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Living the 5 R’s –

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle!

The following is a guide to help you make the best decisions for disposing of your stuff in an eco-friendlier way.  The end goal is to avoid the landfill, if at all possible, when you decide to part with your stuff.

So you made a decision to Reduce, now where should your stuff go? Use the guide to help you decide what to do next.

(note: all links are clickable!)

a large pile of batteries

Batteries

Check out https://www.call2recycle.org/locator/
to search for a location that accepts coin and rechargeable batteries. Home Depot and Staples generally take rechargeable batteries for recycling. Alkaline batteries generally go in the trash as they lack heavy metals to recycle but local municipalities may have drop sites to collect them.

books lined up next to one another

Books & Magazines

Check out More Than Words https://mtwyouth.org/donate-books/ , Better World Books https://services.betterworldbooks.com/individuals/ Check out local libraries near you, ask friends & families and then donate to a local charity such as Salvation Army (https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn), Goodwill (https://www.goodwill.org/) and Savers.

rolled up carpets of various colors

Carpets

Check out https://www.habitat.org/restores/donate-goods if the area rugs are in good shape. Your local waste area drop site may take carpeting and carpets but it is best to call. If it must go in the trash, most likely it will have to be cut up to dispose of. Companies like Junk Luggers will donate into is vast listing of charities where possible, textile recycle and dump only as a last resort. Junk Luggers (https://www.junkluggers.com/locations.html) is a fee-based pickup of items but will seek to get as much donated as possible.

woman holding a box of clothes labeled 'donations'

Clothing

Clothing can be listed through social media listings such as local listings below, local church donations, consignment shops, and many of the charities included in this list. If you feel that you just want to dispose of, please consider Simple recycling before throwing textiles in your trash.

Check out https://simplerecycling.com/ Curbside recycling of clothing, shoes, and household goods to prevent them from going to the landfill. It is as simple as putting it in a bag and scheduling a pickup from any mobile device. Here are the FAQ’s for the process: https://simplerecycling.com/supplies/

Two stacked cell phones attached to charging cords

Electronics

Check out https://e-stewards.org/find-a-recycler/ By searching zip code, you can get a local site such as Staples & BestBuy that takes electronics and E-waste. Please review what they take on their listings to ensure proper disposal. BestBuy also has a trade-in program for some electronics. Remember to backup your data and where possible erase your personal information. Places like Miller Recycling Corporation (https://millerrecycling.com/recycling-services/data-destruction/) offers fee-based data destruction / recycling with a certificate of security.

five pairs of eyeglasses of assorted colors

Eyeglasses

Check out https://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/donate.htm lots of information on where and how to donate old eyeglasses. Pearle Vision always has a drop slot for old eyeglasses that also get donated to those in need.

Paint

Check out https://paintcare.org search for a location that accept lates, oil-based, varnishes etc.
- Check local recycling for hazardous waste days near you.
- For latex paints they can be dried using kitty litter or left open to completely dry before putting in normal trash or can to metal recycling

Plastic Bags

Dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, bubble wrap, produce bagsCheck out https://bagandfilmrecycling.org/ put in your zip code and a listing of places that accept plastic bags / wrapping recycling. Please review what they accept and must be clean.

Prescriptions

Check out https://med-project.org search for local sites for prescriptions and take back events. Many local hospitals and pharmacies have a drop box to accept prescriptions drugs for disposal.
- Some animal shelters accept empty bottles, check your ASPCA or local animal shelter.

Shoes

Check out https://soles4souls.org/give-shoes/ national donation via drop off or Zappos. There are lots of local donation spots and you are helping the environment and social causes. In addition, you can also donate shoes to local charities that accept them.

Sporting Equipment

Check out https://www.playitagainsports.com/home/sell-us-your-gear they accept a wide variety of sporting and workout equipment. For places like Salvation Army, Goodwill and Savers you need to call and ask the location closest to you as space is limited.

Toiletries/Cosmetics

Check out https://cupboardofkindness.org/about-us, http://www.mansfieldfoodpantry.org/, https://www.new-hope.org/, https://www.togethershecan.org/about These are all non-profit organizations that take most of the basic necessities that are supplied to those in need. Please look at each website for donation needs and locations. Most accept food donations as well as personal hygiene products.

If the item that you are recycling or disposing of is not in the above list, go to Earth 911 to see if it listed or you can contact me for help.

Be sure to check out your local Channels: