Incorporating recycling into your lifestyle is a major step toward going green. You probably already know that you can recycle glass, plastic bottles and newspaper. Here are a few recyclables that fly under the radar and end up in landfills.
This one isn’t as simple as pouring motor oil into a jar and tossing it in the trash. Many cities offer used motor oil collection sites for the purpose of proper disposal — which protects groundwater from contamination. Recycleoil.org, a website of the American Petroleum Institute, can help you find an oil-recycling plant in your town, and show you how to get the yucky stuff to the site. They’ll even show you how the oil recycling process takes place.
This one is actually a little bit tricky: If the cardboard box the pizza boy dropped off is coated in cheese and grease, toss that box in the garbage when you’re done with it. If the upper lid is untainted, rip it off and throw it in the trash. The pizza box itself is recyclable, but sometimes the pizza product itself renders the box unrecyclable. This is a common mistake. Recycle only the clean materials.
Ink & toner cartridges
Ink is some of the most expensive liquid you’ll ever buy. When you’re done with it, make sure all of that cash doesn’t go to waste. Get your cartridges refilled at one of the many office supply stores that offer the service, or simply send in your used cartridges for a little cash. Recycleplace.com offers $1 for all used ink cartridges. If you’re running a business, those savings can really add up!
Sometimes, foam packaging is necessary, but getting rid of foam peanuts and blocks can be a hassle. They take up space and take a lifetime to biodegrade. Most shipping stores accept used foam packaging for repurposing. It saves them money, and it saves the environment. Contact your local shipping store to see if it participates.
More ways to live green
Slowly going green: Learning to live green, week by week
5 Small green changes to make this month