It is amazing how much trash is produced by households each week. Even with basic paper, glass, and plastic recycling programs, a huge amount of waste is still produced and thrown in the regular trash.
Here is a list of everyday items that can actually be recycled if you are willing to spend a tiny bit more effort on saving the planet.
Printers and Printer Cartridges
Printers classified as e-waste and can be dropped off at e-waste depots. You can easily Google where your local location is. If you take them to the local dump yourself, there will also be a spot for putting e-waste.
The printer cartridges themselves can also be recycled through their manufacturers. You can save up a bag or box full of these until you have enough to warrant sending back. Some companies will send you a free return satchel, so it won’t even cost you anything to recycle them.
DVDs, CDs and Video Game Discs
Optical media discs such as DVDs, CDs, and Bluray are not biodegradable. Whilst you can sell or donate these items when you are finished with them, it’s easy to want to throw them out if they are damaged or if they are no longer useful. For example, your old stash of pirated movies or old data backups.
The problem here is that the plastics and metals in this medium are actually toxic and will contaminate the ground. You can collect a spindle or bag of old discs until you have enough to warrant a visit to your local location that accepts this type of e-waste.
If you have a coffee machine in your home that uses “pods”, that’s a lot of metal or plastic that’s going to waste. Luckily, brands like Nestlé have adopted coffee pod recycling programs. You can now save old coffee pods and deliver them back to a Nescafé store or your local participating flower shop to deposit them.
Store your used coffee pods in a sealed container and add some absorbent paper towel to the base. This will help soak up excess coffee juices to reduce the stale coffee smell you might otherwise experience.
Do you find that most of your trash is comprised of plastic? Think, any kind of shopping bag or food wrapping that can be scrunched up and crumpled. This includes the bags from potato chips, confectionery, bagged vegetables, pet food, and bubble wrap!
These can be collected inside one bigger bag or in a separate trash can. When this is full, you can take it to your local supermarket or other participating stores that accepts soft plastics for recycling. This is quite easy to do since you have to walk by these recycling boxes on your way into these stores.
All the tinfoil you’ve been using to keep the government out of your head can actually be recycled. If it’s clean and free of grease, you can scrunch it up into a ball and add it to your regular home recycling. This is a good way to keep metals out of the landfill.
Many types of batteries can be recycled. You can easily keep a little container or jar for old batteries for recycling. These can be recycled at any e-waste recycling center. It’s worth saving up a big enough container to warrant the trip. We all hate a leaky battery, let’s keep them out of the landfill.
There are charities that accept donations of eyeglasses for people in 3rd world countries or locals who are also disadvantaged. You can ask your optometrist for the best place for you to donate to. You may even be able to donate your old glasses at their store.
Where to start?
There are quite a few totally different types of objects to recycle here. Many of these could be stored in a shared container until it fills up with enough to warrant recycling, no need to store them all separately. Soft plastics can be stored by themselves, you will be surprised at how quickly these accumulate. Old coffee pods should not be mixed with other items. Start saving items to be recycled today!