I decided it was time to make the time to take a closer look at the piles. Upon closer inspection, I realized that they were all, in part, made up of items that needed to be gotten rid of but were in a sort of limbo. By limbo I mean that they were items that I wanted to get rid of but that I didn’t want to just put in the trash. They were waiting for me to do some research into whether or not they could be recycled somehow. Looking around, right now in fact, I see a used gift card, part of a plastic CD case, an LED bulb and a warped (from being put in the bottom rack in the dishwasher – argh!!) plastic travel coffee mug. My gut tells me that there is some way to recycle all of these but my gut also tells me that it’s probably not through my curbside pick up. So, how do I recycle all this stuff? How can I get rid of it all in an environmentally friendly way?
One source for finding out how to recycling things that can’t go into your curbside collection is your local division of solid waste. Ours has a searchable database where you can enter the name of your item and it will let you know how to dispose of it. I also found a contact name and email address for an employee there who is more than willing to answer more specific questions. For example, around Halloween I asked her if the foil from chocolate candy could be recycled with our co-mingled plastic, glass and aluminum. Guess what – it can!
Another excellent source is the Earth911 recycle search. It allows you to enter in the item you’d like to recycle and it provides you with locations near you where they can be dropped off. It also provides you with info on where you can ship items to be recycled. I just spent a few minutes entering the random things lying around that I could see and got a result for every single one!!