Many people are looking to declutter their homes as the new year approaches. There’s a sense of satisfaction and renewal that comes from getting rid of old or unused items. What about items that don’t have an intuitive place for discarding? Toxic materials can be recycled just like anything else. This just has to be done safely and properly.
How to Get Rid of Medication
The Food and Drug Administration has specific guidelines on safe disposal of old or expired medications. There are Drug Take Back collection programs in many communities and some pharmacies might have disposal kiosks as well. If you don’t have access to a Take Back program you can flush medications if they are on the approved list. Drugs that are not on the flush approved list can be thrown out if they are first mixed with coffee grounds, litter, or other dirt as a preventative measure.
Giving New Life to Old Computers
Computers are made out of valuable metals like silver and platinum. Those metals can certainly be repurposed after you’ve logged out for the last time. Be sure to wipe the computer’s data first to avoid identity theft. Unplug the keyboard or the speakers if it’s a desktop. Laptops often run on lithium ion batteries that require a separate recycling program so remove the battery if you can. Computer and tech retailers often have receptacles for old electronics but you can also see if the manufacturer has a mail-in program.
What About Mattresses?
Mattresses are probably the trickiest item to dispose of. Most charities do not accept mattress donations for safety reasons. Some recycling programs collect bulk waste. Opt for dumpster rental for a place to store the mattress while you’re waiting to get rid of it. (That way it’s not in the house and taking up space in the meantime.) Don’t leave the mattress by the roadside and risk it becoming particularly hazardous.
Don’t Throw Out Those Batteries
Single use household batteries contain toxic chemicals that contribute to pollution. These chemicals are also hazardous to the skin and eyes if people come into contact with them. The good thing is that recycling batteries is easier than ever. The majority of tech retailers have programs for this. Some libraries and post offices may as well. There are specialized drop off locations for rechargeable batteries. California in particular has many specific requirements for battery recycling.
Now you can check these things off your list whether you are moving or just getting ready for the new year.