As we continue our obsessively thorough guide to recycling almost anything, lets celebrate the differences recycling is making in the USA. Consider these statistics: In 2009 nearly 34% of the 243 million tons of waste generated by Americans was recycled, which prevented around 178 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. That’s like eliminating the yearly emissions of 33 million cars! Here is Part 2 of our alphabetical listing of how to recycle nearly everything:
Cars, or other unwanted vehicles:
This is a subject near and dear to us here at the Cars Helping People Blog. Running or not running, the best way to recycle any car, truck or boat you don’t need is to donate it to charity (like Volunteers of America for instance). Donating a car creates a win-win-win scenario – the donated car gets reborn as affordable transportation for low-income people, or the materials in the car are separated for scrap and recycled that way. Then a worthy charity receives money for programs that help people…and you get a tax deduction! CarsHelpingPeople.org is an easy way to get information about free pickup and towing, tax write offs, and charity programs in your community that will benefit. We also feature important information on how to avoid charity car donation scams.
There’s room for improvement here. Only 20% of cell phones get recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The problem seems to be that even though 84% of people know cell phones can be recycled, they don’t know how. Just like charity car donation programs, there are charity phone donation programs that provide an important solution. Go to gowirelessgogreen.org for more information about recycling your cell phone and help keep toxins out of land fills.
CFLs (compact Fluorescent light bulbs):
The same Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs undoubtedly save energy, but unfortunately they also contain a good dose of toxic mercury and should never be thrown in the garbage to end up in a landfill. Check with your trash disposal service or municipal government to see if they provide recycling services for CFLs – there are many that do. You local Home Depot store also provides CFL recycling.
Many electronic makers will accept old computers recycling. So will many of the stores that sell them. See greenergadgets.org and enter your zip code for a list of electronics recycling programs near you. Also, watch for computer recycling days from your local municipality.
Yes, that’s right, you can recycle crayons. The National Crayon Recycle Program melts them down and uses them to make new ones. Don’t take the wrappers off, It helps them tell the colors apart. Go to crazycrayons.com for more information.
Got a worn out pair of the comfy clogs? Don’t toss them in the garbage – if they can still be worn you can recycle them. Over 6 million feet in over 40 countries have received free shoes through Crocs Cares program. Go to crocscares.com for more info.
Cans (cleaning powders):
When you have an empty can of scouring powder like Comet or Bon Ami, just snip the metal ends off and put them in the metal recycling bin. Then put the cardboard tube in the bin for recycling cardboard.
It’s quite likely that your garbage service or municipality recycles metal food cans. If they don’t, go to recycle-steel.org (yes, they aren’t tin cans, they’re steel – the most recycled material on the planet) and click on recycling resources to find a local steel recycling center.
DVDs, CDs and jewel cases:
Tired of some of your DVD’s or CDs? Try out Zunafish.com – a site where people barter, trade and swap goods and services – even CDs and DVDs. Don’t think anyone would want to swap for your DVD of Santa Claus vs The Martians? Find out how to recycle it at Greendisk.com.
Keep your eye out for the continuation of this exhaustive How To Recycle list, and in the meantime, if you have an old car, recycle it by donating to Volunteers of America. Whether you’re looking to donate a car in Washington DC, are thinking I want to donate a car in Michigan, want to donate a car in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware, or are looking to donate a car in Virginia, Maryland or Nevada, just click here to donate a car, or call us toll free at 877-721-4862. You’ll give new life to the car, and to all the people you’re helping!