Recycling can be confusing, but we’re here to help! There’s a lot of stuff to deal with in your daily life, and there’s little time for figuring out what item goes in which bin. Many people want to recycle but don’t know where to take their items. If you’re concerned about waste and want to make difference, realize that it’s possible to go beyond the bin and find extraordinary ways to recycle. Here we’ll cover some innovative recycling programs available nationwide. All you need is a little knowledge and a wee bit of planning, and it will go a long way.
Most recycling programs that operate on a nationwide scale involve two ways to recycle.
- Drop it off. You can often find a location near you that accepts your item for recycling, usually a convenient retail store that is participating as a partner in the program.
- Mail it in. In many cases, the company supporting the program will offer free shipping, a credit towards the purchase of one of their products, or both.
It’s important to utilize these great programs because they not only keep usable materials out of landfills, but they support a larger culture of reuse, sustainability, and recycling.
If you are thinking about throwing something away, stop and ask yourself: Can someone else use it?”
National Recycling Programs are especially great for schools and businesses, where you’re able to collect a lot of materials to send in.
Where To Recycle
Electronics are one of the largest categories of items that people need to recycle. For digital cameras, look into Kodak’s recycling program. Cell phones contain valuable metals and plenty of places all around the country not only recycle them responsibly, but also give you money for them. Click here for cell phone recycling FAQ.
For other questions and tips, explore around our section on Electronics. Long story short, you’re able to take your TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, audio and video cables, and other home electronics and appliances to Best Buy no matter where you bought them.
Batteries provide other recycling opportunities, especially if they are rechargeable. If your batteries are rechargeable, whether AA, AAA or for your laptop or camera, they should be recycled with Call2Recycle. So far, Americans have recycled nearly 7 million pounds of batteries through this initiative! Read more about why this is important in our 3-part series. To make it easy, bring rechargeable batteries to places like Batteries Plus and RadioShack. Find a rechargeable battery and cellphone collection location near you.
Headphones are notorious for shorting out just when you need them. Luckily, thinksound has a program where you can mail in broken headphones. Learn more in our exclusive interview with CEO Aaron Fournier.
Household Items – Nonprofits such as the Lions Club collect and recycle eyeglasses, and wheelchair recycling programs help those in need. There are other organizations hard at work to collect, refurbish and distribute hearing aids. The main idea with these recycling programs is for you to DONATE items instead of throwing them away.
What You Can Do
These recycling programs are successful because of you! Use them and tell your friends and colleagues about them so that they will continue to put good stuff to good use. Remember you can always type an item into our search bar to see if we’ve covered a way to recycle, wherever you live.
Photo: Steve Snodgrass