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How to Dispose of Everything, Including Old Cell Phones, Mattresses, and Batteries

Good Housekeeping Magazine

The average American produces 4.51 pounds of trash per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — and only 35% of that waste gets recycled or composted. That's nearly 140 million tons of waste going to landfills every year! While most of us know to put our cans and bottles in the blue bins for recycling, disposal can get a little trickier when it comes to other items such as appliances, electronics, and old medications — which is why, when you're getting to work on some spring cleaning, it's so important to know how to dispose of these items properly.

Of course, before throwing something away for good, a solid first step is to always donate items (in good, working condition) to nonprofits and charities like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, or local charities; or list them on Craigslist, eBay, or even Facebook. But if it's time your items really hit the curb, it's important to know how to dispose of everything in an environmentally friendly way; after all, even a tiny bit goes a long way when it comes to being green. So if you're wondering what exactly to do with those old batteries or outdated electronics you find as you're cleaning out your house this year, here's a handy A–Z guide on everything you can responsibly dispose of:

Batteries
Batteries of all types can be recycled. According to Duracell, regular single-use alkaline batteries (such as ones that power our remotes) can safely go in the trash everywhere except California; however, a more eco-friendly way of disposal is to recycle them at community programs, workplaces, or nearby recycling centers that accept them.

Rechargeable batteries (such as ones in cellphones and other electronics), however, should not be thrown out in the trash and should be recycled, as they may contain hazardous chemicals. To find a nearby recycling site for all types of batteries, be sure to check Call2Recycle and Earth911.com — and before you recycle them, make sure to place non-conductive clear tape over the ends or the terminals of the battery to ensure safe recycling.

 

Read the full and original article at Good Housekeeping Magazine

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