All of us are guilty of a stashing away, outdated items that we just don’t know what to do with. It could be VHS tapes or expired medicines or outdated phone books. Here are five of the most common outdated items’ we have stockpiled away and solutions to help you get rid of them the right way. You’ll find links to all of the resources mentioned below at DoYourPart.com/Columns.
1) VHS Tapes, Cassette Tapes, CDs, DVDs and More
When is the last time you popped in a VHS or cassette tape? GreenDisk is an online company that can help you out. They accept VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs (along with a long list of other techno trash) and recycle it responsibly. Portions that can’t be recycled will be disposed of correctly. There is a small shipping fee. Other options are to check with your local library or Goodwill to see if they accept or recycle these items.
2) Old Electronics
If you’re holding on to a massive old computer monitor or a cell phone that’s years old, it’s time to get rid of it. They contain valuable metals that can be recycled and other hazardous heavy metals that should be handled responsibly. Instead, check out one of the many online trade-in websites, which pay you for the working ones. Apple and Best Buy are among many retailers that have recycling programs where you can earn gift cards by trading in old electronics.
Don’t trash those outdated shoes or ones you just don’t wear anymore. Soles4Souls is a charity that wants all gently worn shoes. You can find drop off locations near you and they’ll be sent to people in need around the world. If you have old athletic shoes, one option is Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program where the they are ground up and turned into running tracks, basketball and tennis courts, and even playgrounds. Any brand of athletic shoe is accepted.
4) Phone Books
There’s no longer a need to have or get phone books with all of the same info available online. However, hundreds of millions of them are delivered to homes each year. You can put the entire phone book in many curbside-recycling bins. It’s also smart to stop them from being delivered to you in the first place. Call your telephone company directly or go to YellowPagesGoesGreen.org and they’ll do the work for you.
5) Old Medicine
If you have medication you are no longer taking or is past its expiration date, don’t flush it unless it specifically says so on the bottle. You can now buy a postage paid envelope to responsibly dispose of many prescriptions and over the counter drugs. The TakeAway Environmental Return System is now available online and in a number of national retailers. Or participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back day being held on October 29, 2011.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist and author, and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to [email protected] and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter. Terri’s new book “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living” is now available at DoYourPart.com.
© 2011 Terri Bennett Enterprises, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.