There are some items that you should never put in the trash. Some of these may seem obvious, but others on this list many people may not be aware that they are not suited for the regular trash. Take a look at these 11 different items that you should never put in the trash.
Cardboard is recyclable, including the cardboard boxes received from ordering items online, or the moving boxes. Instead of purchasing cardboard boxes from the hardware store, try asking the local grocery stores when their shipments arrive, inquire whether they have old boxes than can be used.
Of the estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic ever manufactured, most, if not all, still exists in some form today, because it is nearly impossible to break down – which means it should never be thrown away. Plastic isn’t biodegradable, which means they take hundreds of years to decompose, and they are considered the number one source of marine debris.
Approximately 26% of all the waste in the US can be attributed to paper and paperboard; this includes items like newspapers, paper files from around the office, all of these should be recycled, not trashed. Many people just take the paper and stuff it into a regular garbage bag, instead take the time to put it in the recycle bin, the paper should never be trashed.
4. Leftover Food
Wasted food is the single largest component in landfills, roughly 50% of all produce in the US is tossed annually. Try to only buy and prepare as much food as you require, then donate what you don’t need to a food bank. By trashing food not only are your wasting money, but you’re wasting resources as well. It’s not always convenient to head over to a food bank with leftovers, but if it’s massive, for example, a Thanksgiving dinner, then it can be worth your while.
The Aluminum Association says that Americans throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum cans every year, even though recycling one aluminum can massive amounts of energy. There are still some people that throw aluminum cans into the regular trash. It’s not always “fun” separating items, but by establishing a recycle bin and a regular bin, it’ll make it easy to throw your aluminum cans into the recycle bin for pickup. In some States this has been mandated, but in others, you have to take it upon yourself to make this separation on your own.
6. VHS Tapes
These are very tricky to dispose of and considered obsolete. The outer casing of the tapes are made from plastic and can be recycled. The inner component of the tape is expensive to recycle and should be re-purposed or disposed of. It’s not good for the environment to have these VHS tapes thrown into the regular trash, so be aware of this if you ever decide to throw out those old VHS tapes.
The Bra Recyclers will take your old used bras and re-purpose them and donate them to ladies that have escaped from domestic violence, drug addiction, human trafficking and/or surviving from breast cancer. This is a very good cause, so the next time you’re thinking of throwing your old bra in the trash remember the Bra Recyclers and donate your bras, it’s going to a worthy cause.
Recycling of batteries is still recommended although they aren’t being made of lead, mercury, nickel, or cadmium. If you find yourself in possession of a car battery, regular batteries, or rechargeable batteries, take them to a collection site or donate them. Do not put them in the regular trash, there are some States that will apply a heavy fine if you put batteries in the trash. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Glass is 100% recyclable, it can be recycled continually, with no loss of purity or quality – it should never be thrown in the trash. With that said, there are some States that are now stating that glass should not be put in the recycle bin or the trash bin, so in cases such as this, what should you do? You’ll need to call it a junk removal service or schedule a separate pickup with your garbage company to get it done. You can receive a fine if your garbage service has stated they do not pick up glass in their regular collection.
10. Fluorescent Bulbs
You should never dispose of your fluorescent bulbs in the trash. A recent report from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) stated that the mercury found in these bulk can do major damage to the environment, so be sure to keep this in mind when your bulb blows.
What you should do instead is find a service that safely disposes of the bulbs. There is a website called Earth911 that provides a way for you to recycle your old bulbs. These recycle bulbs can be then repurposed for other uses without any effect on the environment.
11. Mercury Thermometers
As noted with bulbs, most thermometers have mercury, therefore they should never be placed in the trash. A warning from the EPA states that you should schedule a collection with your garbage company if they do not have a day for “hazardous waste”. Otherwise, simply put it out for collection if they have a set schedule for collecting items that pose a danger to the environment.