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Monday
May152017

16 Items to Get Rid Of

1. Old knives

Throw out your old knives by wrapping them in butcher paper, then bubble wrap, and then tape it up in an appropriately sized cardboard box. Once it is safely packed in this way, you can throw it away — or more easily give it away to the Salvation Army or a soup kitchen without hurting anyone who might be sorting your donation.

2. Small appliances

Not sure what to do with the mixer whose beaters are missing, or the waffle iron with a frayed cord? Small kitchen appliances that are not in good enough condition to be donated need to be recycled, but it can be tough to know how to find a recycling center that will accept them.

If your appliances were manufactured by Hamilton Beach, the company will accept old and nonfunctioning products for recycling, although you are on the hook for shipping costs. For all other brands, you will need to find a local recycling center. The website earth911.com allows you to search for local centers that accept the appliances (or other items) you need to dispose of.

3. Worn-out linens

Local animal shelters often have a need for bedding, and the dogs and cats certainly won't care that Darth Vader has faded to invisibility on your old pillowcases. Alternatively, you can often give them to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or other local charities. They work with partners to recycle used textiles into rags, fiber for furniture or insulation, or clothing that gets repaired and resold in less developed countries.

4. Hangers

For some reason, hangers seem to multiply in closets when you're not looking. Plastic hangers tend to be harder to dispose of — they are often not accepted for plastic recycling, and most Goodwill stores will not accept them. However, other thrift or secondhand clothing stores are often happily to take your plastic hangers off your hands, or you can post them on Freecycle. Wire hangers can be returned to the dry cleaner.

5. Old bras

Even if you wear your bras until long after they have stopped supporting you, old lingerie has a tendency to take up space in your underwear drawer, since it can be tough to know how to get rid of it. The Bra Recyclers is a textile recycling company that will recycle your old brassieres and keep those over-the-shoulder boulder holders out of the landfill. Sign up with the site, and receive a label to mail in your expired bras.

6. Worn-out athletic shoes

Did you know Nike has a shoe recycling program called Reuse-a-Shoe, which will accept worn-out athletic shoes from any brand and recycle the components? You can drop off old athletic shoes at most Nike or Converse stores.

7. Expired medications

Check out the annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (generally in late April) to be able to safely get rid of expired medication. But there are now independent community pharmacies around the country that are authorized to take back medication year-round. You can find one near you at DisposeMyMeds.org.

8. Expired beauty products

Eye makeup should be replaced every few months to protect you from infection, and other facial cosmetics should not be used for more than 12 months. But simply throwing away old products can be potentially harmful to the environment, because they contain harsh chemicals.

Some cosmetics manufacturers — most notably MAC — will accept their own empty cosmetics packaging for recycling, and you can find a list of mail-in programs for recycling packaging from other brands of cosmetics at the site ecolife.com.

To dispose of the product itself, ecolife recommends scooping it all out of the container, then putting it in a sealed jar or other packaging that you can then send to the landfill.

9. Small bathroom appliances

If you no longer use your hair dryer or curling iron because it's not in usable condition, check out earth911.com to find a small appliance recycling center near you.

10. Burned jar candles

Freeze the jar, making it easy to pull out the remaining wax, and then recycle the clean jar.

11. Crayon stubs

Send your crayon stubs to Crazy Crayons, a national recycling program that accepts used crayons to keep them from going into the landfill.

12. Appliance manuals

You used to have to hold onto the owner's manuals for all of your appliances, gadgets, and gizmos, just in case you ever needed to troubleshoot a problem. But the internet now has all of the information you need, so go ahead and throw these in the paper recycling.

13. Burned-out light bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs can be recycled at The Home Depot. The mercury-containing bulbs should not be thrown away. LED bulbs are safe to throw away, but you can find a local recycler at earth911.com orrecyclenation.com.

14. Used-up batteries

Neither conventional batteries nor rechargeable ones can be thrown away because they contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Rather than keep them in a drawer because you don't know to do with them, take your used up rechargeables to Best Buy for recycling, and take your conventional batteries to Batteries Plus Bulbs. You can also find a recycling station for conventional batteries at call2recycle.org. (See also: Where to Take Your Batteries, CFL Bulbs, and Other Hard-to-Recycle Stuff)

15. Unused electrical cables and wire

Every home has a tangle of wires that does not seem to belong to any particular device. Drop those bad boys off at Best Buy for recycling.

16. Outdated cellphones

Take your old cellphones to Best Buy for recycling. If your cellphone is still functioning, however, you may want to donate it to Cell Phones for Soldiers, which gives service members the ability to call home.

Source: Wisebread.com

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