Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
Strengthen your sense of community pride by doing all you can to protect and preserve your neighborhood. Seize the opportunity to better the community and create a clean and safe environment for yourself, your friends, and family. Consider some of the following options as ways to properly dispose of or recycle everyday items.
Unused medications can be dangerous, especially to children and pets. Drop them off at a drug collection site. Check with your police department to see if they have a drug collection program or ask your local pharmacy if they have a disposal kiosk. If a drug collection program is not available in your area, follow these steps to dispose of the medications with your home trash:
- Pour medications from their bottles into a sealable bag. Remove or mark out any personal information on the bottles. Then throw the bottles away.
- Crush the pills or capsules in the bag. You may add a little water to make it easier.
- Mix in something unappetizing, such as kitty litter, coffee grounds, or dirt. This will help keep children or pets from eating the mixture.
- Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.
Clothing and Household Goods
Donating to charity is a great way to get rid of things you no longer want or need while providing people with resources they may not have access to. Many companies will pick up larger items like furniture, appliances, building materials, and more. Consider posting items on local Facebook pages that promote giving things to those in need. Ask friends and neighbors if they know someone who could benefit from the item you are trying to donate.
Glass is 100% recyclable. It has an unlimited life and can be melted and recycled endlessly into new glass products with no loss in quality.
While the process may differ from state to state, learn how your state recycles glass before tossing it in the trash. Not all areas allow glass in general recycling bins, but some cities offer curbside glass recycling.
America’s growing use of electronics has created a new environmental challenge: electronic waste or e-waste. Things that qualify as e-waste include cell phones, audio and stereo equipment, computers, VCR’s and DVD players, video game consoles, etc. Electronic equipment contains toxic compounds such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. Before tossing these items, see if you can drop them off at a local electronics store, such as Best Buy, or contact a company that will come to your workplace and collect unused items.
Household hazardous waste (HHW) is any unwanted household product labeled as flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive. The most common products include aerosols, anti-freeze, asbestos, fertilizers, motor oil, paint supplies, photo chemicals, poisons, and solvents. Improper disposal of these products is not only illegal, but can contaminate drinking water and seriously injure garbage and recycling collection and landfill employees. Call the local landfill, health department, or solid waste management contractor for special information on disposing of hazardous household waste. They can advise you on if they will accept the waste.