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Home - Garden
Twice Before Tossing These 15 Common Items In
The Trash
Old Electronics
Cell phones, TVs, and tablets are made with copper, plastic, and metals that can all be recycled even when there is damage. Some TVs are even illegal to throw out.
Lawn Chemicals
Pesticides keep unwanted insects away, but might have toxic chemicals. These can pose significant environmental safety hazards when not disposed of properly.
Don’t put excess pesticides in the trash — contact your community's household hazardous waste collection program. Triple-rinse empty containers before recycling them if permitted.
Disposing of prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the garbage without the proper precautions is wrong, as someone else might find the medications and ingest them.
The safest way to dispose of these is through drug take-back programs, which your local pharmacy might have set up. Also, cover up the RX number on the bottle.
Unused Paint/Solvents
Municipalities have different laws for paint and solvent disposal, and when filled paint cans get smashed down in the back of trash trucks,
the liquid can leach out.
To prevent this from happening, allow it to dry out before disposal. If the paint is still usable, think about donating it to a community theatre or local school.
For paint solvents, allow the solids to settle on the bottom of the container, remove them, and recycle the liquid in a tightly closed, properly labeled container.
Certain Batteries
Common, single-use batteries like AA, D, and 9-volt can typically be thrown away when no longer usable, but it's more sustainable to take them to battery recyclers.
For lithium batteries, cover the terminals with electrical tape or place them in separate plastic bags. Small button batteries can also be sealed in the latter.