The Article:

What Else Can You Recycle?

By:  Ari  Bendersky  Abe's Market Contributor  April 5th, 2013

Earth Day, an annual celebration of the things we can collectively and independently do to help save the environment, is April 22, when more than one billion people globally participate in Earth Day activities. Arbor Day, which encourages people to plant and care for trees, is April 26. Because of this Abe's Market is celebrating Earth Week all week with tips on how you can make your life, home, office, etc more eco-friendly; articles on ways you can be more green; images that show how people #LiveNatural and more. Join us as we celebrate Earth Week and all work together to make our planet a more livable place.

Recycle Everything!

OK, we all know you can't recycle everything, but outside of the obvious things like glass, aluminum, paper and the like, what else can you recycle? You'd be surprised at how many things you can recycle, but the method of recycling them is a little more than putting them into your recycle bin.

What Else Can You Recycle?

  • Wire Hangers : No Wire Hangers, Ever! While we may not be Mommie Dearest, we do think wire hangers are a little hideous. When you get laundry back from the dry cleaners, transfer your shirts and pants to nice wood hangers and then transfer the hangers back to the cleaners. This will keep the hangers out of the garbage and replacing them will keep the cleaners costs down from having to order more hangers.
  • Coffee Sleeves : If you get a coffee from Starbucks or any other local cafe that offers you a sleeve to keep your hand from burning, you can recycle that sleeve. The corrugated material can go into your recycle bin, but you could also bring it back to the store the next time you get a coffee and use it again.
  • Printer Cartridges : The little printer cartridges may look disposable or even like they could go into your recycle bin, but they're not. Most printer manufacturers will let you send them back once they're out of ink so they can re-use them. If you can't be bothered to mail them back, many office supply stores like Office Depot or Staples have bins to accept discarded cartridges. They'll send them back to manufacturers to get re-used.
  • Plastic Bags : If you insist on not using cloth reusable bags and opt for plastic bags at the grocery store, at least bring them back. Most grocery stores have a container to accept plastic bags that will then get properly recycled into products like composite lumber or post-consumer resin.
  • Food : While a lot of food should go into the garbage or down the disposal if you have one, a number of organic products, like egg shells, produce, coffee grounds, bread products/crackers, can be put into a compost bin . But don't ever add meat, bones, oils, fish and dairy products.

What Should You Never Recycle?

While you may think you're helping the environment by recycling a lot of different things, there are certain items that you should never recycle in your own recycle bin. Oftentimes your local city government will have drop off days for these types of items. Included in the list of things you shouldn't recycle are:

  • Frozen food bags or pre-wash salad packaging
  • Light bulbs (you can take them to local hardware stores)
  • Solied paper products like napkins, paper towels and greasy pizza boxes
  • Batteries
  • Styrofoam
  • Electronics

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Ari Bendersky

Abe's Market Contributor

Ari Bendersky Ari joined Abe's Market after years of covering music, lifestyle, wine and food for the New York Times, AP, Rolling Stone, Eater, Huff Post and more. He lives naturally by biking, hiking, green juicing and avoiding high-fructose corn syrup at all costs.

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