Popular Household Items That Should be Recycled
To recycle or not to recycle, that is the question—about 5 times a day! We all know the basic rules of recycling, but there are always a few items that stump us. In fact, there are plenty of household items people trash that should really be recycled. Here are some popular misunderstood items:
Did you know that the canister of your inhaler can actually explode when compacted or heated too much (like in the back of a garbage truck). And some inhalers may contain leftover medication (up to 29% according to major pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline). If these inhalers go into a landfill, the medication could leak and contaminate local water supplies and release greenhouse gasses. Drop off used inhalers at your local pharmacy. They will safely recycle the plastics and aluminum.
Clothing & Textiles
According to the Recycling Council of Canada, the rise in clothing consumption and production has led to a dramatic increase in textile waste around the world. In Canada, the average person throws out a whopping 81 pounds of textiles annually—most of which could be donated or recycled. Textiles include clothing, footwear, curtains, carpets, stuffed animals and towels. Donate used clothing to non-profit organizations or thrift shops, even if they’re damaged. Clothing that can’t be resold is still kept out of the landfill by being recycled into rags or products like insulation.
Many single-use coffee pods can be recycled in your blue box. Make sure to remove the top and coffee grounds. If you own a Nespresso coffee maker, manufacturers have a recycling program in place. Simply order pre-paid envelopes online (free of charge), and mail back coffee pods for in-house recycling. To recycle at home:
- Remove the plastic foil or top of the pod to reveal coffee grounds.
- Empty coffee grounds in your compost bin and give the pod a good rinse.
- Place the empty coffee pod container into your recycling bin.
Do you have a drawer full of old chargers and power cords? It can happen quickly with regular upgrades on cell phones, cameras and video game consoles. If you’re spring cleaning, don’t just throw these cords in the garbage. Many stores like Staples, Best Buy and Apple will recycle these items for you. Alternatively, Call2Recycle® can help you find recycling centers in your area that accept computer components and power cords.
Mattresses can be difficult to recycle, but thankfully many retailers across the country are trying to reduce the number of mattresses that end up in landfills. It can take up to 120 years for a mattress to decompose! So if you can, recycle your mattress. Retailers like Sleep Country and Ikea offer a recycling service where they pick up your old mattress in exchange for your new one. Need to recycle a mattress that’s not being replaced, visit Canadian Mattress Recycling for more options.
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