How do you do it? I know that our family goes through a lot of alkaline batteries every year. I have started trying to collect them before they go in the trash, but old battery habits die hard (OK, bad pun)! I know some still get tossed when they go dead. In addition, with the increased popularity of compact fluorescent bulbs, another small item that really should be recycled is destined for our landfills. I do save old paint, theoretically for our once yearly collection day. The reality is that this day often falls when I have another commitment, or when I am just too busy to drive the 10 miles to the collection place, wait in line, and drop off the paint. Consequently I have several years worth of old paint waiting to be recycled.
I know many of the workshops, garages, and barns in our area, probably like in most of the developed world, have fluorescent light tubes in them. I wonder what happens to these when they go bad? I bet many are just broken and put out with the trash. Talk about a bad problem, both for the people doing it and being exposed to the mercury and for the environment by having this mercury end up in the landfills.
So what can be done? I really don’t know. I would like to see our garbage company add a once a month pickup for all these odd, recyclable items. However, that may be impractical because of the varied shapes, sizes, and requirements of these items. How is the garbage company going to handle car batteries, paint, household and garden chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, and other items I am probably not thinking about, all in the same truck? Maybe more local collection centers can be opened? Or can the existing once a year special collection days be made monthly or even weekly?
Tell us what happens in your area. What do you do with all the odd recyclable items?