Before you throw it away...make sure that you are properly disposing of these potentially hazardous items -
1. Batteries – batteries contain many heavy metals including mercury, lead and nickel which will leach into our environment if not properly disposed of. Most people throw batteries out with the rest of their garbage – but this needs to stop today! It is easier than you think to recycle batteries – simply take them to a battery recycling center (many hardware and electronic stores can collect them for you). California is the first state to make it illegal to dispose of batteries – they are considered hazardous waste. More states should follow suit and all of us should take it upon ourselves to recycle batteries!
2. Light Bulbs – especially CFL and other mercury containing light bulbs must be recycled or disposed of properly. Many of the materials can be reused in a light bulb, so some manufacturers offer a mail back program where you can simply mail used bulbs back to them. Because light bulbs are so fragile, they break in the garbage and the mercury and other harmful chemical will end up in our environment.
3. Electronics – what do you do with your old tv, computer, stereo, cell phone and all of the other ‘must haves’ of the past? E-cycling is a way to make sure that these items are disposed of properly. Many of these electronic devices contain copper, gold, silver and even lead which can be removed and reused. You can look up locations to drop off electronic waste, and some states even offer a mail in program.
4. Household Hazardous Waste – this includes cleaners, paint, chemical, medicine, syringes, lancets and more – all which need to be properly disposed of. Hazardous waste should never be disposed of down the drain as it will contaminate ground water. Again, you can sometime coordinate a pickup of these materials at your home, and often you can do a mail in disposal of these products.
Great resources for recycling and proper disposal information
Link to order a residential florescent bulb and battery recycling pack
Find out what can and cannot be recycled
Find a facility near you to recycle these items properly
Happy Green disposal and recycling- Kristin