We owe it to the future generations to leave this Earth as beautiful as we found it. With that sentiment in mind, we thought it would be helpful to make a list of common items that don’t belong anywhere near your trash can when it’s time for them to get the boot.
Over the last 20 years, our dependence on electronic devices has increased year after year. Think of how many old mobile phones you have tucked away. Maybe you have an old DVD player boxed up in the basement. Spring cleaning time comes around, and you may think to toss those old devices in the trash but think again. Electronics can contain lead, cadmium, and other metals, which can release toxic materials into the environment. The next time you want to discard Grandpa’s old VHS player, look for an electronic recycling location near your community. The parts can be recycled for new products. Which is good for everyone.
- Household Batteries
Batteries are a miracle unto themselves. They are used in devices all over our household. Unfortunately, they are also full of toxic metals and chemicals, and under the right conditions, are also explosive. Alkaline batteries have been classified as safe for common waste, but (UPS) uninterruptible power supply batteries, should always be taken to a household hazardous waste facility. While you’re at it, you might want to just take those alkaline batteries with you. Better safe then sorry.
You just painted the whole house. The hard part is over and you’re ready to kick your feet up and relax. Why not? You deserve it. Just a reminder, before you dump that excess paint down the drain, try leaving the can open until it dries. Your best bet would be taking it to a scrap metal recycling center or directly to a household hazardous waste facility. You may even be wearing some of the paint, so congrats, you’re already making the job easier on yourself.
It’s no secret that everyone should be careful about how they store and discard their pharmaceuticals. In the past, people would simply toss the extra pills down the toilet. However, after investigations indicated the presence of drugs in the drinking water, many metropolitan areas created pharmaceutical take-back sites or special events. Some areas may not have a specific site or event, and in this case, it might be best to check with your local police department or pharmacist for recommended disposal options.
- Lawn and Garden Chemicals
If you look in most garages or sheds in this country, you’re bound to find lawn and garden chemicals. Many people take great pride in their lawn’s care and appearance. The chemicals we use on our lawns serve a purpose. But if these chemicals are spread accidentally via the water supply, these products can cause serious damage to the ecosystem. One suggestion if you have a surplus of chemicals is to share them with neighbors. You get to earn brownie points and help the environment at the same time. You can also bring the chemicals to a hazardous waste facility for safe disposal.