Saturday, May 30, 2015

Things Worth Knowing: How to Recycle What Doesn't Go In Your Toter

In New Haven, blue = Recycling
Those of you who have Single Stream Curbside Recycling know that the easiest way to keep your unwanted stuff in check is to make good use of your Toter. After all, how many yogurt containers (for storing leftovers), old newspapers (handy for window washing) and coffee cans (for sorting small metal parts and fasteners) do you really need?

What you can deposit in your recycling bin varies from place to place. But most municipalities accept clean paper, cardboard, metal cans, glass bottles, and a wide range of plastic.  

A more challenging problem is what to do with those items you can’t recycle curbside — spent CFL and batteries, unwanted electronics, mercury thermometers, paint that no longer fits into your home’s color scheme…

The website earth 911 is an excellent source of information on ways to recycle unwanted stuff. By entering what you are trying to recycle and your zip code, you will get a list of places in your area where you can take these items for responsible recycling. The answer even includes the distance from your location.

Big box stores accept a number of items, often with a daily limit. Best Buy accepts a wide range of articles, from CDs to appliances. Home Depot accepts both spent CFLs and fluorescent tubes, at least in Connecticut.

A snippet from an IKEA collection wall

IKEA has a convenient collection wall just inside the store for recycling spent CFLs, plastic bags, rechargeable batteries, cardboard, aluminum, and glass and plastic bottles. Reading the information posted above each bin will make you feel good about what you are doing.

In Connecticut we are fortunate enough to be able to recycle paint, both oil and latex, very easily. You can read more about this program here. And, during the warm weather months, HazWaste Central accepts chemicals, solvents, pesticides, alkaline batteries, mercury thermometers and lots of other stuff that does not belong in the trash.

If you are cleaning out your medicine cabinet, be sure to do so responsibly. Here are some tips.

It’s not always easy to be green, but these links should help you in your spring cleaning. Keep at it, for surely this is not something you want to be doing during those lazy days of summer.

I hope you find this a “Thing Worth Knowing.” Check for more stories like these as time goes by. [And search this blog for more posts in this vein.]

Happy Saturday.

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