Real Simple Recycling A to Z

IPODS. Bring in an old iPod to an Apple store and get 10 percent off a new one. Your out-of-date iPod will be broken down and properly disposed of. The catch? The discount is valid only that day, so be prepared to buy your new iPod.

JAM JARS. Wherever there is container-glass recycling (meaning glass jars and bottles), jam jars are eligible. It helps if you remove any remaining jam, but no need to get obsessive. They don't have to be squeaky clean. Before putting them in the bin, remove their metal lids and recycle those with other metals.

JUICE BAGS. Because most are a combination of a plastic polymer and aluminum, these are not recyclable. But TerraCycle will donate 2 cents for each Honest Kids, Capri Sun and Kool-Aid Drink pouch, and 1 cent for any other brand you collect, and send in to the charity of your choice. The organization provides free shipping, too. What does TerraCycle do with all those pouches? Turns them into colorful purses, totes and pencil cases that are sold at Target and Walgreens stores throughout the country. To get started, go to www.terracycle.net/brigades.

KEYS AND NAIL CLIPPERS. For many recycling centers, any metal that isn't a can is considered scrap metal and can be recycled. "There's not a whole lot of scrap metal we wouldn't take," said Kite. "It's a huge market now."

LEATHER ACCESSORIES. If your leather goods are more than gently worn, take them to be fixed. If they're beyond repair, they have to be thrown in the trash -- there's no recycling option. (A product labeled "recycled leather" is often made from scraps left over from the manufacturing process, which is technically considered recycling.) Donate shoes in decent condition to www.soles4souls.org, a nonprofit that collects used footwear and distributes it to needy communities.

MAKEUP. Makeup can expire and is none too pretty for the earth when you throw it in the trash (chemicals abound in most makeup). Some manufacturers are making progress on this front. People who turn in six or more empty MAC containers, for example, will receive a free lipstick from the company in return; SpaRitual nail polishes come in reusable, recyclable glass; and Josie Maran Cosmetics sells biodegradable plastic compacts made with a corn-based resin -- just remove the mirror and put the case in your compost heap.

MATTRESSES AND BOX SPRINGS. Mattresses are made of recyclable materials, such as wire, paper and cloth, but not all cities accept them for recycling. Go to www.earth911.org to find out if yours does.

METAL FLATWARE. If it's time to retire your old forks, knives and spoons, you can usually recycle them with other scrap metal.

MILK CARTONS WITH PLASTIC SPOUTS AND CAPS. Take off and throw away the cap (don't worry about the spout -- it will be filtered out during the recycling process). As for the carton, check your local recycling rules to see whether you should toss it with plastics and metals or with paper.

MIRRORS. These aren't recyclable through most municipal recyclers, because the chemicals on the glass can't be mixed with glass bottles and jars. You can donate them to secondhand stores, of course. Or if the mirror is broken, put it in a paper bag for the safety of your trash collectors.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...