How many times have you thrown something in the trash, just to find out later that it was actually recyclable? Depending on where you live, you may be able to recycle more than you think. Of course, there are ways to reduce waste and reuse items in your own home and business, as you learn how to be more aware of your consumption and usage of products and packaging.
20 Things You Forgot To Recycle:
(Note: Not all recycling centers accept all these materials – but some do, just ask.)
- Computers (many electronic stores have take-back programs)
- Cell Phones and PDA’s (here is more information on recycling all electronics)
- Batteries and rechargeable batteries (learn more about Call2Recycle)
- Inkjet and toner cartridges (check with your local office supply store or school)
- Apple® devices (here is a great resource for selling and recycling Apple Products)
- Greeting cards (use them for art projects or other creative projects, or recycle them with your paper)
- All types of glass jars can be recycled as long as they had consumables in them
- Eyeglasses can be recycled
- Pizza boxes can be recycled with cardboard if they are not greasy or soiled with food
- Shaving cream (watch for the recycling symbol and favor the plastic packaging)
- Plastic silverware (check if your curbside program accepts #6, otherwise just wash and reuse yourself)
- Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, oatmeal canisters (it’s cardboard!)
- Reusable food storage containers (i.e. Ziploc® brand)
- Plastic shopping bags (many grocery stores will take them back, but try to bring your own bag instead)
- Packaging for things like tissues, cosmetics, toothbrushes, q-tips, and other hygienic products
- Deodorant packaging (even some spray cans)
- Aluminum foil if it is clean (also screw top lids from wine bottles, foil trays, etc.)
- Aerosol cans can be recycled with steel if they are empty
- Old medications (check with your local pharmacy or law enforcement agency) Also check out this informative link about how to properly store and dispose of prescription drugs.
- Milk and juice cartons (even when they appear coated!)
Unfortunately, many items such as egg cartons and phone books are still not widely acceptable. Try to find ways to creatively reuse egg cartons when you can, and better yet, reduce the waste by opting-out of un-needed phone books.
Again, each curbside recycling program is different, so be sure to familiarize yourself with what materials are accepted in your area. Even if there are items that are not recyclable in your area, there are some materials that are recyclable through the mail, such as electronics, ink cartridges, cell phones, batteries, and even light bulbs. And remember, recycling what you can is great, but reducing your waste is even better!