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Donate, recycle or waste? How to get rid of difficult objects – LifeSavvy



  A crowded garage of items to be recycled and disposed of.
trekandshoot / Shutterstock

In recent years, Marie Kondo has brought the world the simple pleasure of getting rid of things. However, it is one thing to decide whether or not your stuff triggers joy ̵

1; it's another to decide what to do with it when it's in the "get rid of" stack.

If you imagine that someone else enjoys giving things, that's good for your old stuff. However, you do not want to be the person filling second-hand shops with useless garbage that ends up in the landfill. How can you decide what to donate, what to recycle and what to throw away?

We believe that organizing should be fun and easy and not stressful. With these guidelines, you can quickly sort your most difficult items and dispose of them without debt – read on to learn how to clean up faster!

Decide What to Donate

Some things are clear candidates for a donation (or even resale). These include easily used, uniquely useful items that can be easily transported to your local second-hand store.

But other things raise more questions. To navigate through some tricky objects:

  • Devices: If your devices are still functional, you can donate them to a local second-hand store. However, you should first check by phone or online to make sure that this type of device is being used.
  • Bicycles: Used bicycles are great for thrift stores, but your city may also have a bike library or a youth bike program looking for used bicycles – try Googling "Bicycle Recycling [your city]". Some of these places even restore broken bikes.
  • Construction Material: See if there is a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you: these second-hand hardware stores also carry implements, furniture, and more.
  • Electronics: A local charity in your area could use your old cell phone or laptop as a donation. Otherwise you will have to recycle it.
  • Clothes Hanger: You can not use old hangers for recycling because they get caught in the recycling equipment. Instead, donate them to a local second-hand store or consignment store.
  • Mattresses: If your mattress is in good condition, contact your local second-hand store to find out if they will take care of it. If not, read our tips on recycling a mattress below.

Mostly, it's pretty easy to decide what to donate: it's just about finding a place near you where you can take large or unusual items with you. However, if you can not donate, try recycle it next.

Responsible recycling

You may be surprised by all the things you can recycle Do not donate new life:

  • Devices: If you have a device that stops working or your local If the second-hand store does not take you, the retailer where you bought the replacement will often use the old one for recycling. Contact her to be sure. It is also worthwhile turning to your utility company. Many utilities will "buy" old equipment to remove inefficient models from the market. For example, our local utility is offering $ 50 for your old refrigerator.
  • Batteries: Some types of batteries are hazardous when in the household waste. Look for hazardous household waste facilities in your city where they will be recycled instead.
  • Blankets, Towels and Pillows: If they are not in good shape for the convenience store, ask your local animal shelters: they may need soft items to sleep on.
  • Books: If your books are too damaged to donate, contact Franklin Media. They recycle and recycle many beaten books and may even pay you for their donation.
  • Broken Pottery: Crockery, mugs, and other ceramic items that are broken and can not be donated may end up in trash – usually they can not be recycled. However, you can use them to create art projects such as mosaics. Ceramics are sometimes used in recycling centers where old building materials such as concrete are used.
  • Clothing: Clothing that is too worn for a donation may not be thrown in the trash. If it has holes, stains or other serious damage, you can turn it into rag for cleaning the house. However, if you just do not want to see these old clothes, send them to a recycling service like TerraCycle. Goodwill also sends unsold clothing to textile recyclers, so your damaged items will not have a dreadful home. Just be careful not to donate wet or moldy garments that go directly to the landfill.
  • Electronics: Non-donating electronics can be recycled by major retailers such as Staples and Best Buy. Contact your local store to find out what they need. Some also charge a small fee for recycling, but many people would rather pay than contribute to a landfill. Do not forget to delete all personal information before donating.
  • Furniture: Furniture often contains many recyclable materials. You can offer it for free on a site like Craigslist for those who love to restore old items. Or ask your local recycling centers for furniture.
  • Bulbs: Surprisingly, old light bulbs are not household waste: some contain small amounts of toxic substances. Hardware stores and hardware stores often offer the recycling of light bulbs (try Lowe's, Home Depot or Ace Hardware). Your city may also offer recycling opportunities.
  • Mattresses: As you can imagine, rubbish mattresses take up a lot of space in landfills. As with equipment, you can see if the dealer you bought the replacement will remove and recycle your old mattress. Otherwise, you should offer it to an animal shelter along with your old bedding, or ask your local recycling centers to bring mattresses.
  • Sensitive Documents: Of course, you do not want someone to read your old bank statements or tax documents. You need to shred these documents when you no longer need them. Unfortunately, shredded paper is not always accepted by local recycling programs. Before throwing it away, you can turn it into compost or mulch for your garden. Or, for an entertaining craft project, try burning a piece of paper in your fireplace or over a campfire.

Visit Earth911.com to answer your toughest recycling questions. This page is a fantastic resource that tells you where and how you can recycle all sorts of challenging items.

The right tactic for the garbage

Although you may do your best to reduce the garbage, it sometimes seems impossible to throw things in the garbage. What you should know about the disposal of things that are really rubbish:

  • Broken Glass: As soon as pieces of broken glass appear, its value as recyclable material is almost gone. Make sure you keep it in a plastic bag before throwing it in the trash to avoid hurting workers.
  • Mattresses: Old mattresses are notoriously hard to dispose of, and sometimes you may even not be able to find someone to take yours as a donation. If necessary, ask your local sanitation department what you need to do to dump on the roadside (same for other large furniture that you can not recycle).
  • Medications: You can not give away old medications, but you should not necessarily throw them directly in the trash. If it is a potentially harmful or addictive substance, take it to the pharmacy or hospital for safe disposal. Otherwise, secure old pills in a plastic bag before throwing them in the trash so they do not run out. Keep in mind that any drug that you throw directly into the garbage or into the drain can in future get into the water or food supply.
  • Color: If you can not donate any old paint to a second-hand store If you have a ReStore near you, you probably need to contact your local Hazardous Waste Center.
  • Wet Paper: Wet paper can not be recycled. You must use it in your garden or throw it in the trash.

Although you can do your best to reduce waste, it is almost impossible to avoid garbage (without taking extreme measures). However, if you donate carefully and recycle things, you minimize your contribution to the landfill. And if you keep up to date with getting rid of excess stuff, you're less likely to buy new things you do not need.

Do you have any further questions about what you can do with your regular recycling? Do not miss this guide!


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