Learn how to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Some of the Most Common Home Items
By Mary Sauer, modernize.com

Electronics: If you are ready to upgrade your electronic appliances, someone else may be able to get plenty of use from them. Even if your computer or laptop is out-of-date, someone can use the word processor or basic programs. Check with local schools or look online for local organizations taking computer or TV donations. Many cell phone providers have begun to offer credit to customers who donate old phones when they upgrade to a new model.

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Clothes and Shoes: Even if your clothes and shoes are no longer useful to you, they can be reused by someone who can’t afford brand new clothes. Find a clothing drive in your area or take your clothes to a local thrift store that donates their proceeds to a reputable organization.

Single-use Batteries: While it is only illegal in California to dispose of single-use batteries, it is important to understand that batteries are considered to be hazardous to the environment. Because of this, we suggest you seek out a recycling center in your area or use the Internet to find mail-in programs for your old batteries.

Light Bulbs: Conventional light bulbs are made from hazardous materials, and they can release mercury into the environment when broken. In order to encourage homeowners to recycle light bulbs after they have burnt out, major retailers including IKEA, Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free in-store light bulb recycling programs all over the country.

Carpet: Typically, when carpet is removed from a home, it ends up taking up space in landfills. Programs like CARE have been created to make it easier to find carpet recycling centers in your area. For more information, visit CARE’s website and find a carpet reclamation partner in your area.

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Refrigerators: Federal law dictates that refrigerators are disposed of properly, recovering oils and refrigerants and recycling steel and other metals for reuse. When you buy a new refrigerator, haul-off is included with delivery of your new appliance. If not, you can find a responsible appliance haul-off provider on the ENERGY STAR website.

Toiletries: Recycling of toiletries is easily forgotten when homeowners simply drop empty containers in their bathroom trash can. Shaving cream bottles, toothpaste boxes and toilet paper rolls can all be recycled.