Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Shorts: 11.15.14 America Recycles Day

Today, Saturday, November 15, is the 17th annual America Recycles Day.

For most of us weekly curbside pickup makes it easy to recycle paper, bottles and cans, and plastics. But there is so much more we can do, including:
  • eCycling. Take your old computers or other electronics to a local recycling center. This helps keep lead, cadmium, and other substances out of the landfill. Find eCycling centers near you. Some states, including Connecticut, have laws mandating eCyling. Best Buy is one location where homeowners can drop off a few unwanted items on each visit to the store. Select your state on the Best Buy site and you will see what items Best Buys in your area will accept. For more information specific to the greater New Haven area, check out this past post for more ideas. 
  • Cleaning out the basement. In New Haven, HazWaste Central is closed until spring, but that does not mean recycling has to come to an end. If you find chemicals, solvents, pesticides, alkaline batteries, or items containing mercury, set them aside, boxed, labelled, and ready for the first collection day in April.
There are quite a few items you can recycle in any season. You just have to know where to take them.
  • In CT, you can now recycle unwanted paint in a number of paint stores. There are a few rules to follow. Drop-off is free and is funded by a surcharge on every new paint purchase. Check here to see if you can recycle paint in your state. 
  • IKEA will accept CFL bulbs, rechargeable batteries, and plastic bags, as well as paper, plastic bottles, and cardboard.
  • If you live in an area where plastic shopping bags are still allowed, look for collection containers for used bags at the grocery store entrance.
  • Fluorescent light tubes can be returned to Home Depot stores.
  • Recycle your eyeglasses. Lions Club International accepts prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and plastic and metal frames. Children's glasses are especially needed. Most of the recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in developing countries where they will have the greatest impact.  
And, of course, there is always something I know I need to do:
  • Thin out the closets. Never throw an article of clothing, no matter what the condition, into the trash. Goodwill will take it all, sort through it, and make sure your donation is put to its best use. Goodwill accepts many other household goods as well. Donating Dos and Don’ts are posted here. Donating your unwanted items to Goodwill helps provide employment opportunities in your community. Donations can also help you at tax time. Here is a valuation guide covering a wide range of donations. 
CT residents have a great resource in the “What do I do with…?” section of the CTDEEP site, covering items from “A” (Air Conditioners) to “Y” (Yoga Mats). 

I could go on and on, but this should get you going...

Happy recycling. 

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall  being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. My Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or you as long to read (or try).

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