Recycling Everything You Can

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One of the big benefits of recycling is that it reduces the volume of trash going to the landfill. This in turn reduces the volume of gasses emitted from the decaying trash in a landfill. It has been calculated that a 4 person household that recycles all newspapers, magazines, aluminum, steel, plastic and glass, can reduce its volume of waste by over 40%.

Recycling has become easier with curbside pickup in most communities. There are limitations, however. In our area, of all the plastic people use, they can only recycle plastic containers, and then only those with an opening smaller than the main part of the container. So we can recycle most plastic bottles, but no yogurt or cottage cheese containers, and no other types of plastic.

There are also limitations to recycling caused by the cost of processing the products to be recycled. Right now there is no easy way to recycle compact florescent bulbs or batteries. If you have a rechargeable battery, that has is dead, most places where you can buy a replacement will take the old battery for recycling. If you want to recycle your alkaline batteries as recommended, you need to collect them and take them somewhere that you can deposit them.

Right now it costs more to recycle alkaline batteries than can be recovered by selling or reusing the material in the batteries. As I wrote in an earlier post, the Big Green Box program is a step in the right direction, but it is still very limited in its availability. Additionally, because recycling alkaline batteries does not pay for itself, the Big Green Box costs $58.00. The box has a 40-pound capacity, and measures 13″W X 13″L X 8.5″H. Because of the cost, the box is usually found only in a few businesses. To find out if a business near you participates in the program, visit the Big Green Box website.

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Will Sig
1 Sanctity of Life

*VERY* informative blog. I love it, and I’ll be reading on a regular basis from now on. Particularly the way you tackle the minutiae in this recycling post. I’m also going to be visiting the big green box now..thanks for the great info!

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2 JJ Loch

GREAT post!!! Our area is backward when it comes to recycling and petitions are going around.

JJ 😀

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3 Bob

Thanks for the link Will, I have always been a big fan of recycling, I will be calling out the Canadian number they have on the website.

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4 Betty

Is The Big Green Box service area only at USA?…If not, I think this kind of service must available in other countries.

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5 Will

Hi Betty – As Bob mentioned, I think it is at least also in Canada and I know they are expanding. You can call the toll free number and ask about your country. I think I have asked before, but where are you located?

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6 paul merrill

I heard that Ikea will recycle CF bulbs.

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7 Will

I think you are correct, Paul. Still recycling them has to be easier than carefully repackaging them to make a special trip to Ikea. Especially since they last so long, even when they start to burn out you might have to replace 2 or 3 a year. Unfortunately I think most will end up in the household trash.

But we can try. I have started a small container to put our expended alkaline batteries in. My intent is to make a couple of trips a year to Walgreen’s hoping to find the Big Green Box. Still most households will take the easier route and toss them in the trash.

Ideally recycling these odd items would be easier. I think the best result will be had by making products that do either do not contain hazardous material that needs to be recycled, or by making the products that should be recycled financially valuable to increase motivation to recycle.

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8 Greentac

Everyone should have the awareness about recycling. Besides, we still have to educate those younger generation.

Greentacs last blog post..Save Their Planet, Recycle All You Can

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9 April Oliver

I work for a battery recycling company – http://www.rawmaterials.com. We have added fluorescent tube and light bulb recycling as well. A lot people don’t know that fluorescent tubes contain mercury, which should not be getting thrown in the landfills, and with the new compact fluorescent bulbs, more and more people are using these. Please ensure you know how to properly dispose of these items before tossing them in with your garbage. They are recyclable!

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