3. Take Your Hard-To-Recycle Items to Designated Drop Off Locations
There are several types of household items that many recycling centers do not take, but this does not mean they should be thrown in the garbage. For example, as the use of energy efficient light bulbs increases, the disposal of the old bulbs is becoming a bigger issue. CFL bulbs contain mercury, and when the old bulb is tossed in a garbage truck or landfill it may break, thereby releasing the mercury within and contaminating the environment. The EPA offers information about mercury-containing light bulb lamp recycling, and some states even mandate it.
Americans buy over 3 billion dry-cell batteries annually according to the EPA, and nearly the same amount ends up in our landfills. Once in a landfill, the toxic metals in these batteries can leak into the soil and groundwater. Instead, store your batteries and drop them off at a designated recycling location. For rechargeable batteries, like the ones found in laptops, cellphones and digital cameras, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, a non-profit organization backed by battery manufacturers, offers lists of many locations to drop off those batteries for recycling.
We go through countless pairs of athletic shoes, and fortunately there are many resources to recycle them. The rubber on the soles of sneakers can be broken down and recycled into a variety of products, including, athletic flooring, playground and track surfaces and even some consumer products. The foam and upper fabric can recycled into indoor and/or outside sports courts. The Nike Reuse a Shoe program is nationwide and will accept shoes of all conditions. Nike turns the shoes into a recycled product known as Nike Grind. This product is then used to make tracks, indoor basketball courts, fields, and playgrounds.