Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can I recycle this?

Recycling can be a tricky job. Do you have to remove tops or not? Can the tops be recycled? What about recycling batteries, metal hangers and wine corks?  Luckily there is a wealth of information out there.

Most cities or garbage companies only take plastics #1 and #2. So, what do you do with the rest?  If it is a #5, you can bring it to Whole Foods.  Whole Foods will take the plastics, give it to recycling and they will make cool bags and other gear out of it.  They also recycle wine corks, so don't throw those corks away after you drink some vino! (Or of course you could compost the corks if you are feeling really ambitious.)

Check with your recycling program, because you may have to remove the tops from containers and set them aside. You can recycle them, maybe not with your garbage company but with Aveda. They collect plastic bottle caps to make new plastic bottles. Check on their website for the rules.

By far, the most helpful website is Earth911. Right there on their home page, you can type in the item in question and your area and it will tell you where to go. This is terribly helpful when you want to recycle something like batteries and don't know where to go.  (Hint-most Batteries Plus stores take them.)

Wire hangers continually pile up in our closet and they are so annoying.  My first instinct is to recycle them, but reusing them is much more environmentally friendly. Our dry-cleaner gladly takes any hanger, regardless of the color, and I am glad to give them away. If you can't give 'em away, check out earth911 for recycling centers.

If in doubt, check with your garbage company or your city recycling center.  Many recycling centers will take many things that they do not pick up in the curbside bins. The garbage company may even have special days that they recycle big items, so check their website or call.

Before you toss it, check with your resources or ask around, there is probably a place that will take it (either for recycling or reusing.).

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