Did you know that recycling goes way beyond soda cans and newspapers? Almost any item can be recycled. Here's a list of how to recycle everything in your home, including the best places to recycle, how to find them, and what to do before you recycle an item (such as cleaning it, repairing it, etc.).
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Batteries of all types can be recycled.
- Whole Foods stores allow you to recycle batteries, paper, and light bulbs.
- Battery Solutions will accept old batteries through the mail.
- Ikea stores also take batteries for recycling.
- Best Buy takes any tech-type battery, such as camera batteries and gaming batteries.
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Here are 5 ways to recycle your used books:
- Donate them on Freecycle.
- Donate your books to Goodwill or another charity of your choice.
- Donate your books to a local shelter.
- Sell your books on Amazon.
- Sign up for Book Crossing and follow your books around the world after you donate them.
Before you recycle: Make sure the book is fairly clean; you must remove bookmarks or any tiny pieces of paper, and unfold any corners.
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Cars are typically recycled at a junkyard where they are crushed and then sold as scrap metal, the price of which is rather high these days. You will most likely pocket anywhere from $200-$500 for an old car, depending on the price of the metal.
A better option is to donate your old car.
Before you recycle: Remove the tires and clean the car, taking special care to remove anything that may have fallen into cracks and crevices. You never know how much loose change, jewelry or other small valuables you may find. Most importantly, sweep the glove box to make sure there are no receipts with any identifying information.
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Cell and smartphones are quickly becoming a huge source of trash in the U.S. Luckily, there are organizations to help you recycle your cell phones locally and without much travel or effort on your part.
- Best Buy will accept used cell phones.
- Donate your cell phone to Hope Line.
Before you recycle: Clean your phone and wipe your phone of any personal data (numbers, notes, etc.).Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Clothes recycling can be called consignment, and we find it very difficult to find one website that catalogs all consignment shops. The best way to find one is to ask around with friends or family. Otherwise, you might inquire at your favorite department store.
Places to recycle clothes:
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Computers and Electronics
Most cities and towns have special days reserved for electronics recycling, and several outlets will take old televisions and computers off your hands. They are typically called "green" recycling centers.
- Best Buy will accept all used computers and electronics
- Computers For Schools
- National Center for Electronics Recycling
Before you recycle: Wipe the hard drive (read Prepare Your Hard Drive for Disposal) to make sure there is no personal or identifying information left on the computer.
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Options for recycling furniture abound: You can DIY it and improve it, you can re-purpose it (like re-purposing an old set of kitchen cabinets to hold tools and sporting equipment in your garage), donate, sell it (Craigslist, eBay, garage sale), or you can truly recycle furniture. The best way to do this is to call your local town hall and see which days they will pick up over-sized trash. We recommend putting this out on the curb the evening prior, giving people who may want your furniture some time to pick it up before the trash collectors come your way.
Before you recycle: Make sure it's fairly clean.
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Glasses and Eyewear
Eyewear should always be donated unless it is smashed to bits. In that case, it should be treated as plastic and recycled the way you would a bottle of Snapple.
Places to donate glasses and eyewear:
Before you recycle: Clean your glasses.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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It's best to use reusable shopping bags. However, sometimes a plastic bag is the only option. In that case, recycling plastic bags means reusing them around the house, and there are so many ways to use old plastic bags! Keep them on hand as lunch boxes in a snap, small garbage can liners, to carry returns to a store, to bring cans and bottles to recycling, and more. The list goes on and on.