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Six Items You Didn’t Think to Recycle

plastic bottles surrounding bin

We all know to recycle soda bottles, aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, and milk jugs. But what do you do if you want to go the extra mile to keep your junk out of a landfill? We’ve compiled a list of six common items that aren’t commonly recycled.

  1. Aerosol cans: These can be recycled when empty, but check with your local authority first (DO NOT CRUSH or pierce—they can explode).
  2. Cat Litter: Cat litter can be added to the compost heap—however, it is best to bury or dispose of any cat feces first, to avoid the risk of spreading parasites. You can now buy cat litter made from recycled paper, hemp, and mineral sources—for example.
  3. Motor Oil: You can often take engine oil to a recycling center, service station, or quick-lube shop. See www.recycleoil.org or www.earth911.org for recycling locations throughout the country. Emptying used oil into  drains or into landfills can cause real harm to the environment; just one gallon of used oil can contaminate 740,000 gallons of water.
  4. Soap: You can buy soap presses that make new bars, and even chop them up to make a liquid soap.
  5. Computers: Many recycling projects and commercial companies will take computers, monitors, and associated hardware. They can wipe hard drives with special software and resell equipment to low-income groups, etc. Even broken equipment can be taken apart for components. Many computer components contain dangerous chemicals which can leech into groundwater.
  6. You: Increasingly, more and more people want to leave the world without causing unnecessary pollution. You can now ask for a cardboard coffin, a woolen shroud, or even an ecopod. See www.greenburialcouncil.org
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