Featured Image Caption: Different Types of Garbage and Recycling Sign
Spring is here! It’s the time of year when we feel renewed energy to clean out our homes, toss items we no longer use, and get everything looking shiny and new again. If you’re someone who cares about the environment, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to be greener.
Recycling is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make a positive impact on the planet. But did you know that there are some things you can recycle that you might never have thought about? In this post, we’ll explore eight obscure and common items that you can recycle to help you spring clean your home and help out the environment.
Dental Care Products
Do you have an electric toothbrush that has reached the end of its life? Several dental care companies have partnered with recycling programs to help keep dental products out of landfills. You can now recycle toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers.
Finding a recycling center is easier than ever. Many cities have local centers where you can drop off your recyclable items, and some even offer curbside pickup. You can also look online for nearby recycling centers in your area.
Additionally, many big-name retailers now offer free recycling programs for certain items like electronics and ink cartridges. Simply drop off your items at the store and they’ll take care of the rest. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a center near you that accepts the items you want to recycle.
Love wine? Then save those corks and give them a second life. You can recycle them into things like coasters, shoe soles, and even yoga blocks. Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept corks or search online for cork recycling programs.
Before recycling a wine cork, it’s important to make sure that it is clean and free of any debris or residue. You can easily do this by washing the cork in warm soapy water, rinsing it off with cold water and allowing it to dry completely before putting it out for recycling. Additionally, you should make sure that the cork is not discolored or brittle, as this could indicate that it has been exposed to too much heat and will not be suitable for recycling. By preparing your wine corks properly before recycling, you can help ensure that they are reprocessed and reused in an efficient manner.
Did you know that wine bottles can be recycled indefinitely? That’s right, they can be melted down and made into new glass bottles over and over again. So, after you drink that bottle of wine, put it in the recycling bin rather than the trash.
Preparing your wine bottles for recycling is easy. All you need to do is rinse the bottle out thoroughly with water and remove all of the labels from the bottle-you can use a sponge or an old toothbrush to help get rid of any stubborn glue residue. Then, make sure that all of the liquid is poured away and you can put the bottle in your recycling bin. Keep in mind that you should only recycle bottles that are made of glass and not plastic, as these cannot be recycled. With a few simple steps, your wine bottles will be ready for their second life.
If you’re like many people, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of batteries over the years. Don’t throw them in the trash! Many batteries contain toxic chemicals that can harm the environment when they end up in landfills. Instead, recycle them. Some stores, especially electronics stores, will accept batteries for recycling. Just be sure the batteries aren’t too corroded or damaged.
When packing a battery for recycling, it’s important to ensure that it is properly sealed and contained. Begin by wrapping the battery in newspaper or bubble wrap and place it in a sealable plastic bag. Make sure the bag is securely shut and then place the package in another container with a lid that can be tightly secured, like a cardboard box.
When transporting the battery to the recycling center, make sure it is stored in a safe and upright position so that any potential leakage is contained. This additional layer of protection will help ensure that no hazardous materials are released while being transported or stored. Lastly, clearly label the packaging as containing a battery for recycling.
Many people don’t know what to do with expired or no longer needed prescription drugs. You definitely don’t want to flush them down the toilet, as they can end up in our water supply. However, you can safely recycle them. Check with your local pharmacy or police department to see if they have programs for safe drug disposal.
Unfortunately, there are some medical objects that absolutely cannot be recycled. This includes items such as syringes, medical tubing, and single-use gloves. These objects often contain potentially hazardous waste materials which cannot be safely recycled or reused. Additionally, the object itself may be contaminated with bodily fluids which requires special disposal methods. Therefore, it is important to always check with your local health department or medical waste disposal service to ensure that any medical objects are disposed of properly.
While plastic bags are usually not recyclable in your curbside bin, you can recycle them at participating stores. Many grocery stores have bins for plastic bag recycling, which can be repurposed for things like park benches and outdoor furniture.
When it comes to plastic bags, not all can be recycled. Plastic grocery or produce bags, dry cleaning bags, and bubble wrap are generally not recyclable. Check the packaging for a recycling symbol–if it doesn’t have one then you should avoid placing them in your curbside bin. It’s also important to make sure the bags are free of food residue, dirt, and other debris–otherwise they won’t be accepted.
If you’re not sure if a plastic bag is recyclable then reach out to your local recycling center for more information. There may even be special drop-off points where you can recycle specific types of plastics.
Copper Wiring and Piping
Copper wiring and piping can be recycled and used to create new products. Copper is a highly sought-after material in the construction industry, as it is strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion. It can be recycled into new wiring, plumbing pipes, and other building materials.
Copper recycling also generates valuable revenue for households and businesses alike. Check with your local scrap yard to see if they accept copper wiring and piping for recycling. Additionally, many cities have special collection centers dedicated solely to copper recycling. Give your old copper a second life!
Printer and Toner Cartridges
It’s estimated that over 375 million printer cartridges end up in landfills each year. Instead of tossing them out, recycle them. Many office supply stores have recycling programs for printer cartridges.
Recycling doesn’t have to be complicated. By being mindful of what we’re throwing away and seeking out recycling programs for the items we wouldn’t have thought could be recycled, we can make a difference. This spring, take some time to go through your home and see what you have that can be recycled. By doing so, you’ll not only help the environment, but you’ll also have a cleaner and more organized home.
By Dixie Somers
who is a freelance writer based in Arizona.
Member since October, 2022
View all the articles of Dixie Somers.