If you’re like the majority of Americans, you recycle common items like newspaper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass. But what about other items? Do you know what’s safe to throw away and what should be recycled? Many of us do not, or we’re not sure how to recycle these items.
Old electronics, household chemicals (including paint), and compact fluorescent florescent lamps (CFLs, a.k.a. “energy-efficient light bulbs”), are three types of items which must be recycled because they are unsafe to throw away in the trash.
Household chemicals contain hazardous substances that can pollute the groundwater, harm wildlife and get into the water supply. Electronics and CFLs also contain toxic chemicals, such as mercury, which may pollute the environment and cause health hazards if they are not recycled. However, only 39 percent all Americans recycle their old electronics, according to a 2010 survey.
So what should you do with that broken boom-box or TV? Most communities have places where you can dispose of these items safely. Do a Google search for “dispose electronics” followed by the name of your city or region. You should then get a list of places in your community that recycle these items. (look for the term “e-recycling”). The same goes for household chemicals and CFLs – you should be able to find a nearby facility where you can safely dispose of them with a simple Google search.
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Home is Where the Health Is is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling