Brian Wallace


Garbage Can Be Beautiful

As of 2011, 58% of Americans recycled on a regular basis — double of what it was just 20 years ago. That’s more than half of Americans taking a conscious responsibility to conserve our planet by keeping things out of landfills.

These days, recycling can become almost second nature to us. And with a recycling bin next to almost every garbage bin, tossing plastic bottles away has never been easier. We could count recycling as one of the most accessible ways to be environmentally friendly but there’s still more for us to learn. What about items that are “un”recyclable?

We’re talking things that don’t get thrown away every day; or items we think are not recyclable but actually are, and vice versa.

For these we’re going to have to think outside of the bin. Though many types of glass are recycleable, incandescent light bulbs are not among them. Avoid tossing these in your recucling bin as the higher melting point of the glass can ruin a batch of recyclable glass. LED bulbs can be recycled however and are often collected at home improvement stores in addition to local recycling centers.

Some products are so bad for the environment, that we’re not even supposed to throw them away. Items like old batteries and aerosol cans have always been shrouded in mystery but the solution is simple: local recycling centers. Some electronic stores have collection boxes for old phone or laptop batteries to be recycled, but for those d-cells leaking in your drawer it is best to take them right to the source.

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