Green your life at home, work & play

Recycling 102: Beyond the Basics September 12, 2008

Filed under: General,Green home,Green living,Green tips — velobaker @ 9:10 pm
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What’s in your garage, or in your house? Quite possibly a lot of “stuff” that can be recycled if it cannot be donated for reuse. You just might be surprised at how many items other than the usual glass, cardboard, aluminum, tin/steel and plastic bottles- can be recycled. The following is a list of some of the hard-to-recycle, but recyclable!, items:

  • Athletic shoes- recycle at participating shoe stores and/or recycling centers
  • Audio equipment– home stereo components, car stereos
  • Batteries– alkaline, carbon, zinc, cadmium, rechargeable, marine, and car batteries
  • Big durable plastics #2– large plastics marked with the #2 such as Big Wheels and plastic play structures, plastic lawn furniture, plastic watering cans, laundry baskets, plastic buckets, crates, rigid backyard kiddie pools, litter boxes, flower pots, and plastic trash containers, etc.
  • Bike tires and tubes
  • Carpet– your carpet installer might be able to recycle it. If not, call your local recycling center
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes– can be recycled at some chain home improvement stores
  • Computer and office manuals
  • Computers and computer parts
  • Computer disks– through Green Disk and other sites
  • Cooking oil– canola, corn, olive, vegetable, and sesame
  • Copiers and fax machines
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Eyeglasses- chain stores LensCrafters, For-Eyes, and Pearle will take glasses, clean, repair, and measured to determine the correction and then given to those in need
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Fleece- Patagonia recycles Patagonia fleece
  • Cosmetics
  • Metal hangers– your local dry cleaner
  • Polystyrene packing and peanuts- drop off at UPS, Mailboxes, Etc., or The Postal Annex
  • Salvageable construction materials
  • Small electronic items– digital cameras, PDAs and Gameboys, video game systems, Walkmans/iPods
  • Textiles– clothing, bedding, towels, fabrics
  • Thermometers and thermostats
  • Toilets, sinks, and urinals
  • Toothbrushes
  • TVs and VCRs/DVD players
  • #6 block foam packaging

Call your local recycling center to see what items they accept. If they do not accept items you would like to recycle, ask if they can refer you to someplace that does (or ask them to consider recycling more materials). Some areas have collections for hard-to-recycle items a few times a year. For many of these items there is nominal charge to cover the costs of recycling. If you’re having trouble recycling an item, try re-purposing it to give it a new life – get creative! Also, a great site to get information about recyclers in your area is


3 Responses to “Recycling 102: Beyond the Basics”

  1. Jay Says:

    I am not very handy around the house with do-it-yourself type of projects and construction and so forth, so I am constantly calling professionals to come to the house and fix this or that. It is getting kind of expensive, and in these tough economic times I need to start learning how to do some of this stuff.

  2. Joanna Says:

    Great list of items with excellent recycling tips. I love your site by the way.

  3. Sharyn Says:

    Really good tips for everyone to become more eco-friendly.

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