and events.