Welcome to Green Boot Camp

Welcome to Green Boot Camp blog, a 52-week program to help you become a greener you in 2008. This is the companion blog to The Lean Green Family (formerly Suddenly Frugal).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Week Three--Recycling Everything Else

As we finish up Week Three, I'd like you to get in the habit of recycling those household (and garage) items that you might just assume you can throw away. Here are some ideas to consider:

* Used Motor Oil and Filters
OK, I'm not sure if anyone but gearheads still change their car's oil. However, if you call yourself a gearhead or just change your oil to save money, what are you doing with the used oil and the filter when you're done? I hope not tossing it in the trash or pouring it down the sewer. I would suggest that you call ahead to a local gas station or oil change shop to see if you can bring your used oil and filter to them to be recycled (these shops have to do it by law), though they might give you a hard time about why you're not just using their services. If you don't have the chutzpah to ask for their help, use Earth 911's search box to find places near you that will take your used oil and filter with out judging you.

* Computers and Peripherals
Office supply stores like Staples made news last year when they began their computer recycling program (with a hefty $10 per item fee I wish they'd drop so more people would participate). This initiative is supposed to make it easier for consumers like you and me to recycle our computers (considered to be hazardous waste) instead of just tossing them in the trash. Also, you can bring back your print cartridges to stores that will recycle them for you and give you a coupon for a future print cartridge purchase. I know that companies like Hewlett-Packard will also take back used computer peripherals--something I discovered earlier this year when my laser printer stopped working correctly, I found out that it needed a new drum, and it would be cheaper to ship my old printer back to H-P. Then they would recycle my old printer (or so they say) and give me a discount on the price of my new printer. Yeah, so this all involves a bit of schlepping on your part but, well, you know, it's the right thing to do. Oh and not that I'm an Earth 911 cheerleader or anything, but they do have a great web page that offers links to manufacturers and stores with computer take-back programs.

* Batteries of All Kinds
I've already posted that you can recycle your cell phone at local Verizon Wireless stores, and while you're at it, they will recycle your rechargeable cell phone battery, too. So what are you supposed to do with all of the other kinds of batteries you have lying around the house, like the ones in your Tivo remote or portable flashlight? Well, Staples will take them (talk about killing two recycling birds with one stone) as will RadioShack, though only rechargeable batteries. Should I need to recycle my car's battery, I know that my local NAPA Auto Parts or Advance Auto Parts stores will take it off my hands and recycle it.

Let me know if there area any other household items you'd like to know how or where to recycle.

1 comment:

Michael T said...

I haven't gotten the chance to check for myself, so I just want to ask for clarification--are you saying that Staples will recycle normal batteries, or only those that are rechargeable?