How to responsibly get rid of things you can't recycle
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Keywords for those interested in preserving the ecosystem. But sometimes, it’s hard to be responsible with your recycling. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to recycle things. From cell phones to old clothing, the simple answer may be to trash it. Take an extra minute or two and try to find another way, it may take some creativity, but you can find it.
If you are still holding on to your old flip phone, it’s time to donate it to a museum or dispose of it properly. Some companies have a buyback or trade-in program, or you can check the demand for them on eBay. If you’d like to have someone else do the work, you can sell things through Decluttr, Swappa, or even Amazon. If you’re opting just to ditch it, make sure you check your local rules and options, because even taking some of these items to the dump may be against the rules.
Most of us learned at an early age that we couldn’t just through batteries in the trash can. But did you ever learn what to do with them? Every state has its own rules on recycling batteries, and most counties and towns also have their own rules. One easy way to figure out where to recycle batteries is to check the Earth 911 website.
Most often people find clothes the easiest thing to donate or recycle, but it’s hard to know what to do with them. Clothes often hold memories, which make them harder to get rid of. One option is instead of trashing or donating ratty old t-shirts, you can have them made into a memory quilt. In Sword & Plough's case, you can use that material to create upcycled bags & accessories. But if you have clothes that would really help other people, consider donating them to something like Bottomless Closet or Career Gear, places that help provide business clothing to those who may not be able to afford it.
Books are one of those things that are hard to part with, but once you’ve decided they have to go, you don’t want to drag them around anymore. You can sell them online through several sites or donate them to the local library. One fun option would be to start your own Little Free Library, to start a tiny library in your neighborhood.
Another option for things you can’t recycle is to reuse them in some way. Creativity is rewarded when it comes to reusing and recycling difficult items. Share with us some of your creative ways of reusing something that seemed impossible to recycle responsibly.
Rebecca Alwine is an army wife, mother of three, and lover of her adorable pirate dog. Over the past 12 years, she’s discovered she enjoys coffee, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her days consist of CrossFit workouts, listening to audiobooks, and pretending to cook while her Instant Pot does all the work. Her motto: work smarter, not harder.